Movies and TV is now a Full Fledged Site! With a fancy new design! Congratulations to them.

Now we all want to know what the order of the remaining sites is...right? Who's next to get their fancy design out of the beta sites that are already scheduled for graduation?

There was some mentioning of the graduation queue by an SE employee in a comment thread under this related answer a while ago, as well as the fact that this queue is ordered somehow:

Current list in the queue is: Salesforce, Expression Engine, Anime, Computer Science, Japanese, Cryptography, Movies, Blender, and English Language Learners.
As far as I'm aware, it's ordered. Salesforce and Expression Engine are currently in progress.

From which Salesforce and Expression Engine already graduated in order, and now Movies & TV.

However, this comment is already some months old and the recent graduation of Movies & TV suggests that this ordering is not entirely strict. I'd thus like to know if there is any information how the graduation process proceeds. Which site will be next? Is this queue still valid or has it changed? Is it a reasonable hint at the order of graduation at all?

I am sure that the list has been updated as of right now it appears that these are the beta sites that are waiting on design:

  • Anime and Manga
  • Code Review
  • Computer Science
  • Chemistry
  • Japanese
  • Cryptography
  • Blender
  • English Language Learners
  • Music

Is there an order?

Is there a timeline?

This Code Review Meta has been pointing to the idea that Design is something that floats on the wind and lands whenever the wind stops blowing.

  • See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/237472/…, although that list was not in order of graduation timeframe (Crypto hasn't graduated but Movies & TV has). – hichris123 Jan 28 '15 at 23:42
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    In addition, I think you're focusing on graduation a bit much. Wait, keep doing what you've been doing, and be pleasantly surprised when CR graduates. – hichris123 Jan 28 '15 at 23:47
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    These sites have graduated, just not fully. Where is our Mortarboard and Gown? let us have our diploma, we have earned it! – Malachi Jan 28 '15 at 23:49
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    I'm pretty stoked about "Japanese Cryptography" – jonsca Jan 29 '15 at 0:15
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    This seems a very reasonable question, even if the answer is that SE can't/won't give that information. You might want to incorporate the information from @hichris123's comment into your question, where an SE employee posted the (at that moment) current graduation queue, including the statement that it is indeed and ordered queue. – Christian Rau Jan 29 '15 at 12:03
  • @hichris123 "that list was not in order of graduation timeframe" - It was, up until movies.SE's graduation (and was said to be by an SE employee). – Christian Rau Jan 29 '15 at 12:09
  • per my observations, graduation mostly depends on how close site is to having 3K questions in the backlog. Another important criteria is whether they have enough 2K/3K users to edit and close at non-beta privileges level (if memory serves, Code Review graduation was delayed because of that) – gnat Jan 29 '15 at 12:38
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    @gnat It seems you are also confusing graduating with being scheduled for graduation. Those are two different things. This question is not asking "when does a site graduate?", but "which from the sites that we already know will definitely graduate is next to do so?" (which also seems to be at the core of the existing answers' confusion). – Christian Rau Jan 29 '15 at 12:44
  • @ChristianRau per my reading, question is not quite clear on what is asked – gnat Jan 29 '15 at 12:45
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    @gnat I tried to clarify it, but with my 232 rep and the heavy rewrite, it might very well be that it'll just be rejected, even though I'm sure that's exactly what was asked here. Let's see. – Christian Rau Jan 29 '15 at 13:01
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    The order is internal decision of Stack Exchange team, good chance they prefer not to make it public. Even so, official response would be nice, so this is a fair request. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Jan 29 '15 at 14:54
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    For the sake of completion, music.se is also waiting for a design. – Chris Jan 29 '15 at 23:32
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    @Chris I added it into the question – Malachi Jan 30 '15 at 14:17
  • @gnat Given that Computer Science scratches 9k questions by now, that's either not the rule or the rule is meaningless because SE does not manage to graduate sites in a timely fashion after the criterion has been met. – Raphael Feb 2 '15 at 12:15
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    I closed this as no-repro because the question was about a specific list of sites at a specific point in time. Changes to (and possible deprecation of) graduation, and its decoupling from design, are covered in other questions already. – Monica Cellio Feb 5 '19 at 17:14

Sites and their communities aren't built on production lines nor is their progress set on a fixed schedule… so unfortunately it would virtually impossible to answer your question in our current workflow.

