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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as our back up questions for a total of 10 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!


What do you see as being GD.SE's unique position or role in the design world? How do you intend to strengthen that? Or to put it another way, how would/do you 'sell' this site to designers who've never heard of it? What do you see as our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or key strength?

If something or someone infuriates you, and there seems to be a boiling flamewar underway, what tactics would you try?

Moderating can sometimes require quite a bit of your time. This might mean you won't be able to, for example, write as many answers as before. How do you feel about it?

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Moderator votes are binding, so if elected your open, close, and deletion votes will be final regardless of how many existing votes there are. How will that affect your decision making process when casting your votes?

We've got a few "wedge issues" - mostly over types of "love it or hate it" content (for example, font identification, critiques, upcmoing designs, how-tos, etc.). What's your plan for these types of question where there's some genuine disagreement and where some people are very positive and others are more negative?

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  • Thanks Grace and I really like the "View Source Link." Real interesting concept. To note though --- shouldn't this have been posted at least a day or two before the election went live? – Ryan Apr 28 '14 at 20:52
  • @Ryan Users can change their votes at any time they wish until the end of the election, so it's viable that someone who hasn't seen the Q&A yet, could read and then alter their vote based on the revelations. This allows us to then set these up when the candidate pool is fixed, though this was admittedly more relevant when we had to manually schedule things with every candidate. – Grace Note Apr 29 '14 at 13:56
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What do you see as being GD.SE's unique position or role in the design world? How do you intend to strengthen that? Or to put it another way, how would/do you 'sell' this site to designers who've never heard of it? What do you see as our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or key strength?

Our unique position in the design world is the objective Q&A format. There are many great graphic design forums out there, but not all questions lend themselves to the forum format. The capacity to provide answers without the unnecessary discussion fluff that is often found on forums is what I like best about the Stack Exchange format.

Our key strength is definitely our user base. We have a strong group of experienced designers that often thanklessly share their wisdom with others.

If something or someone infuriates you, and there seems to be a boiling flamewar underway, what tactics would you try?

Neutralize the situation (locking a post to prevent further comments if necessary), send out mod messages if appropriate, and discuss anything notable with the rest of the mod team to notify them of "problem areas" and see what we can do to prevent further outbursts.

Moderating can sometimes require quite a bit of your time. This might mean you won't be able to, for example, write as many answers as before. How do you feel about it?

I don't see this as an issue for me, I'm capable of balancing my time spent moderating vs as a community member. Many of the moderation duties (review queue, editing, etc) are already part of being a community member anyway.

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

I'd try and use the chat mechanism to discuss the problems that I think should be addressed. Arguments in comment threads tend to go on endlessly without resolve; my advice is always to clearly and concisely state your objection or disagreement to something then ignore the temptation to engage in back-and-forth discussion.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

If it's something I feel strongly about, then I'd talk to the other mod and discuss why I disagree. Consistency from the mod team is important, it's better to try and come to an agreement before stepping on each other. If we can't come to an agreement, then it's probably an issue that should be brought up in meta.

Moderator votes are binding, so if elected your open, close, and deletion votes will be final regardless of how many existing votes there are. How will that affect your decision making process when casting your votes?

For duplicate questions, I always do a thorough check to make sure the asker will get their answer from the older question. For the rest (unclear, opinionated, too broad, off-topic), I have no issue with a binding close vote if it's an obvious decision, especially if there is an existing meta discussion to refer to.

For questions that I'm "on the fence" about is when it gets tricky. What I try to take into account is that we're a relatively low traffic community, so a binding close vote has much more influence than it would on a site like Stack Overflow. So for these cases, I'm more likely to abstain from casting my vote to let the community to decide. If 3 or 4 others have already voted (and I agree), then I don't mind adding my vote.

We've got a few "wedge issues" - mostly over types of "love it or hate it" content (for example, font identification, critiques, upcmoing designs, how-tos, etc.). What's your plan for these types of question where there's some genuine disagreement and where some people are very positive and others are more negative?

