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Congratulations, Arduino community! We’re going to be creating a custom site design for you that we hope will represent your subject and we want you all to really love it. You’ve been waiting almost 5 years and we really want to do this well. To facilitate this, we’re reaching out now to ask you for what you’d really love to see in the design and logo.

I’m Paul, one of the Product Designers here at Stack. I'll be working with our community managers in order to ensure that your custom theme reflects your community. I’m not an Arduino expert (though I did join the Makey Makey bandwagon and had a Tessel) - so I’ll be relying on you to help guide this process. Looking forward to it!

A quick history lesson about site theming

Originally, site designs were part of the site graduation process. When a site left beta, they'd get their design. But, at the time we only had one designer who was working on designs and the designs were very specialized and often involved a lot of custom illustrations. We got into a situation where several sites were in queue for graduation but the designer didn't have the bandwidth to actually create the designs.

Before she worked here, Catija asked the question Can Beta sites slated for graduation get full-site abilities without site design upgrade? - on MSE. This kicked off several discussions within the CM team of the time and community members and the eventual decision was to implement "Design-independent graduation" in September 2015. This meant that many sites were finally able to leave beta without waiting on a design - including Arduino!

At that time we also had much more strict guidelines for when a site could graduate - they had to consistently get 10 new questions per day. This level of volume made graduation impossible or very unlikely for many sites - meaning many would stay in beta forever. As such, the CM team considered another request - Let's break up with "Graduation" and remove a bunch of "Beta" labels - and that's what eventually happened, too. In 2019, we removed the beta label from 29 sites and another 59 in December 2021.

We've also gone through several design systems changes, including launching Stacks version 1.0, which make creating and building in designs much simpler for both our design team and the developers. In fact, we showed off how flexible it could be in our April Fools prank this year "Filters for Stack Overflow".

What to expect

Over the next few weeks, we'll be communicating with you about your site design, so please help us out as much as you can. While we may not be experts on the Arduino, we know that you are and that you likely have great ideas about what you want this site to look like - so share them with us! You've got a week now to pool up your thoughts in answers to this question, at which point I'll start working on this site.

I'll spend some time working on a design based on your guidance, and we'll be back when it's ready to show you what the design and logo look like. At that point, y'all will have a week to make suggestions for adjustments to the design. Our hope is that there will be little that needs adjusting but, due to the size of our backlog, we can't allow more than one phase of feedback, so any changes will need to be recommended at this point.

We'll then consider the changes proposed and make any adjustments that we feel are beneficial. Changes that are too big or are out of scope likely won't be possible, but we'll make sure to explain why we opted against making a change should that happen. Please understand that design is often a subjective thing and we may end up with community members differing in their opinions, so we'll be taking that into account when deciding. Decisions about the final design will be made by the design team and CMs with the concerns of the community taken into account.

Also, it's worth keeping in mind that the goal of these designs is to make something topical, unique, and attractive, but we'll be designing within the scope of our newer site theming. We'll be able to create a logo, background colors, and textures in addition to your logo - but please don't expect illustrations like what you may have seen on some of the older site designs.

Process

Over the next month or so, we’ll be going through a few steps to get your site design up and running. This post is the first of those steps. I’ll also be using this post to track the phases in the table below.

Step Status
Information Gathering complete
Design V1 complete
V1 Feedback in progress
Design adjustments (if needed)
Developer cleanup and shipping of final design

What we need from you

As I've mentioned already, we need some inspiration from you so that we can get started on this design and create something you'll really be proud of. So far, I was able to find a couple older discussions about logos and site designs here on Meta. Feel free to reference them if there are ideas you like already - or give us new ones! We're really looking for design ideas rather than needing you to design anything for us.

When you're answering this question, think about:

  • What symbols or images are important to the subject of this site?
    • Especially things that speak to insiders that we might not find on our own
  • Are there any colors that are tied to your subject?
  • What tone/mood/feeling would you like your theme to emit? While this is subjective, it helps to set some design guardrails. So, when answering with your thoughts, some good information to mention is where the theme might sit inside these axes:
    • From fun to serious
    • From classic to modern
    • From simple to complex
  • How could a good logo represent your subject? The Arduino logo is trademarked so we can't use it. There is the Arduino Community logo and colors. Or should we come up with something else?
  • What are things to avoid?

