I'm Jin, the designer 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.
For the UX.SE site, the stats aren't quite there for an official launch just yet. However, I believe deploying a final design of the site would help to engage new UX users who aren't familiar with the Stack Exchange sites.
As for the site design, I decided to commission a talented designer and respected UX blogger, Dmitry Fadeyev. I have been a long time fan of Dmitry's blog, Usability Post and many of his articles on Smashing Magazine. I was very thrilled when he agreed to take on this design project.
We both agreed to go with a clean and simple design. It should serve as a "pleasant shell" to the excellent content we have. It shouldn't be over-styled to overwhelm the content, but at the same time it needs to be polished enough not to be barren.
I am very pleased with the designs Dmitry came up with.
click on images to see the full resolution version.
I am aiming to launch the new design sometime this week, or early next week.
Please let me know if you have any feedback. When the new design launches, the site will remain as a "Beta" site. Once the site stats improve a bit more we'll launch the site officially, so share the site with people you think would be interested!