We actually allow front-end HTML/CSS questions as per:

What do we do with HTML/CSS questions that are code-based but simple and focused on layout or implementing a design?

CSS/HTML questions

It needs to be focused and show the user has tried stuff just as it would if it's an Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, etc... question. But the consensus is to allow them.

We have two tags to help support this and .

Personally, I'd be inclined to allow more of these questions but then I've also been in favor of more questions from all sorts of topics I won't go into since it might muddle the discussion.

While we have the opportunity to get some new members from the ill-fated webdesign.stackexchange.com I think we should encourage these questions and those members.

  • I would say no but i have no time to explain why. Mainly because it would eat up graphics design questions.
    – joojaa
    Oct 7, 2014 at 0:31

5 Answers 5


I would say Yes as far as "how this works" regarding HTML and CSS, but No when it comes to "fix my code". I'd also say no scripting or libraries. I know javascript/jQuery is all front-end, but I just think scripting questions - server-side or otherwise - are better suited for StackOverflow.com. So mark-up only.

In other words, I would see these types of questions as on-topic:

  • How do I make a CSS triangle?
  • How can I center things in a div?
  • How do I use the HTML 5 video tag correctly?

But Not:

  • How can I get XXXX to work with jQuery?
  • How do I get my Log In form to be a pop up window?
  • I can't get this page layout to look correct, what's wrong with it?

I would tend to lean more towards learning questions as opposed to troubleshooting questions.

  • 1
    Why would you say no scripting when we allow Adobe scripting and the tool Adobe has ExtendScript toolkit which uses JavaScript.
    – user9447
    Oct 2, 2014 at 1:52
  • Extends script is for app workflow (help getting your job done). That's quite a bit different than javascript for the web. At least to me.
    – Scott
    Oct 2, 2014 at 1:59
  • What I'm saying is we allow JavaScript for adobe scripting why not allow JavaScript for web?
    – user9447
    Oct 2, 2014 at 2:02
  • 1
    Because then you open the door to jQuery. And for the web, StackOverflow is better for scripting.
    – Scott
    Oct 2, 2014 at 2:06
  • Please no 'how can I center this in a div'. There's a 100 of those on SO. That also may be the case for most general front end questions. We may end up just polluting this meta with already-asked SO questions
    – Peege151
    Oct 5, 2014 at 18:12
  • I think both you, Scott and @Matt, combined, are making a good point: that no matter where the line is drawn, it's ultimately somewhat arbitrary, as web design--at the implementation level--overlaps both GD and SO.
    – DA01
    Oct 8, 2014 at 21:28
  • I don't see an effective difference between "How can I center things in a div?" and "I can't get this page layout to look correct, what's wrong with it?" Either way you would be telling someone how to achieve a desired layout.
    – TylerH
    Sep 13, 2017 at 14:19

I dont have a problem with allowing HTML and CSS because I think we have been for awhile but I think we need to set a line where do we stop or close a question. We should also ask ourselves does this require a new standard similar to what we require for critiques, should it even be extended to jQuery, and should we ask meta?

I would love to see more web design questions over how-to-do-this-in-adobe because I am one that believes in the rule of a designer should design in the browser apposed to in an app. I think we should probably post something on web design beta to encourage and inform we do allow it after the community is in an agreement. One issue I think GD faces is everyone might think we primarily only cover print and that's not true. For web design to work it will be a community effort but I think we can do it.

If we are going to allow we should require:

We should not allow:

  • How do I do this on a site.
  • What library is this used to do this in a site.
  • IMO there's enough jQuery on SO to warrant its own SE site!
    – corsiKa
    Oct 9, 2014 at 16:35

There are many programs and tools that a designer can use to create and implement a design. A browser is one of those programs.

As for the relevance of that to Graphic Design, we should be allowing the same types of questions that we would if they were using any other software. That means that so long as the question deals with design and is clear, focused, can be answered with something other than opinion, then it should stay.

Based on some of the questions that are currently on GD like Need to replicate a split toning (with a colored image), How to create a 3D layer explosion/expansion in Photoshop?, and Slanted text with background box, they don't even need to show code (please correct me if I'm mistaken here), they just need to deal with design. This means that questions asking "what library is this used", "why isn't this code working", or something similar are off topic.

If the OPs in the questions above were to specify they want to use CSS instead of Photoshop or Illustrator, why not allow them?

In summary, if the question can be thought of in general terms as a design problem and is a good question then it should be allowed, regardless of the tool that the OP is using.

  • Problem being everything classifes as a design problem. Maybe you mean graphics design problem?
    – joojaa
    Oct 2, 2014 at 16:04

We answer all sorts of "how do I achieve X with Y" questions here.

CSS would be no different.

EXCEPT...that we have StackOverflow. Which is already dedicated to code questions like that.

So while it's on-topic for this site, it's always been on-topic for SO from the get-go.


In my opinion we should allow questions about CSS/HTML that are directly related to design. I think Scott's examples are very good. While I think JavaScript (just for you JohnB) COULD be on topic, I can see why it would get more difficult to draw the line. So I'd be inclined to say HTML/CSS are on-topic while anything that goes outside of that is not.

I am not too sure about the HTML5 video tag question, but that could be because I'm not familiar with the tag. If its not design related I think it should be left out. Like SCHEMA is done in the markup but doesn't affect the design so should probably be kept as off-topic.

  • But then we have to define design more narrowly. As JS certainly plays into elements of visual design on the web...be it through animation, interaction or the like. I agree, it's tricky and JS does seem to make a whole lot more sense on SO. In the end, it may have to be decided on a question-by-question basis.
    – DA01
    Oct 8, 2014 at 21:30

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