There are very few minimum criteria1 for when a site becomes eligible for graduation, so the actual deciding factors are still largely subjective. We are generally looking for a robust site with a steady stream of high-quality quantity questions, enough to keep folks interested in the site on a sustained basis. We look at the turnover rate to see if the community has attracted an avid, core group of users. We look for an active and functional governance; i.e. does the community respond to and act on meta issues as they come up? Is their purpose and their scope pretty rock solid, or are there issues that still need to be resolved? We also look at the viability of holding a functional election (an intrinsic part of graduation). So generally speaking, we look for a site that has a sustained level of activity that all-but-guarantees the site can maintain a healthy pattern of growth for the foreseeable future.

But graduation doesn't happen on cue like a badge. We don't have a set goal that says "if you do {x}, you will graduate." We are getting there. We are honing in on those elusive "objective guidelines" that we'll (hopefully) be comfortable enough to publish and rely on exclusively — but we're not there yet. So graduation-checks come up periodically, and if everything looks good to go, we'll submit the site for their design.

Sending a site to the "graduation queue" and getting a design published are currently two different things. We recently hired some fantastic new designers to help clear the backlog, but there is a still about 9 sites waiting for a design, last I checked. But site designs aren't completed on a production line either. A designer works on them as they are able (amidst all the bug reports and feature requests that are interspersed throughout their workflow). And which sites are completed first simply depends on who is available and how much work it takes.

So all in all, anything I can report here would be wildly inaccurate and subject to change. So rather than raising expectations over "who's next", it's simply more prudent to wait and see.

1Technically speaking, the "minimum requirements" for a site to become eligible are: >90 days (minimum) in public beta, 10+ users with 2,000 rep, and 5+ users with 3000 rep, although these numbers are never the constraining factor.

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    I guess I should've just waited another 60 seconds rather than editing my answer. ;P – animuson ModStaff Jan 29 '15 at 16:02
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    Sorry, but we (at Computer Science) have been told that we're on the "queue" for over a year now. The lack of features of a graduated site has been attriting in some cases, and for all we know there is no end in sight. "When it's done" has stopped being good enough a while ago, and will not be as long as you don't separate feature graduation from design. – Raphael Feb 2 '15 at 12:23
  • I guess things changed in the last four years, can you please update this answer? Thanks. :) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Feb 5 '19 at 10:14

Sites scheduled for graduation.

Whenever there is a backlog of sites which have already been determined to have reached a point where they are ready to graduate, it is entirely up to the design team in which order they get done.

Designing sites takes a lot of time and a lot of inspiration. They not only have to write custom layouts and CSS, but they also have to think up ideas that would fit with the site nicely. Some sites are just plain harder than others.

The fact that a site got a new design that was near the end of that "ordered" list released by Stack Exchange in a comment proves that there is no real order in which these sites will get their designs. So your best advice on which one is next is "just wait and see."

Sites not yet scheduled for graduation.
Included for the sake of not removing previous information.

There is no "order of the remaining sites" - sites graduate as Stack Exchange determines they are ready and not all sites are going to be ready for graduation.

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    I should rephrase my question it seems.... – Malachi Jan 28 '15 at 23:41
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    Even with your edit, my answer is still "wait and see." – animuson ModStaff Jan 28 '15 at 23:49
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    are we not suppose to tell people about the Wheel of Graduation that decides all this? – CRABOLO Jan 28 '15 at 23:52
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    There are very well sites that have already been deemed eligible for graduation and are waiting in a queue. And in the comment thread linked under the question it was also stated (by an SE übermod, I think) that the queue is indeed ordered, and up until movies.se's graduation that order was also applied (with Salesforce.SE graduating and then ExpressionEngine). – Christian Rau Jan 29 '15 at 11:59
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    I'm not saying that this graduation queue posted in a comment can be any base to demand anything, just that you answer seems way too overgeneralizing and inaccurate to answer anything at all. – Christian Rau Jan 29 '15 at 12:05
  • @Christian My answer is a result of a vague original question which I interpreted as "Who will graduate next?" As well, answering a question like this directly makes it localized to a specific moment in time, which then makes it completely useless to future visitors. "Wait and see" is still the best advice for anyone. – animuson ModStaff Jan 29 '15 at 13:36
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    @animuson Sure, just that "wait and see" is a comment and not a genuine attempt at answering and ignored existing information. But granted, the question really wasn't worded particularly well, which I think is largely fixed now. – Christian Rau Jan 29 '15 at 13:37
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    Wait a second, you mean we aren't supposed to pay attention to those Time Stamp things that accompany every post on the Stack Exchange? – Malachi Jan 29 '15 at 14:10

It's worth noting that a few sites have received custom designs without graduation. They're the so-called sponsored sites; when a third-party company decides to sponsor a Stack Exchange site, that means that there is some budget to create and implement a custom design. This recently happened for the following sites:

which are (if you look at the privilege levels and Area 51) technically still beta sites.

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