I'm Jin, I work on the designs for the Stack Exchange sites as they graduate from the beta phase. Each site will have its own unique theme that will reflect its topic and culture. However, all sites will share common elements so they feel like they're part of the Stack Exchange family.
I have to admit I was a bit nervous when I first started to brainstorm for the design for this site. I really know nothing about Mathematica. The last math tool I used was Maple in college, many years ago. My concern went away rather quickly after I did some research on the associated aesthetics with Mathematica and its community sites.
For the overall feel of the site design, I think a clean and minimalist look is most fitting, to resemble the main WRI's site. Therefore the logo should be more vibrant in color and geometrically intricate. While I was trying to come up with some logo concepts on my own, I was informed by people in the chatroom that there was an unofficial Mathematica.SE logo that's been used in the community Ads.
I immediately fell in love with this logo design. It's energetic, vibrant and bears some resemblance to the official WM logo but has a flare of its own. More importantly, it's purely generated by Mathematica. I think this is the first time a SE community designed its own logo! Credit: Wxffles designed the logo, which was tweaked by J. M. and coloured by Verbeia. Also thanks to Szabolcs and J. M. for providing me with the vector file.
For the rest of the site design, I picked the colors from the logo as accent colors. The design goal, as mentioned above, is to keep things simple and clean.
please click on images to view the full resolution versions.
For some design elements I subtly mimic the look of the WRI site.
The site design is only part of the whole design package. Once the site graduates, its chatroom, twitter account page, newsletter, and network Ads will get a facelift as well. Outside of the digital realm, I'll be creating Mathematica branded goodies too. Below are some mockups:
I'd love to hear your feedback. If there are no major design changes, I'm aiming to launch the site next Tuesday or Wednesday. An early congrats from me!
EDIT: I have updated the mockups. Fixed typo on the cards and sidebar banner. Also updated the badge icons and the favorite star on the question page. As of now, I'm not totally set on the subtle background pattern used in the header and footer. I really like the Penrose tiles Verbeia made in the other thread. If I can get a tileable version of it, I'll use it.
Also, in case anyone's wondering:
Q: "I'm a moderator, when will I get my Mathematica mod cards as shown in the mockup?" A: After the first official election after the site graduates.
Q: "I want to get some mini-cards to pass around to my colleagues or classmates to promote this site, how do I get them?" A: The mini-card in the mockup is simply for mockup purpose right now. After the site graduates I'll start to create "real ones." I'll let the community decide which 3 most interesting questions to use for the mini-cards. I will make another post on this topic.
Q: "I want that t-shirt in the mockup, how do I get it?" A: typically a few months after the site graduates we send a "swag package" to the top 2 page users(sorted by reputation, all time). The package will include Mathematica t-shirt, stickers, mini-cards as well as Stack Exchange branded pen, sharpie, marker and stickers.