The tag (and ) has been blacklisted (can't be used) as an "Intrinsic Tag"; it basically applies to all/a great subset of the content on this site, thus it serves no practical purpose.

Now we have a synonym, . It's got 144 questions tagged so I won't even think of a manual retagging effort here.

Should we blacklist this tag? It's far too vague. Sure, not all content on this site falls under UI, but it's still too broad. Similarly on Cognitive Sciences the Psychology tag isn't used not because all of the site is Psychology, but because so much of the site falls under it more specific tags are needed.

  • Off to create 9 sock puppets so I can up-vote this again and again. – ChrisF Aug 23 '12 at 13:26
  • What other tags might we consider to also be intrinsic tags by the criterion of "broadly applicable to a lot of the site"? – kastark Aug 23 '12 at 13:29
  • @dhmholley well user bugs me a lot, as does ux-field (which is sort of blatantly used as a catch-all when nothing else fits) and user-interaction. software would be another (though we don't have that one). But this one's the worst one on the site IMO – Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 13:34
  • WTF we do have a software tag. Anyway my point there was that most UX work is in regards to software/digital environments, hence the exception to the rule, physical questions get their own tag. – Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 13:35
  • Isn't ux-field specifically a sort of meta tag about the community/job market/academic field, rather than about the issues themselves? – kastark Aug 23 '12 at 13:38
  • @dhmholley it's not specifically anything...that's the problem – Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 13:38
  • The tag wiki entry for it seems to imply it is, though perhaps it could stand to be made more clear. We'd probably also need to clean up the inappropriate ones. – kastark Aug 23 '12 at 13:42

Burninated, blacklisted as an intrinsic tag.


"User interface" is too vague to be of use. Tags exist to categorize content so that it's easier to find answers to questions you need help with or so you can subscribe to them if you're an expert. No one is an expert at "user interfaces". No one is going to look at answers to questions about "user interfaces" and find a common thread that will help them. Short of casual browsing/interest, this tag serves little useful purpose.

Recommend getting rid of it in favour of more specific tags. That requires manual work for the 144 questions involved. Rather than loading up the mods with that kind of work, why not delegate it to members of our community who have enough reputation to help out?

  • 144 edits would either take forever or massively spam the front page (and still be a lot of work). I was thinking have the developers blacklist the tag so it's gone in one go and doesn't come back since it clearly doesn't have value here, nor could it ever. – Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 14:54
  • That doesn't address the issue of looking at each question, verifying that "user-interface" is not the only tag, and ensuring that it is now labeled with a more useful tag. I think we should do it. Perhaps we should stagger it over a period of a few weeks and distribute the work among several people. – Rahul Aug 23 '12 at 15:31
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    It'd be much easier to blacklist and go through the untagged ones post-mortem. There's no logical replacement and it's not a tag that hints "this question should be closed" so I don't see any value in manually combing over 144 otherwise random questions – Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 15:50
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    Is there a "view untagged questions" tool that would help us with that? – kastark Aug 23 '12 at 16:11
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    @dhmholley all you need to do is visit the tag page for untagged – Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 18:28

The tag should apply to all questions posted on UX.SE. So yes I would agree on blacklisting it.

  • Arguably not all; lots of questions about design processes aren't specifically about interfaces but a great, great deal of the site is about interfaces – Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 13:38
  • I can think of times when it wouldn't, so I don't think you're correct to say that it should apply to all questions on UX.SE. For example: asking what to look for when hiring a UX candidate, or talking about physical design, or talking about branding's impact on the user experience. – kastark Aug 23 '12 at 13:40
  • @dhmholley still, those questions have their respective tags, there's no need to tag even 50% of the content as 1 thing to separate it from all the other things that clearly aren't X – Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 13:44
  • I agree with that, certainly. Just pointing out that exceptions do exist. – kastark Aug 23 '12 at 13:44
  • @dhmholley yes these exceptions do exist. But still the UI tag is very ambiguous. Someone asking about UX HR might also bring the UI tag to the scene. "What capacities should a researcher working with ui and design have?" – Matthijs Mali Aug 23 '12 at 14:31

Nooo..since I am the one who created the tag...But I agree its too generic,but how do we ensure someone doesnt create a redundant tag like that again ?

