The UX StackExchange question interface has a number of problems which results in poorly asked and poorly researched questions:


The following types of questions are asked far too often, resulting in cruft on the site and, more importantly, a lot of needless effort from the community to flag, review and delete questions that could have been avoided to begin with:

  • Questions about icons
  • "Please review my site" questions
  • Questions about how to use a prticular UX (why doesn't microsoft word do ___?)

The problem here is blindingly obvious to UX professionals I think:

The question interface doesn't clearly state what kinds of questions are out of scope for UX.SE

Instead, users are given the runaround: they are faced with multiple help links, an invitation to ask on meta, all of which create tremendous cognitive load (not least because they open entirely new and dense pages when all the user wants to do is ask a damned question).

This is far too much cognitive load for users, who simply will not bother to click to leave the page, let alone read a dense help section. Instead, they just go ahead and ask poor questions.

It's pretty easy to save the community a lot of time by applying simple UX form design principles. Provide clear guidance to users for asking questions:

How to ask a question on UX StackExchange

  1. Do your research first. Make sure the question hasn't been asked before (How?)
  2. Make sure your question can be answered. Questions that require very long answers, and questions that have too many valid answers (for example, surveys) are not appropriate for UX StackExchange (Find out more...)
  3. Make sure your question is in scope for UX StackExchange. Here are some questions that are not allowed on UX StackExchange and will likely be closed:

    • Questions asking about icons.
    • Questions about graphic design such as font choice or website color schemes.
    • Surveys or recommendations for _____.
    • Requests to review your site.
    • Questions about implementation, such as specific questions about jQuery, CSS, HTML or any other specific code or technology. Find out more...

This is a simple change that could head off a lot of cruft on the site.

  • 1
    Your proposed changes have my vote. Good suggestion.
    – JohnGB Mod
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 18:49
  • I think this is good. Will people read it? Maybe not, but for those that do, I think this is clearer than what's currently there (BTW, this is a problem on many of the SE sites, so could be something you suggest on the broader meta site as well...)
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 7:44


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .