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Logged into the beta of the Webapps Stack Exchange site and I thought the design of it was quite impressive.

The sketchy appearance of it lead me to wonder, is that just a default look for sites in the beta phase (something to say, "It's in development"). If so, when the site is free from the probationary period will it get its own unique appearance?

Or will everything just look like that permanently?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

That is the "Sketchy" beta theme for all beta sites. When a site makes it out of beta, they will choose their own logo and design.

So, before anyone asks... sorry, no. You can't keep the Sketchy design for your site after launch <grin>.

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By "choose their own design", do you mean that there'll be a gallery for them to choose from or will they work with the designer? – waiwai933 Jul 1 '10 at 2:52
I actually do quite like the sketchy design. – Bill the Lizard Jul 1 '10 at 3:11
@Robert Cartaino who created the sketchy look? – George Stocker Jul 1 '10 at 18:41
@George Stocker: That is the work of our amazing designer: Jin Yang ( – Robert Cartaino Jul 1 '10 at 19:41
@Robert Yea, I got impatient and asked him on twitter. He said everyone but that Robert guy had great ideas about the design. Not sure what he meant by that. :-) – George Stocker Jul 1 '10 at 19:55
@George Stocker: Ohp! He is off my Christmas cookie list. Off, I tell ya. – Robert Cartaino Jul 1 '10 at 23:23
So will it be chosen by the users just before the site leaves beta or just after? – Lance Roberts Sep 13 '10 at 22:41
@Lance Roberts: The process should happen continually throughout beta. The final consensus should be reached by the end of the beta. In other words, the site will launch with its new name and new design. – Robert Cartaino Sep 13 '10 at 23:05

I'm assuming that the web app theme is the beta phase theme, based on its "sketch"-like looks. I too am impressed by how far the design went (even the bold, italic, etc, buttons are different images).

And now some screenshots so that those not in the beta can see.

The recent activity screen:

rcent activity

Compose answer screen:


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