I'm not sure if this is where to ask this...

When I'm reading through the questions here and seeing what gets asked, and what gets put on hold or deleted as being "off topic" or "too broad", I get the sense that the core audience of UX Stack Exchange is not who I think it is - i.e. current or new UX designers and usability professionals. I'm asking for clarification so I can determine if I should continue to follow the discussions or participate, or look somewhere else.

My guess is this question will be considered "too broad", but I'll ask for now anyway. If someone can direct me to this information, I'd appreciate it.

2 Answers 2


This is the right place for your question, yes. The Meta site is for questions about the site itself.

As for your actual question; As taken from the site tour:

UX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for User Experience Designers, Information Architects, and Human Computer Interaction researchers. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about user experience.

I think the problem with the posts that get closed is that people think the site is something that it isn't. We're not a discussion forum, nor are we a training / teaching site. We're here for professionals, or enthusiasts of UX. So as a result we expect a level of professionalism from posters. Namely - we need them to have done a lot of research before coming here.

Kind of like we're a group of UX colleagues really. You wouldn't go up to a workmate and ask them to go do your research for you. But you would ask them for advice on how to interpret a specific piece of research you've done and how to apply it to your specific situation.

  • 1
    The difference for me, is that a colleague already knows who I work for and the problems I'm trying to solve. And in general, the answers to most UX design/research questions will not be option A vs option B - the answer will be, "it depends". Also, most of my colleagues are not UX designers, and generally are not familiar with the broad goals and issues of working in this field. Personally, I think it's a miss that these types of questions cannot be asked.
    – user70848
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 15:47
  • 2
    When I say 'group of colleagues' I meant that on the assumption that you work in a larger UX team. A group of UX colleagues. Depending on the size of your company your fellow UX colleagues may not have knowledge of your project or your problems. But if you don't have a wider group of UX colleagues then that is where we come in. We are your UX colleagues now.
    – JonW Mod
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 15:55
  • Are developers excluded intentionally? Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 0:08
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    @A.L nobody is excluded, no. But questions need to be based on User Experience issues, not development ones. So developers are more than welcome here. Basically, our site involves what needs to be done, but not how it is implemented. That's where other sites take over.
    – JonW Mod
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 7:15
  • @JonW I already came on UX.SE to ask a question about an issue appearing during development, before showing the project to anyone. So it was about how to avoid an UX issue, but the how was about the principle, not the code/technical side. Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 17:20
  • @JonW If you are my colleagues, and I am coming to you with a problem, don't you need to know more about the specifics of the project to provide a real solution? It seems unreasonable to explain the goals, the audience, what's been tried, why something cannot work, the type of work environment, etc - and to do so without revealing private/client information.... Is that realistic? I'm not sure. On the other hand, some broader questions about the field of UX can be answered by most UX professionals.
    – user70848
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 21:12
  • @user70848 if any of those things are important to the issue at hand then yes it's reasonable to include them. You don't have to write a full page just give enough detail to explain the problem. If it is something that compromises private information just make analogies or the closest related standard UX design. Normally the same UX principles will apply to a standard dropdown as it will to a trade-secret dropdown that you can't give the exact details of. But yes in UX context is very important so giving as many details as possible helps.
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 17:25
  • Yeah, I guess ultimately, it comes down to the fact that this site basically requires that questions have definite right answers. But, since UX is about human behavior, there really is no "right" answer. I think most professionals know that, which is why this site confuses me.
    – user70848
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 21:28
  • @user70848 There doesn't have to be a right answer. It just has to be a question that can be answered with something that solves a problem. For example; "Tell me some examples of..." is not the sort of question that anyone can give a solution to. But "How can I get a User to..." is. There may not be a single correct answer, but that doesn't mean the problem can't be solved.
    – JonW Mod
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 22:38

Personally, I think UX StackExchange had the potential to be THE central gathering point for UX on the web.

In my humble opinion, this potential was ruined by people trying to make it purely factual question and answers. Questions that had professional opinion or the "craft of UX" were shut down quickly. The focus moved towards testing and away from the art of UX. Discussion of UX went elsewhere on the web, including myself.

