From time to time a came to see what new tips and tricks may new users asks .. but instead I find that most of the questions are [on hold] [duplicate] [closed] and some of the questions are in minus with zero answers!!

why we do that?

Instead of navigating the site for true solutions, I navigate between [on hold] and minus questions with 0 answers and [closed] !!!
I think we should help new user to learn fast. but actually we depress them by giving them the impression that they must be experts to ask a questions. why we do that?

the question is "What is the most useful for the site?" is it navigating through questions and true answers for the new users? or navigating though un-useful questions?? having no answers .. just having ((voting to close the topics)) !!!

Any questions whatever it is, is very important to its "asker". and that's why they come here for the community to give them from their expertise.

I have noticed that new users having their question minus and on hold or duplicate I have noticed they don't come again.

so I suggest to answer all of their questions at least redirect them to a duplicate questions. and what is out of topic must be deleted.


4 Answers 4


Just my 2¢.... but teaching how to use basic software tools is not the purpose of the site as far as I'm aware.

Basic software "how to" questions are easily answered by a Google search. It is not like there's any shortage of Adobe "how to" questions here. Questions which relate to solving a design issue are often answered. It's the questions asking how to perform some rudimentary software task that perhaps get vote down and closed. This is not Adobe.StackExchange.com. I don't feel this site needs to be a software troubleshooting and how-to centered site.

It's kind of a stretch to explain to someone how to sharpen a pencil and refer to it as a "design" problem.

I have no wish whatsoever to turn away users. However, questions which show zero effort are always bad on any stack exchange site.

As a community moderated site, people get to vote on questions. That's why the buttons are there. No single person controls the fate of a question. If these questions are being closed, the community is speaking.

New users are new users... not some treasured, delicate, flower which needs to be protected from all the elements. That doesn't mean we need to be brisk and confrontational by any means. We should be welcoming whenever possible. But surely it also doesn't mean we need to "dumb down" the site to suit them if they are asking poor questions.

And duplicates are always redirected to if that's the reason a question is closed. So, I'm not certain what you are referring to there.

A few questions I think don't belong here:

Illustrator basic: 3d grid view

Stroke a path in Photoshop CS5




How do I find a certain brush?


How to 'rasterize' type in Ai: convert the type objects to actual objects?


Is it possible to change the style (font size, font type, etc) for multiple tables in a powerpoint presentation?


Not only are all these currently on the front page, they are all about how to use software with nothing really related to design.

If this site is not designed to teach software basics, we may need a new close reason -- something along the lines of "review the help files, GD.SE isn't a software training ground."

  • Sure no doubt I agree with you -but- my question is .. it nice to see closed and on hold topics in your front page and losing new members or at least see answers and redirection to duplicated topics and gain them to complete as an effective member? -- I don't like to close a topic because it is not "clear" for the moderator or super user .. maybe it is clear for someone else in the community.
    – hsawires
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 8:37
  • 2
    Agree completely, Scott. This is GD.SE, not LMGTFY.SE.
    – Vincent
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 10:23
  • @hsawires as I posted, no single user can close a question (barring moderators). So if a question is closed for being "unclear" at least 4 user agree it needs to be closed. It's not like a question is unclear to me so I close it. I can't do that.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 17:00
  • Just to chime in on top of that, it's rather rare that I will use the mod-hammer to close something as unclear for that very reason. Just because something is unclear to me doesn't mean it's unclear to everyone else. If there are a number of existing votes, then I'll jump in. I will use that close reason if it's apparent that the user refers to an image they neglected to include or any other clear-cut situation like that.
    – JohnB
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 15:58

As a new user I think this site is much more supportive of new user than others, I started on Stack Overflow and found it very hard to adapt to the speed and strictness. I know that my answers and questions might not have been the best but it annoyed me slightly when I started to see down votes when I didn't know what I had done wrong. If it was for one question I saw here and answered I would have probably left stack exchange but here seems 'much nicer' and I feel like I get an explanation on what I have done wrong. I am fine if you close or move my post, just tell me why.

I think the most important thing for a new user is comments as without them you have no clue why no one likes your answer. I also think that the comments on new users posts which I have seen Vincent do are really supportive.

Overall I think this site is not too harsh on new members.

