Ok, Flavius asked this question: https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/5809/how-will-sopa-pipa-and-acta-affect-graphic-designers#question

I think there's a good question in there, but not the way it's currently worded. Designers should be cognizant of legal restrictions, and should be diligent to make sure they are complying with the various applicable licenses, but this topic is much broader than any particular SOPA/PIPA/flavor-of-the-month legislation.

Which brings me to thinking about avoiding "boat programming" design questions.

Programmers has a graphic in their FAQ that I think could be easily adapted for our own:

Please make sure your question uniquely applies to programmers in general:


  • Graphic designers stealing diagrams from programmers? Alert the media!
    – user3694
    Feb 11, 2012 at 10:35
  • @Yannis we'll trade you some Photoshop scripts for it. ;-)
    – Farray
    Feb 11, 2012 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Ironic, don't you think, that Programmers would provide a model graphic for GD? :)

We do have to avoid the boat issue, and I agree that the SOPA/PIPA question doesn't cut the mustard in its current form. OTOH, I've felt for a while that the general SO model, from which SE is derived, has important limitations from the point of view of the design field. This is a good case in point. There are questions that might apply to "All Designers," but their number is slight in comparison to questions that apply to "All designers who use [application]" or "All designers working with [medium]." (I have a sense that the fact that design has been around for >40,000 years and programming for <100 may have something to do with it. Our tools are new and rapidly evolving. The fundamental disciplines not so much.)

This question really speaks to the same underlying issue, and I'd love to see more feedback on it (as opposed to votes).

A few weeks ago, I set up a gallery chat room to which a few folks have write access, specifically to address some of these points in semi-real-time. Since then I've been inundated with work, so I've not been able to do anything with it as yet. I still want to set up a chat session with you, Pearsonartphoto and our high-contribution members so we can figure out how to steer this ship into more productive waters. We have some fantastic expertise among several relative newcomers. I'd like to make the site attractive (== useful) for them and others. We'll grow to the degree we're useful.

  • Agree on all points. I'd favorited your other question and really just bummed that my answer continues to be "I'm not sure" because who I want to talk to may be radically different from who the community wants to talk to. I haven't quite reconciled my thoughts yet.
    – Farray
    Feb 6, 2012 at 20:41
  • And +1 for pointing out the irony. Hehe...
    – Farray
    Feb 6, 2012 at 20:45
  • Try the flip side: As a designer, what would make the site most useful? That's the more basic question, because if we answer that, it tells us the rest. Feb 6, 2012 at 22:20

Hey Graphic Designers!

As a regular Programmers.SE contributor, and recently elected moderator, I can assert that the diagram has been extremely helpful in introducing new users to our site. We use it everywhere, Meta answers, chat, and comments. For the most part newer users respond quite positively to it, and it helps them understand what we are about quickly.

But you'll have to keep in mind that we are a community for professional software developers:

Programmers — Stack Exchange is a site for professional programmers who are interested in getting expert answers on conceptual questions about software development.

"Professional" and "expert" being the most common buzzwords when we describe our community. And we have significant overlap with several other sites on the network, so we are very rigorously trying to keep the scope of the site focused. That may or may not be an issue for your community and it's probably too soon to tell either way.

As a generic tip, you could explore the definition of the FAQ from the perspective of the answers and not the questions. For example, would you want me to answer any questions on your site?

Trust me, you don't :)

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