If you have any questions, let me know! We're really looking forward to hearing from you and getting your site design underway.

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2 Answers 2

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I think we should use the Arduino Community Logo and the colors from the logo.

It is exactly the use for what the Community Logo was intended and it makes a strong association between Arduino SE and the worldwide Arduino community.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • 1
    Reference site and permission: arduino.cc/en/trademark/community-logo
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    May 18 at 6:56
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    There is a paragraph in bold there: The Arduino Community Logo can NOT be used on products or services that are sold commercially and in no case on electronic boards (also non commercial). I'm not sure if Arduino SE counts as an "electronic board". But if not, what is it?
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    May 18 at 6:58
  • Maybe they mean printed circuit boards. However forums and similar used to be known as Electronic Bulletin Boards so perhaps there is room for confusion there.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    May 18 at 7:00
  • @NickGammon, the link is in the Q so I didn't repeat it
    – Juraj Mod
    May 18 at 7:56
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    Yeah, I think they did a good job with this logo. Would be nice to use if you all like it
    – paintedbicycle Staff
    May 18 at 13:55
  • I interpreted the caveat on the Arduino Community Logo as that it can't be used on products or services that are paid, but that it would be ok here on SE. Is that your understanding too?
    – paintedbicycle Staff
    May 18 at 13:56
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    @paintedbicycle, maybe the best would be if SE Inc could ask Arduino (BCMI US LLC)
    – Juraj Mod
    May 18 at 14:44
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    @Juraj Cool, we're going to do that. Thanks!
    – paintedbicycle Staff
    May 18 at 16:18
  • @paintedbicycle I think their sentence "The customised logo can be used on ... any public platform you are using to self-organize and communicate" would reasonably be taken as giving us permission, as we are a public platform and we communicate.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    May 19 at 8:54
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    Thanks for all your feedback and thoughts! I got the go-ahead from our community team to start the design using the Arduino Community logo and colors. Seems to be a bit of a consensus here
    – paintedbicycle Staff
    May 27 at 15:40
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What symbols or images are important to the subject of this site?

As Juraj mentioned, the Arduino "Community" logo would be a good starting point. Then, perhaps, something related to electronics.

Are there any colors that are tied to your subject?

The colours from https://www.arduino.cc/en/trademark/community-logo (as mentioned by Juraj) would be reasonable colour to theme with.

What tone/mood/feeling would you like your theme to emit?

From fun to serious

Arduino is targeted at beginners. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino — some of their original projects showed off quirky ideas like a cat feeder based on a re-purposed CD-ROM drive, where the drawer would open, covering the food, and close to allow the cat access to it. So I would aim for fun/quirky/educational. :)

From classic to modern

Modern.

From simple to complex

Since we are aiming at beginners I would lean towards simple.

How could a good logo represent your subject? The Arduino logo is trademarked so we can't use it. There is the Arduino Community logo and colors. Or should we come up with something else?

I would lean towards the Community Logo, or maybe a stylized and simplified version of it.

What are things to avoid?

Cats. Nah, just kidding! Cats are adorable fluffy things — until they bite you! (Like mine does).

More seriously, take a look at Electronics Stack Exchange. They use some electronics logos (for example, a diode symbol with a circle around it). You would want to avoid making this site look too similar to theirs.


Other ideas

  • The classic thing people start off with is the Blink sketch which blinks an LED or two. So maybe LEDs or their representation could feature somewhere.

  • Arduinos tend to use "shields" which are basically printed circuit boards vertically plugged into the one below. Perhaps that could be used somewhere.


Thanks, paintedbicycle, for your post. We are looking forwards to the ideas you come up with!

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    Appreciate your thoughts! Very helpful, thanks
    – paintedbicycle Staff
    May 18 at 13:54

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