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A bit over a month ago, I presented y'all with the design we'd created for this community, and asked for some feedback. The response wasn't the most positive one, and some of the things we heard from you in Meta and in chat — aside from the things that fall in the tiny tweaks bucket — were that the design didn't represent the community and didn't feel anime-y.

Now, as I mentioned in an edit on the previous post, our current rollout plan for new designs on the network involves simpler designs — think more Blender, Travel, or Puzzling, and less Worldbuilding. But everyone here is pretty much aware of the fact that capturing the feel of anime and manga in a single, cohesive design is not an easy task to undertake — I mean, there's a reason why this particular community, of all the communities in the network, has been waiting for a design for something like five and a half years now, having other communities "jump the queue" to get theirs.

So, given all of the above, we decided to take a step back to evaluate our options... like, way way way back: as far back as November '13! Since then, when the first time someone from the company (you may remember Jin popping into chat to talk about it, if you've been around for long enough) publicly stated that we'd be getting a design, the idea had always been to commission an artist with experience in the style to execute this site's design. So we got in touch with someone with experience in the field, and will be getting a custom made design from 'em, that should be ready by early next month! ^_^

So, with that background outta the way, here's what you need to know:

  • The ideas we gathered are still gonna be the ones to inspire this new design, along with the feedback provided to the design that I announced a month back;
  • Given that this'll be a design generated outside our usual process, once it's rolled out we'll only be doing any styling tweaks, or fixing egregious issues we somehow miss before then;
  • The logo will still be an in-house production, and Lisa has tweaked it as per some of the feedback given in the previous post. While we're still figuring out how to differentiate the Main and Meta logos, here's a preview of it after tweaking it as per this piece of feedback:

enter image description here

It's been a long wait, I know... but we're getting there! Thanks for the patience and the feedback, and I'm really looking forward to getting your final design in front of you! :D

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    If I'm reading this right, A&M be getting a complete rework. Will the old artwork still be publicly available? (but maybe hidden) AFAIK the images have a custom hash to prevent caching on new design roll outs, which changes (daily?). – Peilonrayz Jun 8 at 13:45
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    You're reading it right, yes — a completely new design. Not sure about the current on still being made publicly available — though the original announcement will keep its screenshots, for sure. And am not sure what you mean with your last sentence there :) – JNat Jun 10 at 10:11
  • The last sentence means, even if I keep a record of every url currently used for artwork, they'll expire the day the new design comes out. Effectively deleting all the old artwork. Makes sense that it may not be available. – Peilonrayz Jun 10 at 10:17
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    I see. I guess what I'm missing, then, is why that's relevant? Like I said, I'm not sure about whether or not the current artwork is still gonna be made available, but if it is I wouldn't assume it'd be because it's live somewhere buried in obscure URLs, but rather explicitly made available elsewhere. I might add, though, that aside from the screenshots I don't see a great reason to do so, and I don't think we've ever left old iterations of designs available anywhere but in screenshots. Can you elaborate on why that'd be relevant? Or maybe you're just trying to figure out the mechanics? :) – JNat Jun 10 at 10:42
  • If I don't like aspects of the new design as much as this one then I can always revert those aspects back. (With Tamper Monkey) – Peilonrayz Jun 10 at 10:50
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When you say "once it's rolled out", does this imply any kind of transition period to allow the community to see what it looks like and/or provide feedback before then? I ask this since it seems that, once it's out, we get what we get, which may work out well, but may not.

Just want to be clear on this.

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    We're not planning on posting screenshots, etc., before rolling it out, no. The design that's in the works will benefit from being experienced live, so we're gonna go with that :) – JNat Jun 7 at 15:43
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    @JNat: So what we get is what we get? – Makoto Jun 7 at 15:57
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    To put it shortly: styling tweaks or egregious issues aside, yes. Though, like I mentioned, the new design will have incorporated not only the ideas we gathered that served as the basis for the design that's currently live, but also the feedback we received on it — so it'll have addressed the concerns brought up by you about its shortcomings. – JNat Jun 7 at 17:34
  • Okay, just wanted to be clear on the process. Thanks for clarifying. – Makoto Jun 7 at 17:43

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