SE sites is about Q & A with objective answers, not discussion about subjective topics. The problem of user interface, usability etc are all very very subjective issues.

Don't you think that the term "User Interface SE" is oxymoron?

3 Answers 3


I'm certainly not an expert in the world of user interface, but I think that this topic fits very well into the stackexchange model. StackOverflow discusses programming problems, and while there are definitely right and wrong answers, there are often MANY right answers.

In the same way, user interface answers may have several "right" answers to a given question, but there are also many "wrong" ways to do things. Humans aren't as analytical as computers are, but structing interfaces in different ways will yield different results in usability. This isn't a site for art, which could be extremely subjective - this is a site for working designs.

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    I don't disagree on your main point. Howevert, I think a critique site for art would work fine on SE. The structure forces people to make one good answer and people vote on the quality of the answer. It's similar to amazon reviews and works fine.
    – Glen Lipka
    Aug 17, 2010 at 16:29

No, I think SE has to adapt to the topic, not the other way around. So they might have to bend the rules a bit for us. Anyway, there is enough questions regarding this topic already.

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    Comment threads on many questions are being clogged with "not-a-question" bull**** and the FAQ still has that poisonous passage, making the site less appealing for users. If we have enough similar (but not identical) questions about this, maybe the people trying to ruin this site for everyone else will capitulate. This situation needs to be addressed during beta for the site to survive outside it. Aug 18, 2010 at 1:33
  • Sure, I'm all in favour to make this more "conversational", like you are. That's what I meant by saying that Stack Exchange devs have to bend the rules for us a bit. I'm not sure which is the right way to push it, tho. Anyway, let's keep making some noise and hope they listen ;)
    – Ignacio
    Aug 18, 2010 at 13:06

I asked basically this same thing: Open-ended & discussion questions - another take

It might not fit into some rigidly defined Q&A model, but it seems to be working -- which means that rigidly-defined Q&A model is what's wrong. In particular, here were my suggestions on way to improve the situation (copy/pasted):

  • Update the FAQ and remove passage "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!" Instead, encourage open-ended questions.
  • Stop the "one-answer-only" police from attacking harmless discussion questions.
  • Give reputation for community wiki posts/answers (especially if no one else has edited them), to encourage more stuff to be CW
  • Since fewer questions will have a single answer, don't nag users to accept an answer
  • Don't show a user's accept rate
  • I don't understand why you linked to the question you did as an example of "attacking." Currently, it has five up votes, five favorites, and not a single close vote. Aug 18, 2010 at 2:27
  • @Patrick McElhaney - I mean the comments Aug 18, 2010 at 2:50

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