I am working on a new web-project again, and this time i'm getting a bit into the graphics, that why I spend a little more time on GD. Now I have observed the moderation a few days, after my post got closed, and it is horrific, especially from a moderator called Philip Regan.

I have been an SE user for several years, and the moderation on SO, SF, SU, is just great, but on some beta sites it's just horrible. I will give some examples from todat only. I have not searched, just looked at the first 20 something post I saw.

Why is this closed?

Moderation comment:

Welcome to the community. If you have a specific idea of what you are looking for, then the community will be better able to help you. But this question, as it stands now, is too broad to be use. At the same time, there are definitely sites out there that have icons for sale and distribution. Perhaps you need to refine your search.

Answer could just be check www.iconfinder.com.

Another one:

This got closed and the moderator did not even took the time to respond, just gave the default close message.

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

The answer to this question was just creating an layer with overlay. It had an specific answer on how to do it. No argument, no debate, no opinion.

My question got closed also:

Also no response what so ever. Just closed like i'm a moron for asking such a stupid question.

Now part 2, why are these questions not closed:
Recommendation to learn css

How does this answer not solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion

HE JUST HAD TO GOOGLE 'CSS TUTORIALS'! I do not see how this is different than my question. My question was a lot more direct.

Another example:
Learning Photoshop just for web designing

What's up with this question. Maybe it's not closed because the avatar of cute looking girl. If there is a question with no answer on this site than this one get's my vote.

I bet You can give a better better answer to on how to create the background effect someone asked. I know it is one of the most important effects I use in my work.

I can go on and on all day long, these are just some examples from the first few posts. I have to get back to work so i'll rap it up.

This is a shame for StackExchange and all they stand for. Don't forget we are here to help each other. It was great to have a place where you can get help for the most advanced question you have, and also an answer for the most basic to get you going.

  • 4
    Congratulations, you've successfully triggered the closing of two more lousy questions. Next time though, just flag for moderator attention.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 22:58
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    Some of these questions you cite are at least six months old, long before any of the current policies were enacted. Please read the dates before flagging them as we do not go back and close old questions. Thanks Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 11:55
  • I can give you examples from today if you want. I have a lot to choose from. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


Many of us who frequent this site for longer than a week appreciate the hard work that the mods do. There is no shortage of overly-simple Photoshop, font-identification, and "where do I find..." questions. According to the FAQ, these are off-topic (and thankfully so).

I'm not a mod and can't tell you specifically why your question was closed while another wasn't. What I can tell you is why I answered the other question and wouldn't answer yours.

The other question actually had a teaching point that could result from it. Notice that none of the answers are directly what the poster was looking for. The question was "what part of photoshop do I focus on?" and most people came back with "You don't. Do {something else} instead." This question wasn't that great, but the answers are not obviously googleable and do contain nuggets of good info.

Your question was "where can I find icons, backgrounds, and buttons?" and the most succinct answer to your question is "www.google.com". This isn't really a design question, it's easily googleable, it's not likely to generate interesting answers.

If you have a specific design problem, feel free to post again and I'm sure people will be happy to help you.

