I've been contributing for while but I'm still coming to grips with the nuances involved with accepting a question or trashing it.

I didn't post a response to this question - Good UX for a form - because I figured the asker was essentially saying "My layout is crappy, fix it for me". There are a TON of resources and design patterns out there for form design, so I stood back and waited for a more senior contributor to close out the question, probably stating "This is forum for UX discussion, not design review. Try these other sites".

But when I revisited the question I find that someone had essentially fixed the guys layout for him.

Now, this other question - https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/37755/need-ux-review-for-a-travel-site - I wasn't quite sure about but I guessed it would be closed and I later returned to find that it had been.

But aren't these questiones the same? Both kinda crappy "What's good UX for this?" or "Please review and suggest fixes" type questions, except one is about a form and the other about a site.

The reason cited in the close notice was I'm afraid that we don't do review type questions as they are specific to only one person's problem. but isn't that just what happened with the other guy's broken form layout?

Isn't the person asking the question about the site more in need of this kind of lightweight advice? Advice about how and where to gain a better understanding of user centric design, so they can come back at a later date with a better question than "What's good UX for this?"

3 Answers 3


The first question is really just about how to handle form layouts when there are multiple fields with many unrelated to each other. It's badly worded and really should have been reworded, but people answering it clearly saw through the badly worded nature and saw there was a question that could be answered in there, which is what happened with the accepted answer.

The 'review this site for me' question that was closed wasn't badly worded, it was just unanswerable in a Q&A format and of absolutely no benefit to anyone.

Stack Exchange isn't a pro bono consultancy service to call on to do work for you for free, it is a Question and Answer site that is designed to be a repository for questions and answers for future visitors who may also have had the Question to find the Answer to. The 'Answers' are the key - anyone can ask questions, but making sure you're asking a question that has a theoretical Answer is the important part. Those are the questions that are useful to other people, and therefore the type of questions that work well here.

It is closer to Wikipedia than it is to a Forum - people can come to articles at any time in the future if it relates to something they are looking for and can find out the answer to that question.

A 'review of X site' is something that should be done with professional usability reviewers as a private chargable service - not in a free Q & A website. That's just being cheeky.

Questions should be more black and white, ones that potentially have a correct answer. The only way a 'review my site' question could have a correct answer would be if the question was 'is my site crappy', where the answer is either Yes or No. And then so what - what benefit is that answer (or question) to anybody but the asker?


I see two different questions.

The first is a "Here's what I've done, I can't get it to look right, Can someone who is more knowledgeable give me some quick pointers on how to start cleaning it up". It's also very limited in scope, and leads to some great discussion and a good reference for other fledgling designers (Hint: Alignment).

The second is "Plz comment", with little effort in phrasing the question in a way that would help others. No reference material, no image to serve as an example, no respect for the time that someone would put into a free critique.

Does that mean the questions are completely different? No. They're both asking for help.

But one of the questions will lead to a better community, and a great reference for others. It is a way to answer a general and common question ... once. Whether intentional or not, the other is self-centered, and doesn't help the community.

Sure, there are policies around what the site is for - and what it isn't for - but those policies are broad strokes. Policies like that leave some space for questions that don't quite fit in between the lines, but still support the broader goals of the site.


The second question is worse than "help me fix my UX", he states that he's been asked to review a site (presumably he's being paid for this service), and has chosen to "outsource" it to the community. He didn't even take the time to take screenshots and put them into the question. He asks us to do what he's been asked to do: go through the site and comment on it.

No thanks.

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