We've gotten some enthusiastic responses about the idea of a developer/beta tester matchup program between Ask Different and Stack Overflow. My thanks to everyone who has volunteered so far.

The next step in making this happen is getting some apps for people to test. Since there isn't a meta for just OS X/iOS developers on Stack Overflow, we think one of the most effective ways to attract developers' attention to the program is to stick an ad on the relevant tag pages over there.

I am not a designer. I have zero Photoshop Fu. I can ask Stack Exchange's designer-in-residence to put something together for us. But, the community promotion ads for this site came out so well that I thought I'd open the design up to the community's imagination.

I'm not even going to stoop to posting what I hacked together as an example. Just post your 220x250px image as an answer and the votes will decide!

(Posts are not subject to the parameters of the community promotion ads, since these images will be downloaded and run on Stack Overflow "by hand", not by the run-community-ads bot.)

I lied. I'm going to inflict my mockup on you.


Clearly, these decisions should not be in my hands. You should probably help.

  • I'd be happy to put an ad together, but I'm out of town this week. I'll work on one when I get home. Aug 10, 2011 at 20:34
  • @Nathan No problem. We're not in a huge rush. Thank you!
    – hairboat
    Aug 10, 2011 at 20:35
  • I have absolutely no knowledge of how it works, but maybe SE could get a TestFlight account or partner with them or something for iOS app testing. Might be a bit better than simply linking to a meta post. Aug 15, 2011 at 14:50
  • @Kyle I'll look into it. Thanks!
    – hairboat
    Aug 15, 2011 at 14:57
  • I sure hope anyone that takes advantage of this chooses to use Test Flight.app for distribution. Aug 15, 2011 at 20:07
  • @VxJasonxV I'm looking into partnering with them in a More Official type way. Stay tuned!
    – hairboat
    Aug 15, 2011 at 21:13
  • 1
    I'd suggest the tag 'Test Different'
    – Sairam
    Aug 30, 2011 at 3:49

4 Answers 4


I'm not a graphic designer; I'm one of those people who knows Photoshop but probably shouldn't be allowed to use it. Anyway, here goes:


I'm open to any kind of ideas/suggestions you may have; just add a comment!

Edit: I've updated the wording as requested, and the Ask Different logo should look a bit cleaner. You can see the old version here.

  • I know you used the exact working Abby used, but I think there's something off about it. "let us test" indicates that we will definitely test, and are only awaiting permission, and the big emphasis on "for free!" just shows we're cheap. Aug 15, 2011 at 0:23
  • 1
    @Kyle Hmm, I see what you mean. How does "Need testers for your app?" on top, and just "Ask Different beta testing" on the bottom sound? Aug 15, 2011 at 0:28
  • that sounds better to me Aug 15, 2011 at 0:34
  • Thanks for this, Nathan - it looks awesome. I'll wait for your update and see about getting this up on the site.
    – hairboat
    Aug 15, 2011 at 14:28

I took your ad and cranked up the awesome:

enter image description here

  • 3
    Perfect. We'll run it immediately.
    – hairboat
    Aug 10, 2011 at 17:19
  • 3
    you left out Hypnotoad. wait.. you didn't.
    – Jin
    Aug 11, 2011 at 5:23
  • 4
    The blue is a little too light
    – bmike Mod
    Aug 12, 2011 at 16:20
  • LOL but @bmike cough Aug 16, 2011 at 20:46
  • @Graham - holy cow! Have you considered getting that cough looked at? You are in serious need to calibrate your screen - that is way lighter than any of my 5 screens - viewing the web site and then your snippet - your OS is rendering text far too faintly. I would go nuts using the site with a screen that looks like that.
    – bmike Mod
    Aug 16, 2011 at 20:55
  • @bmike indeed it is calibrated. Hover over a linked item for a second or two to see the lack of contrast. The shot is of meta, by the way. Aug 16, 2011 at 21:06
  • 2
    @bmike I think he posted a screenshot, in which case it's not affected by monitor calibration. And yes, visited links in the sidebar here on meta really are that light. Aug 16, 2011 at 21:09
  • I'm on an iPad and that image is shows washed out and dim where the colors here have much larger contrast. Bizarre - I should have trusted my gut or put his image under a color scope. It really looks tons worse to me on an iPad that I had to comment.
    – bmike Mod
    Aug 16, 2011 at 21:57
  • This will cause seizures. It gives me a splitting headache.
    – orome
    Oct 5, 2011 at 23:06

How about something like a code stub used for unit testing.

enter image description here

This might appeal to the people that write code.

I didn't fix the obvious bad gradient choice that makes the text aliasing look awful (I just took a cheap screen shot in Xcode rather than coloring the text properly in keynote).

I would probably put the Ask Different logo on the left before the ...we text.


In thinking of making an advert, I find I'm not at all clear how this will work within the guidelines to avoid self promotion on SE. We have a great site here with low promotion and I don't think any of the devs will in any way be crossing this line - but thinking this out will ensure clarity in ensuring unwelcome sorts of promotion are still clear to all.

Has this been spelled out yet (or are there any guidelines if this is being done as an experiment knowing it goes into the gray area and how much latitude will be allowed to test this idea out)?

Where will the interaction between Apple.SE users and StackOverflow users happen?

There will be numerous questions from the Apple.SE users on:

  • configuration profiles
  • side loading apps in iTunes / Xcode / Server Profile Manager / iPhone Utility
  • console error messages
  • beta builds (developers tend to want to get testers for the new products)

Will they use a tag and participate on SO ? Will they participate here (or a new Area 51 site)?

Will they be asked to take their discussions elsewhere - just letting this be an introduction service.

It's hard to know what copy I would craft - not knowing more about how things are going to work.

  • For right now, this is just going to be an introduction service. The ad on the SO tags will link to a meta post here (that doesn't exist yet, but will be similar to this one on Game Dev). We'll pair developers with testers and let everyone go on their merry way.
    – hairboat
    Aug 15, 2011 at 14:26
  • These are excellent questions - I'm bookmarking this answer for future reference as we try to navigate this pilot program.
    – hairboat
    Aug 15, 2011 at 14:26
  • 1
    Of course - most testers are expected to keep the details of the app being tested secret (whether it's an NDA or FriendDA ) - just it will be nice to promote the SE best practice and remind people what sites welcome which topics.
    – bmike Mod
    Aug 15, 2011 at 14:38

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