I think the Photoshop questions on this site are getting out of hand. I spend a lot of time on UX.SE and they would never let these types of questions remain open. And to be honest, it's frustrating to me. I am a graphic designer, but every time I come on here to see what's going on, it's alwasy technical questions of how to do 'x' trick in Photoshop.

Enough already.

Graphic design is not all about Photoshop. Photoshop is simply a means to an end. I feel like all we are attracting here (not exclusively, no offense intended) are a bunch of amateur Photoshop wannabes who think that being a great graphic designer == knowing how to use Photoshop. Thoughts?

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    @Dori - Thanks Dori! Honestly, as foolish as this sounds, I never noticed the "Ignore tag" on the right side. This should help a ton. Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 10:56
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    I just did this with all adobe applications and more than HALF of all the questions are blocked. Kind of sad that that's all the questions we have on here. O well. I will spend my time elsewhere. Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 10:59
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    Ok, ok. :) I will give it some effort and try to help shape the thought provoking questions/answers that I would like to see here. Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 11:52
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    Wow I posted a "good" question today and in less than a day its almost the most popular question in over a month. :) I will keep my hopes up after all! Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 19:55
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    Ignoring a tag helps the individual that's already on the site but does nothing in terms of shaping the content of the site for other graphic designers. If you want to attract professional graphic designers, maybe it doesn't make sense to have it heavily photoshop how-tos. (I'm not against them, but the typical answer is usually "here's 5 links I found with a google search using your question as the search term")
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 20:06
  • @DA01 Well put! Couldn't agree more. Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 20:09
  • I just want to say I tried asking a question about design theory and it was immediately moved to CogSci and after lengthy discussions with the moderators over there I'm going to be editing and bringing it back here. It seems the userbase here is more interested in the technical then the theoretical or at least don't appreciate that in the theoretical it isn't necessarily a simple question that has a precise answer.
    – Ryan
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 21:45
  • This thread is pointing away from having Photoshop Users as its own SE site, but I just wanted to put in a plea. If GD.SE does split off the Photoshop questions as a different SE site can we include other tools (specifically Illustrator) too? Many of my newbie problems stem from not being sure when to use one or t'other.
    – dumbledad
    Commented Nov 5, 2012 at 9:44

5 Answers 5


Great point -- one way to accomplish this goal is to make sure that you upvote and respond to those questions which best represent what you think the site should be.

Beyond upvoting and answering the "right" questions, it might also be helpful to ask questions of the type you want to see:

Bringing this up on meta is an excellent way to start; thank you for doing so.


As has been settled previously in other discussions, UX is not Graphic Design and vice versa.

Putting aside the debate of whether Photoshop is appropriate for graphic design, like it or not, Photoshop is one of the top-selling applications in the graphic design field. I am not about to tell a bunch of graphic designers they can't talk about how to do graphic design in their application of choice in a graphic design forum.

If you wish to start your own Photoshop Users beta on Area 51, then you are well within your rights to do so. In the meantime, Dori's suggestion is spot on: Use the tags to your advantage by focusing on those topics you like and ignoring those that you don't.

  • When I said that UX would never let these types of questions remain open is that they would not allow questions that are software specific, such as someone asking how to do something in a wire framing application. Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 10:54
  • @Matt: To be perfectly honest, I understand your overall point, and I don't entirely disagree with you, but I just don't see a way of truly policing that and catching everything to handle in a consistent manner. We (I) have already been dinged for that elsewhere here. So, unless a question is overly simplistic or broad, I just let them fly and let the community decide. Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 13:37
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    I feel the same way. I think the problem is that we have too many "how" type of questions, as in "how do I do this in [software x]." I'd like to see more "why" type of questions on design theories, and even on the graphic design history.
    – Jin
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 16:21
  • @Jin: We are now being placed in a catch-22 here. The graphic design community is over-saturated with how-to's and tutorials, so it is only natural that we would get those questions here. Putting aside the question of whether these are "good" questions or not, they are coming in greater numbers. I tried to manage these with a how-to tag so we can choose to ignore them, only to be quickly shut down by Jeff Atwood as that being a "meta-tag" (which, frankly, I found to be unfair).[...] Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 19:06
  • @Jin:[...]That leaves voting down or closing these questions. But since we get so few questions to begin with, I fear this site will never get out of beta. I'm running out of options here and my time to spend on this site is very limited. Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 19:07

vote! vote!! vote!!!

Beginner questions... I like seeing those. Beginner photoshop questions... really depends on the question.

Take these 2 questions:

Both could be considered "photoshop questions". 1 is really about the beginnings of design and I think could be useful. The other appears to be a problem with an artist not understanding what his tool was doing. Personally I'd rather see that question closed than migrated, but I'll settle to vote it down and maybe its existence will help somebody else (I've certainly had enough facepalm moments to appreciate seemingly-simple question/answers.)

At the end of the day, the maintenance burden of determining which photoshop questions are design questions and which are tool questions seems overwhelming to me. The vote/flag tools are already in place and could achieve nearly the same end result. As you saw from your whitespace question, good questions should separate from the pack fairly quickly. We just need more of them...


If we look at StackOverflow, most of the questions there are related to how to do something in a specific language, where the language in question is tagged. If we look at graphic design, the "programming language" used is really the tools provided by the designer program we use. So I feel that this should be allowed here as long as the questions are tagged with [photoshop] (or whatever specific design application is used). People that use other tools, can simply add photoshop to the ignored tags list.

Another point is that if you take away all the questions in Graphic Desgn, this site would die...

  • That is a good point. SO also benefits from having Programmers.SE for "high-level" discussions. Theoretically GD should be more akin to Programmers, not SO. Unfortunately, that still leaves a need for an outlet to handle the "Graphics Editing" questions and they keep coming here. Do they belong here? SuperUser? A new A51 proposal? SO is big enough to have need for SO and Programmers. This community doesn't seem to be (at least not yet), but this seems to be a "chicken v. egg" problem...
    – Farray
    Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 18:07

I have added a proposal for a 2D Graphics Software site here: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/35643/2d-computer-graphics-software?referrer=X_M4lGyznHZAGJvZmEGcXw2

  • The proposal is closed.
    – Farray
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 15:35
  • I just saw that, I think it should be reopened it was closed because they said those questions should just go to Graphic Design!
    – MikeJerome
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 19:19
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    Not quite. They said design questions should go to GD and software questions should go to SU (which is supported by SU's FAQ). This is further evidenced in the communities: SU has 440 PS-tagged questions, GD has 297 PS-tagged questions and many of them are not PS-specific (and I will be retagging when possible).
    – Farray
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 19:54

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