  • 2
    Thanks for weighing in Sam!
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 17:27
  • 1
    Thanks for noticing, Sam! Glad my comments help.
    – Vincent
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 14:34

The very foundation of Stack Exchange is to build Q&A sites for experts. This is reinforced everywhere, from the network landing page to the FAQ for new site creation:

It's where groups of experts come together to build new Q&A sites that work just like Stack Overflow. Here you can:

  • Propose new Q&A sites. If you have an idea for an expert Q&A site, propose it here.
  • Get involved in the process. Help sites get off the ground by defining the types of questions that are wanted, recruiting a critical mass of experts, and committing to the site's success.

Does this mean that we are going to reject naive or beginner questions? Absolutely not. I'm not ashamed to admit that I often learn new things from beginner-level questions, and they can often produce some amazing answers.

Here's the big "however": asking a question on this site should not be anyone's first stop when trying to solve a design problem. The solution is usually already out there just a search away (and sometimes that search will lead back to a question already posted to this site). I would rather see a bunch of on hold or closed posts on our front page than a string of low quality and zero effort questions.

The expectation of shown effort from users is not unreasonable. Showing what they've tried or even searched for helps produce better questions by making it clear what the end goal is. If someone truly wants to learn, researching the problem on their own is an important part of the journey. A spoon-fed tutorial on "how to make this effect" won't build much knowledge.

I do not want to build an elitist or snobbish community. To prevent that, I always try and help new users make themselves comfortable. After all, it is in the best interest of our site for new users to stick around and ask new questions and contribute answers. A good reminder to myself and others is to leave a comment when closing a question. The SE format can be confusing and non-intuitive to anyone unfamiliar; I think a comment goes a long way for anyone struggling.

  • 5 negative comments could easily be overwhelming. Better not to pile on when there's already a few comments stating why it's off topic imo, unless absolutely necessary.
    – Dom
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 19:08
  • @Dom of course, that's what upvoting comments is for. Though I'd swap out "negative" with "constructive criticism". The goal is to help the user get their question re-opened (or explain why it's not a good fit for our site), not spread negativity.
    – JohnB
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 19:12
  • Completely agree with your last paragraph. I've seen some questions put on hold by three to five people, and several downvotes, but no explanation to the OP as to why. In some cases even ultra-sarcastic comments. I mean, it's not because we call ourselves experts that we need to be dicks about it.
    – PieBie Mod
    Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 16:24

I agree with Scott (but my comment got too long to add to his answer!).

It is not nice to see a wall of On Hold questions (I don't think however these are the majority, or that of a significant number and I insist we should leave COMMENTS and not just cast a vote and disappear. That is, in my opinion, worse), but the fact that they are there in the front page also serves a purpose: it teaches new and not so new users how to use the site.

Quality is paramount for any SE site, and that's what makes us, I think, more useful than forums. The system has reached a really nice balance where this is now one of the best places to find an answer to a design problem. To get here, we have produced an immense collection of questions and answers that is curated by the community.

I do agree people whose questions are put On Hold sometimes don't come back. Looking at the numbers, though, I can assure you that most people asking for technical things don't come back. You end up with these amazing answers with a bunch of votes that never get accepted as the correct one, because the OP gets the solutions he/she wants and flees. Someone who is more worried about design problems (workplace, work methodologies, theory) usually sticks around longer.

Finally, the place to ask for "How to fix this in Photoshop" (bugs mostly) is no longer GD.SE. It is Superuser. We had to accept these questions in the beginning because we needed the visits, the activity. Now that we have really solidified as a community of designers (amateurs and professionals), we don't need to keep these off-topic questions any more. There is a place for them, that's Superuser.

Although helping people solve their specific design problems is one of our top priorities, I think the site becoming a library of original and quality content is more transcendent. I'd say the goal of any SE site is to help an OP in a way that hundreds / thousands of other people can also benefit from it.

All new questions should go though a process, IMHO:

  • Does the question belong to GD.SE or to Superuser / UX? If yes, flag to migrate.

  • Can the question be edited and made into a better one? If yes, edit it.

  • Is the question on topic but terrible? If yes, downvote it and leave a comment whenever possible.

  • Is the question missing information? If it's recent, add a comment asking for clarification. If not, cast your close vote ALONG with a comment whenever possible.

A close vote should be the last resource. Comments are our most human interaction, we should be using them much more in these cases.


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