On Bio SE the badges look like genes. Could Astronomy SE change the badges to a ringed planet like Saturn?
Building site design is a large effort, so this effort is limited to "graduated" sites. Further explanation is below.
What is graduation? From Graduation, site closure, and a clearer outlook on the health of SE sites - Meta Stack Exchange:
Graduation is a hard concept to pin down quantitatively, but we basically expect that a graduated site should be able to continue growing and governing itself indefinitely without any outside help unless something truly catastrophic happens.
User summary of graduation:
[T]here are six effects of graduation:
Site Design: [...]
Moderator Elections: [...]
Community Ads: [...]
Reputation Levels: [...]
Full migration target: [...]
Being listed in the footer: [...]
Each graduating site gets its own unique design theme created by Stack Exchange's professional in-house design team (currently Jin), working with other designers as needed.
So far, every site's theme has included
- a custom logo and favicon
- custom decorative graphics (or intentional lack thereof)
- a consistent color scheme
Most sites have also received
- unique fonts consistent with the site theme
- decorative boxes and borders consistent with the site theme
- themed badge shapes/sizes/colors (color referring to background color, not bronze/silver/gold)
- themed tag shapes/sizes/colors
- unique upvote/downvote/favorite button images
Some sites have other changes that have to do with their topics. Photography's top bar is organized differently to make room for a "featured photo." Unix and Linux has slashes prepended to the text of its header buttons to give the feel that those link to "subdirectories" of the site. And Apple's
<kbd>markup looks like an Apple keyboard's key.
How long can a site stay in beta?
The simple answer is, it takes as long as it takes. We'll wait. If a site needs more activity, go out and evangelize it. As long as your site shows steady progress and continues to make the Internet a better place to get expert answers to your questions, it will march on. We don't want to kill a site because it hasn't reached full status in 90 days. Nor do we want to set a hard 90-day limit and launch a site too soon.
There's more to the health of a Stack Exchange site than having a lot of questions and answers. There's an economy to the site with reputation as its currency, and voting drives that economy. A site absolutely needs on-going, sustained voting to build a class of leaders that help run and govern the site. Without leadership, there can be no community.
So from this point forward, the graduation date of a site will depend heavily on having enough users with sufficient reputation to properly lead and govern the site. It's much more important to graduate a site when it has become self-sustaining, and has established a healthy community of avid users, closers, and editors -- rather than imposing an arbitrary 90-day limit.
Thus, the order of launch will favor those beta sites which have achieved the most "excellent" ratings on our Area 51 stats panel. For everyone else -- keep going!
Also, now, graduation does not necessarily mean that we will receive a design right away. From Feedback Requested: Design-Independent Graduation - Meta Stack Exchange:
The Community Team announces that a site is cleared for graduation. Without delay...
- the beta label is removed
- elections are held
- migration paths are set up
- community ads are run
- a link to the site is added to the footer
...Then, as it becomes available
- the site gets their custom design.
- privilege thresholds are increased to graduated site levels