  • 1
    Looking at the frontpage today. Again people asking for resources, people asking basic questions. That said I would add one thing. I asked my question because I assumed designer know some good websites that are maybe not easily found on google. I have got some nice recources from just asking people. There is a lot more out there than google alone. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:17
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    @Saif FWIW... when I first started coming to this site I answered a bunch of Photoshop questions because I thought it was simple low-hanging fruit. After being here a little while I realized that there is always a glut of too-simple questions. Sometimes they can lead to interesting discussion and remain on the site. Other times they are deemed off-topic according to the FAQ and are closed.
    – Farray
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:23
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    @Saif It's a balancing that this site has struggled with since there are so many simple photoshop questions. Experts need to be able to talk about their tools, so photoshop questions are allowed. But "how do I make a drop-shadow" really shouldn't be a question on this site. Likewise, your question feels (to me) like you're asking us to do the legwork for you instead of helping you overcome an obstacle in your design. I don't know that I would have closed it (maybe somebody would like to answer it and have something worthwhile to say), but I did downvote it.
    – Farray
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:26
  • Regardless... if your question got closed, you should look at why it got closed and refine it. I'm sure you will find much better results this way than if you whine about "horrible moderation" on Meta.
    – Farray
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:27
  • @Saif: I understand what you are saying about designers sharing basic info with other designers, but there are already countless other sites that happily accept and answer those types of questions. Stack Exchange isn't about that. It is about raising the overall level of quality for questions and answers. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:28
  • @Saif: In another question here on meta, one of the mods from Super User said that the first application-specific question was too simple even for them, even though the question was within scope of their FAQ. The questions are are posing are fair ones, but the answers aren't simple by any means. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:31
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    "Many of us who frequent this site for longer than a week appreciate the hard work that the mods do." Cheers for that. Some days are harder than others, like today, and that came at just the right time. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:32
  • When I was directed to GD from SU I was glad there was a place where I can ask: How can I do 'this' effect, without knowing the exact name. Like as in SO where I can do the same, I can ask how can I achieve 'this effect' in jQuery for example. Something can be simple for one, but hard for for another. But I will be looking out for your expert content, maybe ill learn something from that. Not seeing any of that yet. From the basic questions that are closed I learned a few things. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:42
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    @Saif 3rd result on Google for "sketch style icons" is 50 Free Resources Of Hand Drawing Style Icons, Brushes, Textures and Fonts First result on Google Images for "sketch style background" is a sketchpad background. Your question doesn't suffer from being "non expert", it suffers from being "above the fold on Google".
    – Farray
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:51
  • Yeah I could have done that myself, now you are insulting me. I am obviously looking for some good premium content. I am asking my question to graphic designers, I thought I would get better content then the first google hits. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:14
  • @Saif: Farray has a valid point here and I don't see him being insulting at all. The issue of learning a specific technique within an application has been solved ad nauseum on the web. Much like programming tutorials, one has to read a few to find the one that really works and is a genuine help; where one tutorial may work for one person may not work for someone else. If you would spend a bit more time on this site you will find there are some absolutely solid experts on this site, including the primary designer for many site in the SE family. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:37
  • I was just looking for some good premium content resources from designers. Farray has a question also: What are common mistakes that you see in "professional" designs? As argument he said: I'm curious about other peoples' experiences. So was I just cusious what kind of resources designers had. I can also google his question and I get a ton of mistakes. If my question was taken serious you should know I am not looking for the first google hits. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:55

Please see the related discussions elsewhere on this meta with answers from Jeff Atwood and others with more experience (here and in other SE sites):

There has been a growing consensus on this site in recent weeks that the questions found here really needs to move more towards questions about graphic design itself—the culture, business, and principles; "more 'why' type of questions on design theories, and even on the graphic design history"—and away from quick tutorial and brainstorming questions like the ones you pointed out. The site is still in beta therefore it is open to changes in guiding principles the community, as a whole, sorts itself out.

That being said, I will admit that mods (including myself) have given poor reasons for why some questions have been closed. I have been working on rectifying that but in almost all cases I don't think the questions were closed without cause, especially in light of current trends within the community.

UPDATE: I have updated the main FAQ to better reflect the mood and intentions of the site based on StackExchange's mission to get expert answers to expert questions and the community.

  • Ok good luck turning this into an expert designer website. Looking at the question today, they are in the same form. I haven't seen an 'expert' question so far. What a pity for the expert designers to have to share their knowledge with beginners. Guess the best thing for them to do it to downvote the question so you can close them. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:22
  • Can you maybe give me an example of what an expert question would be on graphic design. I'm just a beginner, not even that, so maybe I am completely missing the point on what graphic design actually is. If that is so I will gladly move my business elsewhere. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 16:47
  • @Saif: Fair enough. Just about every question on this page is a list of the "why" type of questions we are looking for: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=votes I think I see one "how" question out that entire list. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:01
  • So why was this closed: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/3215/… , the question I refered to in my OP. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:10
  • @Saif: I have posted a clarification of the closure, which I should have done previously. Sorry about that. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:20
  • I see you have added a comment. You have closed the question because he just should have searched for the name of the effect. I guess if he knew what the name of the effect was he would not have asked the question. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:26
  • @Saif: Yeah, that looks like that's what happened, but I'm not going to revisit this again. Not all of the closures are going to be completely fair in every way. I'm sure you will find other odd instances like that one as well if you look hard enough. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:40
  • I was not looking hard, it was the 1st closed post on the first page when I looked. The whole first frontpage that you have created question wise is one big 'odd instance'. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:49
  • @Saif: Please read the FAQ, and please read the other discussions in meta to see what the community would like to do with this site, and then please spend some time learning about the community itself. Thanks for your feedback! Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 17:55
  • Will read trough, did't know designers are a little picky in the questions they want to answer. Thanks for your feedback also. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 18:14
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    @Saif: The designers I have ever met really aren't picky as a rule; They seem to be picky here probably because the overly simple questions have been answered elsewhere, and people tend to come to SE to raise the bar in terms of quality questions and answers. Commented Aug 13, 2011 at 13:04

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