Hi all. I'm Jin, and I'll be working on the designs for the Stack Exchange sites as they graduate from the beta phase. Each site will have its own unique theme that will reflect its topic. However, all sites will share quite a bit of common elements so they feel like they're part of the Stack Exchange family.
I finally realized why my parents forced me to major in Computer Engineering years ago: to prepare me for designing this site. :) Unfortunately, I have forgotten much of the stuff I learned in EE classes.
For the final theme design for the Electronics and Robotics site, my goal is to keep it simple. In fact, I think the sketchy theme used in the Beta site is pretty appropriate. I wanted to add some electronics elements for the final theme, but still keep the content section simple and clean.
Here is the design for the homepage. Click on image to see the full resolution version.
For the header I'm using a breadboard. I thought about PCB board but the color and texture just don't play well with the design elements. It also makes the header overwhelm the content.
For the site title text treatment, I'm mimicking a 5x7 LED matrix. I tried 14segment LED first, but the text was hard to read.
I'm most likely wiring the breadboard wrong. As I said, I've forgotten so much stuff from my college days. Feel free to correct. But keep in mind the breadboard elements are for decoration purpose. I didn't want to make it too "authentically busy." I do want the wiring to be somewhat accurate so you experts won't laugh. :)
Please let me know what you think, and early grats from me on the site launching officially! If there are minimal design changes, I'll aim to launch the site this Thursday.
Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated! It seems most of you are fine with the over all site design. There's concern about the breadboard, and what type of message it may give. I picked breadboard because it's cleaner than a PCB board, visually. However, I think the design should reflect what this site is about. It's more than hobbyists, I certainly would like the site design to be attractive to professionals. I'm willing to change the breadboard to a PCB board. But I don't think I'll use the dark green one, since it's just way too distracting.
Based on some of the feedback, I've created a PCB version of the header. The tracks are there for decorative purpose. I went with a white PCB so the header section is still clean. I also ditched the chip metaphor for the links, and went with press buttons instead.
I updated the background grid pattern, to a 5x5 as @reemrevnivek suggested. I also gave it a slight hint of a yellowish tone. This will help to distinguish between the main site and the Meta site. (Meta will be a desaturated version of the main).
The question header text is now in serif.