I'm generally interested in how "in on the things" a person has to be so that the core employees of Stack Exchange would be happy with their results in terms of redoing Area 51, making site designs and other things which have a long history of being postponed.

Like, would it be possible to hire (or crowdfund maybe?) a team of designers and theme up all the sites that have been waiting for a design for so long? Or would a fresh team of developers re-do the Area 51 site right? Or would anyone else be able to take over all the other things which usually take precedence, while the core team worked on these things?

If this has been answered in part or fully elsewhere, please quote in an answer with a link because I haven't found a "compilation" Q&A on this topic.

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    Site theming is going to be accomplished in a lighter-weight way in the nearish future, so that's not really relevant. Fixing A51 is not a matter of theme, but of hairy internal bugfixing and special-case compatibility, so not something suitable for short-term help. (And offloading "high-priority core competencies" to short-term help so the existing team can handle something that is admittedly of lower priority is … very questionable.) – Nathan Tuggy Apr 24 '18 at 20:51
  • Related: Parkinson's law (not to be confused with Parkinson's law of triviality - bike-shedding) – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Apr 25 '18 at 2:34
  • 11 downvotes. Is this question this bad? – user1306322 Apr 25 '18 at 16:55
  • Yeah, it's pretty bad. – user1228 Apr 26 '18 at 13:01
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    It's not a bad question, people just disagree with the suggestion. – SOLO Apr 30 '18 at 15:18

Yes, this would work... depending on your definition of "success". In the short term, you'd probably see new design ideas being posted much more quickly than you have in the past, and maybe even designs being rolled out depending on how much freedom the new design helpers have.

However, SE sites don't exist in vacuums. There's a lot going on behind the scenes, and all sites need to be compatible with the company's backend and maintainable by SE's core and design teams. (As for A51, that site is, as Nathan Tuggy mentions in a comment, its own category of weird and special beast.) So, in practice, this wouldn't be much of a solution; it could be adding tech debt, fragmenting the SE design look-and-feel across the network, and making things worse overall, in sort of a "adding programmers to a late project just makes it later" kind of way.

The most straightforward change is for more people to be added to the SE design team... but now you're talking about how the company allocates its resources, which is a whole other discussion.

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  • The current design changes (both in how the CSS it self is build-up and working towards a common base-line across sites) is an indication the company is looking to get more done with the same (or less) amount of people. Adding to the team doesn't seem to fit in the current developments – rene Apr 25 '18 at 6:35

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