If there's a disagreement, I'd refer to the meta post dictating the community consensus and encourage others to voice their opinion. Our policies should not be written in stone, and if someone disagrees with how we handle certain questions then they should let their voice be heard.

There are certainly some questions that we allow that I don't think are a great fit for our community, but I don't let that get in the way of what has been decided as on-topic for our site.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

This is not an issue for me at all. I'm happy to represent the site in a professional and appropriate matter, with small bits of humor added in here and there to keep things on the bright side.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I have the patience and am willing to devote the time to serve as a guide to anyone unfamiliar with the site. I'm very familiar with the inner workings of Stack Exchange; if someone needs help with the site then the first person they might look to is a moderator. If I don't already know the answer to a question regarding Stack Exchange platform functionality, I'll be happy to hunt down the answer.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators act as a liaison between the community and the Stack Exchange team. If something needs immediate attention, moderators should know how to handle the situation and reach out to an SE employee for assistance if appropriate. They encourage discussion, promote growth, and extinguish fires. And of course, they do everything wrong by nature! ;)

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What do you see as being GD.SE's unique position or role in the design world? How do you intend to strengthen that? Or to put it another way, how would/do you 'sell' this site to designers who've never heard of it? What do you see as our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or key strength?

I think what differentiates ourselves from other sites is the amount of effort everyone puts into creating original, useful content. Our key strengths are in my opinion quality, availability... and being part of SE.

If something or someone infuriates you, and there seems to be a boiling flamewar underway, what tactics would you try?

Luckily I am not very 'infuriating'. When I see some war about to take place around me, I mostly try to calm waters. This usually means addressing the people involved via comments or private messages when things get out of control.

Moderating can sometimes require quite a bit of your time. This might mean you won't be able to, for example, write as many answers as before. How do you feel about it?

Well, I asked this question myself because I found my own ratio decreased when I became a pro-tem mod, but I found a balance between the two.

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

By contacting the person directly and stating the problem. GS and SE is not just about valuable answers, it's also about being helpful and welcoming to new users and being a strong, friendly, design-focused community.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Contact the mod/s and express why I feel it might not have been a good call.

Moderator votes are binding, so if elected your open, close, and deletion votes will be final regardless of how many existing votes there are. How will that affect your decision making process when casting your votes?

I always try to wait before casting binding votes before the question/answer has received some attention. For close votes, for example, unless it's a very clear off-topic new question I tend to wait for 3 more votes at least. I always check comments, answers and votes too. So: Gather info, then decide.

We've got a few "wedge issues" - mostly over types of "love it or hate it" content (for example, font identification, critiques, upcmoing designs, how-tos, etc.). What's your plan for these types of question where there's some genuine disagreement and where some people are very positive and others are more negative?

Excellent question. I use meta a lot because I think that's where it's easier to reach an agreement. I don't think we have discussed some of the core issues in a while, so I'd first go for meta. The voting system is a good start, then we could maybe organize some sort of encounter (probably chat + a trello board) to discuss some issues at depth.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I like this light :)

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Mostly being able to make instant decisions such as deleting offensive comments/answers.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

As little as possible ;)

I like this definition: Mods are 'human exception handlers'.

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What do you see as being GD.SE's unique position or role in the design world? How do you intend to strengthen that? Or to put it another way, how would/do you 'sell' this site to designers who've never heard of it? What do you see as our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or key strength?

Expertise: Between us, we have tons of knowledge and experience, and we're willing to share it for free. What's not to like?

Self-moderation: The SE model really works for me, in that the community decides for itself what content is valuable and what isn't.

The Network: Having not only Graphic Design knowledge at your fingertips, but also User Interaction, English Language and Cooking to name a few.

If something or someone infuriates you, and there seems to be a boiling flamewar underway, what tactics would you try?

As soon as I'd notice I'm getting (strong) emotions involved, I'd take back a couple steps and ask another moderator to step in to help resolve the issue.

Moderating can sometimes require quite a bit of your time. This might mean you won't be able to, for example, write as many answers as before. How do you feel about it?