  • When tags are blacklisted, they can't be recreated. As for other redundant tags, I guess we'll just have to have a discussion about them as and when they appear. – kastark Aug 24 '12 at 10:38

My question is (hope I can post a question as an answer on meta, I mean, we're between ourselves, right?:) : what is the user benefit of removing it?

Perhaps I'm just too new and the answer is logical to everyone else, sorry for that...

I don't think we'd have a question wether we want to remove a certain badge, esp. a bronze one: badges are infinite resources (you could have more than 1 billion of them and the system wouldn't really notice), it doesn't really hurt the interface, so, why bother?

Tags don't hurt the interface, so physical / visual UX is not appropriate here.

Tags don't eat up resources, there's no upper limit on how many tags an SE site could have.

The only think I could think of is not to allow new posters to "avoid" meaningful tagging, and make them really think of a meaningful tag. This goes hard if they're newbies who don't know the taxonomy/vocabulary (to the perfectionists: ontology/language) of UX.

Next question: ok, we know why does it hurt to have it for new questions, but why does it hurt to have it for the existing questions?

Does it mess up the tag browsing interface? I hardly think so. Of course, most questions on ux is about user-interface. Hardly a surprise, I mean, in order to have an experience, the user has to use an interface, right? Again, that page is mostly a limitless resource.

The only part I could think of that it messes up our sitewide user statistics, I mean, according to statistics, one of my top-3 tags is the user-interface, hardly a surprise again (I'd love to have design-process, or guidelines, but that's life). So that is a limited resource, you only have 3 spots.

On one hand, it's perfectly sensible to remove it, as it's meaningless.

On the other hand, we build serious barriers to our novice users: if you don't know the UX vocabulary well enough to know how to tag your question, don't ask. Wouldn't it be a better approach to allow this escape hatch for tagging and people with actual experience in UX would re-tag the question?

Let's face it: the more experience you have with UX the less questions you're likely to have. The more experienced questions we allow, the less people with more mundane problems will come here, as instead of giving them a site where they could learn what they need of this profession gradually, we provide a staircase with a really high first step to take.

I'm not saying we should allow stupid questions here, but perhaps give a chance to newcomers. An escape hatch does just that.

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    Useless tags do hurt the interface; they replace more meaningful tags, push down real tags in the top tag list, and they're meaningless for tag badges. And as you said they clutter up the top tags for users too, because UI tags are everywhere, but not consistently applied. And the inconsistent application is yet another problem; relatively few UI questions actually have the tag (and that's a good thing!) And worst-case, someone tags a question as only user-interface making their question hard to find in a sea of other questions with meaningless tags. – Ben Brocka Aug 26 '12 at 16:45
  • @BenBrocka: OK, but let's suppose Bill, who's working as a QA for a yet-unreleased enterprise application finds out that there's something wrong with the UI of the webapp they're trying to build. (It's not really related to its webapp nature, this is just to kill off gui-design as an alternative). Now Bill doesn't know too much about UX, he just hopes he finds some people here who can tell him if there are alternatives. Otherwise his question is perfectly legitim, but he cannot tag it. What's our scenario for such? – Aadaam Aug 27 '12 at 0:24
  • The question is rarely "is this interface okay" (if it was, it'd be closed). What's it about? Buttons? Forms? Logging in? A webapp? There are tags for all of those. There's auto-complete to help you find relevant tags. Stack Overflow doesn't have a "programming" tag and it sure as heck doesn't need one... – Ben Brocka Aug 27 '12 at 0:44
  • @BenBrocka: OK, you're right, the tag is just too general this time. – Aadaam Aug 27 '12 at 1:11

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