As per The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta, we should decide on a good FAQ. This will grow organically, but IMO, it deserves its own question. Right now, this is what we have. As I opined (loudly) in this question, this passage is a bit poisonous:

Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered!

I think we should also update the top What kind of questions can I ask here? section (see StackOverflow's FAQ -- it's quite a bit longer there) to include the limits we decide on in other meta questions (though it should still be short & succinct). Otherwise, I think the template looks good as-is.

  • FYI, the only part of the FAQ we can edit right now is the first line: "User Interface - Stack Exchange is for user interface researchers and experts." I assume that will change when the site leaves beta and gets its own domain, design, etc. Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 21:00
  • @Patrick Now that UXexchange has been migrated and even this SE's name has changed, shouldn't the FAQ be updated? Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 18:24
  • Thanks, @koiyu. See my updated answer. Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 20:13

4 Answers 4


The FAQ has been updated, but let's continue to evolve it by editing and commenting on this question.

What makes a good question?

Prefer questions that elicit definitive answers or solutions rather than prolonged discussions. Remember, this a Q&A site, not a discussion board.

More context yields better answers. Fill your question with details such as:

  • Description of the users' experience levels and goals
  • Mockups, screenshots, or photos of existing designs
  • Software platform, if applicable (Is it an Android app? A web form? A kiosk with a 20"×20" touch screen?)

If you're familiar with other Stack Exchange sites, questions on UX tend to be a little more subjective than usual. That's okay, as long as the question follows the guidelines outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective.

Feedback is still much appreciated.

  • 1
    Like. How about replacing "Ask questions..." with "prefer questions..."? Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 17:42
  • @Robert Good idea. Done. Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 19:18
  • I added this to the FAQ. We don't have the ability to remove the old copy, so I added a new question. It could probably use some rephrasing. Suggestions welcome. Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 17:30
  • Added a paragraph with a link to the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective blog post. I think we should keep the middle in some form, but the first paragraph is redundant now. Feel free to make changes as you see fit. I'll update the FAQ once we reach a consensus. Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 15:54

Agree, UI is not a topic (as we're seeing in most of the questions) that accommodates particularly objective answers. We should definitely update that clause. Specifically, I think we should omit the "subjective" requirement:

Avoid asking questions are argumentative or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered!

"Can be answered" is a little undefined, though, which I think is a sort-of weakness in the default FAQ. What can we do to refine that?

This is a place for questions that:

  • might have an answer
  • UI experts can answer
  • can be answered in the context of UI
  • are likely to be answerable in a way that adds value

That's all still pretty vague, though. I guess defining this is tough considering how abstract the concept of "answering questions" is at a high level.

Perhaps we should consider defining questions and answers in the context of SE UI?


I think we should pull from this great post on the SE blog http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/good-subjective-bad-subjective/

In summary we could write:

What makes a good question?

  1. Questions inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”.

  2. Questions tend to have long, not short, answers.

  3. Questions have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.

  4. Questions invite sharing experiences over opinions.

  5. Questions insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.

  6. Questions are more than just mindless social fun.

  • Like that idea. Maybe add the link to the original post as well ("more info...")
    – giraff
    Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 8:27
  • I updated the draft in my answer (which is community wiki) to include a reference to Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. What do you think? Feel free to edit that answer, and don't be afraid to delete things. Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 15:52

Sounds good to me too.

How about adding some tag guidelines as well?

For example, we could encourage people to use tags like "platform-iPhone"; "platform-mobile", etc. to better classify questions.

Just an idea...

  • 1
    There's also the tag wiki pages.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 21:04

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