That's okay. I'm already doing quite some moderation through the review queues instead of answering, so I don't expect too much change on that front.

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Take it to chat, at least, and try and discuss the matter. The user is bound to have noticed themselves, and they are probably wondering themselves what's causing all the problems.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Ask the mod! I think that mods shouldn't reverse each other's actions or have public fights save the rarest of exceptions (and none for the latter). Respectful discussion is key.

Moderator votes are binding, so if elected your open, close, and deletion votes will be final regardless of how many existing votes there are. How will that affect your decision making process when casting your votes?

It will mostly delay my decisions. I'd really want to make sure that I'm not doing something the community would really disagree with. I'd be a moderator to carry out the wishes of the community, not contradict them.

We've got a few "wedge issues" - mostly over types of "love it or hate it" content (for example, font identification, critiques, upcmoing designs, how-tos, etc.). What's your plan for these types of question where there's some genuine disagreement and where some people are very positive and others are more negative?

Mostly leave the content be. GDSE is a lot of different things to a lot of people, but it doesn't have to be (and it can't be) everything to everyone. If you don't like a certain kind of content, then don't read it—that's what the 'ignored tags' are for. There's bound to be someone else who loves it, and that someone may very well be a great addition to the community.

Some questions just are not for you.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I'd lie if I didn't say 'a bit apprehensive'. I'm rather confident that most of my content will pass the additional scrutiny. If not, then point it out, I'm happy to edit.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I feel that moderatorship strongly implies impartiality, a mostly neutral party anyone can rely on. A high-rep user can still be a jerk (although I don't know any here), while a mod needs at least the impression of responsibility.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

No more than strictly necessary. I'm with the Theory of Moderation on this one as well: mods are exception handlers.

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What do you see as being GD.SE's unique position or role in the design world? How do you intend to strengthen that? Or to put it another way, how would/do you 'sell' this site to designers who've never heard of it? What do you see as our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or key strength?

I see us as having 3 Unique Selling Points

1. Self-moderation.

Above all else this is what makes us vastly more unique than any other forum. We have the power to edit, delete and remove the stuff that we, as a community, do not agree with. This gives us a great deal of flexibility and power to keep things on topic and under control. Elsewhere things quickly become flamewars, rehashes of the same arguments, and inconsiderate answers.

2. Q&A Format

This is a blessing and a curse for us. It means we have to be focused and get concrete questions that can be given clear answers. Not every design question fits into this paradigm, but it is what distinguishes us. We don't accept every question, which allows us to answer those we do accept very well and often very fast.

3. The Exchange

When things aren't Design related we have places to direct others. We're part of a larger ecosystem that allows us to interact with the Photography Exchange, the UX Exchange, StackOverflow, Webmasters, Writing, Cognitive Science and any others. We are separate but also very much interwoven. The way SE has created this network from a user experience and interface standpoint in general works very well compared to a traditional forum where there might be separate "boards" for topics and subtopics.

If something or someone infuriates you, and there seems to be a boiling flamewar underway, what tactics would you try?

I really do not get involved in flame wars, or don't think I ever have. I am very quick to recognize when commentary is becoming quite long and will try to take it to chat. If I were a moderator this would be even easier to help with.

If things did somehow escalate between two members I would want to create a chat with both to see if they can get along. Don't have to be friends but you do have to be respectful.

Moderating can sometimes require quite a bit of your time. This might mean you won't be able to, for example, write as many answers as before. How do you feel about it?

I look forward to the opportunity. Those of you that know me may have seen that I'm very often in chat and open to discussions. Its not by coincidence.

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

I don't believe this question can accurately be answered. Its very circumstantial. I think the first step would be in trying to evaluate either on my own or in Ink Spot why people are so frequently put off. Then I'd start with a Meta Post to address it. As the saying goes, "it takes two to tango." Unless the person is just blatantly being rude or offensive then I think its more a community issue. I'd want to address it as a community to see what everyone thinks an acceptable commentary is, and isn't.