The interface of stackExchange is absolutely incredible, mcuh better than Quora. I love it. I love everything about it. If the questions weren't shut off, then the traffic and value of the site would have increased dramatically.

I would love to see "Professional Opinion" tagging for questions like:

  1. Can you critique my portfolio?
  2. What do you think of this UI?
  3. How do you mentor a junior designer who only speaks pig-latin?
  4. How do you convince the CEO to back UX up in an argument?

To answer specifically. I wish the audience was ALL people who make interfaces and experiences in the world. (Engineers, Researchers, Students, Architects, Graphics Designers, etc)

However, I think the audience is a tiny subset of that with the current policies.

  • 2
    I think you're mistaking what StackExchange as a global network was designed for. From the main Stack Exchange Tour Page: "Stack Exchange is a network of 149 communities that are created and run by experts and enthusiasts like you who are passionate about a specific topic. We build libraries of high-quality questions and answers, focused on each community's area of expertise." It's not a platform built to be a 'Professional Opinion Gathering' community. The sites have a narrow focus- to be a Q&A library. The joy of the internet is that anything is possible so
    – JonW Mod
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 11:02
  • 2
    ...you are free to create a site that can be what you wish. Build a UX community site, invite UX.StackExchange users to be a part of it. You can fill that gap - if you feel it is a gap - and then you will have what you wish. But just because this site has a lot of User Experience professionals / enthusiasts, that doesn't mean it should cater to everything those users want. We'd just become the Yahoo Answers of UX. And who wants that?
    – JonW Mod
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 11:03
  • I actually met with Jeff Atwood in Berkeley to attempt to change his mind a few years back. Obviously, I failed to convince him. I understand the attitude you are saying Jon. I just wholeheartedly disagree. Your comment is an extremely polite way to say "go away". I don't care what it says on some page. The site had (no longer has) enormous potential and wasted it. It just makes me sad. I answered the question asked here as I saw fit. You are allowed to disagree with me. Telling me to go away and build some other site is not helpful in any way. I spoke my piece, just let it be.
    – Glen Lipka
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 11:19
  • 2
    I am in no way telling you to go away. I'm merely stating that this site isn't going to become what you're looking for. It's not a black-and-white choice. You don't have to leave and go elsewhere. I'm suggesting you create the other community you wish and then be involved in both that and this one.
    – JonW Mod
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 11:41
  • Im not going to do that. I have a full time job, three kids and other things I want to do much more. Im not going to insist on the last word...type whatever you want. It doesn't matter.
    – Glen Lipka
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 12:04
  • I could and would like to see your third and fourth example to be in scope of ux.sx, but the first and second must be off-topic, because they would not generate answers reusable by others. The second one might actually be reworded to make it okay, e.g. Why would one make design decision X as exemplified by this UI?, where X is what others will be looking for later on.
    – Crissov
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 12:18
  • Why would a critique be unusable? It would likely have good UX patterns. More importantly, what is the need for reusable anyway? Cant this just be a great resource for all things UX? Id listen to a critique from someone with more points, id upvote good answers. I just feel restrictions make the audience go away.
    – Glen Lipka
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 15:21
  • This is a meta discussion. I am not the only one who feels this way. I'm very aware of your opinion Charles. I feel your input is trolling and not productive.
    – Glen Lipka
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 22:52
  • No, I'm pretty sure you ARE the only one that feels this way. Otherwise, you'd get SOMEONE to support your opinion here. But you get none. You have continually tried to force your desire to change what StackExchange is for on everyone else, no matter how many times you have been told you are wrong. Just like you have been told you are wrong here, yet you continue to push for your way. Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 4:10
  • I'm not going to feed you, troll.
    – Glen Lipka
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 6:32
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    Irrespective of one's convictions around the scope of UX.SE, I found Glen's post thoughtfully written and a constructive point of dissent. I don't think he is trying to force his point of view at all....he is using the right approach (meta, approaching corporate leaders) with his perspectives and engaging in real dialog. Minority viewpoints should be encouraged, not derided.
    – tohster
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 16:55
  • He may be using the "right approach" now, but he spent months posting comments all over the place because he wanted to make UX.SE into something other than what it is, no matter how many people told him how wrong he is. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 15:21

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