That's again the biggest strength of this place. Being a moderator is almost the same as being a high reputation regular user. I have no interest in dictating right and wrong, only expediting the general will of the community as a whole.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Talk to them to see what they felt was wrong with it. We're all mature adults, pretty sure we can solve this as such.

Moderator votes are binding, so if elected your open, close, and deletion votes will be final regardless of how many existing votes there are. How will that affect your decision making process when casting your votes?

I would be more cautious, and unless it is very obviously off what the community has decided is acceptable, would wait to see how the community votes before casting my own.

We've got a few "wedge issues" - mostly over types of "love it or hate it" content (for example, font identification, critiques, upcoming designs, how-tos, etc.). What's your plan for these types of question where there's some genuine disagreement and where some people are very positive and others are more negative?

In my opinion a lot of users are too cavalier with their vote to close. A lot of this content can just be downvoted. As a whole I'd again refer to meta posts and prior examples. For ones that I personally don't like I would comment a suggestion for improvement and lead the Askee to guidelines.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I learned a long time ago that character comes from what you do when nobody is watching. Add a diamond or don't add a diamond; I'll still treat everyone with respect.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

When people first come to the site they may need guidance. I'm very frequently on and always willing to discuss any topic with anyone. I may not know the answer to questions but I can help guide someone in understanding how our community works and what may be right or wrong with their Question, Answer, or Comments.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Impose the will of the community. We're like politicians without the corruption. Hopefully, we're also positive ambassadors to promote our community on here and other outlets.

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What do you see as being GD.SE's unique position or role in the design world? How do you intend to strengthen that? Or to put it another way, how would/do you 'sell' this site to designers who've never heard of it? What do you see as our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or key strength?

A professional site that hold a standard in the way design questions should be asked and answered. Stack targets professionals that can educate themselves while educating others. I do enjoy the network role of members can decide unlike some sites where mods tell you tough, you can actually have a role in how the community grows.

If something or someone infuriates you, and there seems to be a boiling flamewar underway, what tactics would you try?

Step back and look at the situation and possibly migrate everything to the chat and see if we could discuss it in a civil manner for a good resolution. If everyone appears to be getting in a heated debate I would request all commentators and answerees involved to migrate to chat as well. Freeze, lock and purge the comments I didn't see fit for the question.

Moderating can sometimes require quite a bit of your time. This might mean you won't be able to, for example, write as many answers as before. How do you feel about it?

I don't find any issues with this and I look forward to other members stepping up.

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Request a private chat and discuss the issues. The user is of value, maybe they are unaware they are causing an issue. Let them know you value them in the community but would like for them to possibly work on being more professional.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Take it to chat and discuss it with my peers, which I think we already do well. If we all decide we will try to influence the OP to make an edit or if we are all on the same page a mod could make the edit.

Moderator votes are binding, so if elected your open, close, and deletion votes will be final regardless of how many existing votes there are. How will that affect your decision making process when casting your votes?

If its a duplicate without any doubts than it will be closed. If its off-topic I would try to encourage an edit but after the third vote I would close it and leave the request for the edit. If the OP is active and is making an effort to edit the question to stay in scope I would re-open it. If the OP appears to have asked a question and disappeared I would moderate the question and allow the community to decide what happens to it.

We've got a few "wedge issues" - mostly over types of "love it or hate it" content (for example, font identification, critiques, upcmoing designs, how-tos, etc.). What's your plan for these types of question where there's some genuine disagreement and where some people are very positive and others are more negative?

I would encourage if you dislike certain types of question then post questions you want more of. Many members of the community try to constantly create questions that would fill certain areas but with the help of others we can have more of a dynamic scope of content through the site. If an issue is brought up we can always discuss it in meta.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I would take it upon myself to go back and edit and questions/answers that may be questionable or possibly effect the look of a moderator role.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Gives me the ability to assist when other mods aren't present. Deleting bad answers to spam links or offensive answers that serve no purpose but at times we have a gap between mods so the issue stays for awhile

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Makes sure the community stays a professional place, questions stay in scope and fit in design, and make sure GD stays in scope with Stack Exchange.

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