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Some of those who actively participate in this site usually complain about the decline is taking the level of questions in favor of the boring step by step of any graphic application.

Some less, among which I include myself, we speak on occasion of the general decline of GD:SE.

Among these, I think I'm one of the few or the only one, who publicly has made a disagreement with the management of this site.

Why or why shouldn't we use the preserves' graphic standards? What could we say to argue in favor of having a different graphic look than the graphic standard? (I changed the end to make it more generic)

This question is off-topic on a site dedicated to answering questions about graphic design! It's a question that any graphic design student can ask his/her teacher in a graphic design school. Particularly I haven't answered this question for X reasons that don't come at the heart of this topic.

What's the real reason why a clear graphic design question is off-topic?

According to what I read:

Solving this problem requires access to a specific setup, file, or interaction with you or your machine.

  • What setup?
  • What file?
  • What interaction with a machine?

The type of answer requested is a list of possible Yes and No. At no time is the OP asking for graphic solutions. It's something as simple for someone who is dedicated to graphic design as writing:

The reasons why standard design guidelines should always be followed are:

  1. List item
  2. List item
  3. List item ...

Possible arguments by which you can avoid such guidelines are:

  1. List item
  2. List item
  3. List item ...

In my opinion it's an answer with a very simple, direct and clear graphic design content.

I could come to understand the tedious TOO BROAD in this case, but not the reason shown as closing the question. This question is not the only case, on other occasions I made a comment or simply let it pass. The tedious TOO BROAD beat my possible desire to comment.

And talking about TOO BROAD, I sometimes imagine myself participating in an oriental medicine site, of which I have no idea. Obviously all the questions will seem TOO BROAD to me, and I would dedicate myself, in case of having enough privileges, to close each question by TOO BROAD. Well, I think the same thing happens in GD:SE. While it's a site open to everyone, having sufficient privileges to close a question doesn't give the facility to decide which question is unattainable to be answered by a graphic design professional. TOO BROAD is still a resource that is used with too much immediacy and ease, unfortunately.

I continue thinking that GD:SE is a site in clear decline, although I also believe that many things could be done to improve this, and without changing any site options or adding any new features. As an example, having a Real Professional Graphic Designer Moderator, who, based on their professional experience, knows how to see these types of situations and explains them at the right time, too-broaders and off-topiquers will gradually diminish and begin to understand what the meaning is of the graphic design profession and consequently the one of this site. Obviously if we try to keep it with a certain level of competitiveness and efficiency. Perhaps I have lost myself along the way and this is not what's intended.

For the moment it seems (to me) the moderators are on other issues that have nothing to do with graphic design.

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    For what its worth i think the question is fine. Wont answer (because you wont like the answer) but fine nonetheless – joojaa Dec 7 '19 at 14:39
  • Hi jooja, I prefer a wrong answer than a meaningless question closure. I don't usually downvote, even if I don't agree with the answer. In this case, if I can (or I want) give my opinion, I just comment. – user120647 Dec 7 '19 at 15:01
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    I hope this question can start a debate on how we can tighten the scope of this site for the future. Hearing your criticism for some time and seeing how you are actually able to answer some of those "broad" questions have changed my opinion a bit. I still think that it's important to answer technical questions, but we have way too many questions which could be answered if the OP bothered to read the manual or try a little harder. And some of those downvoted "broader" questions about design principles (even when coming from beginners) tend to be much more educational for me personally. – Wolff Dec 7 '19 at 15:09
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    @Danielillo Please edit your question to make it about the actual problem you want to discuss. (i.e. is it about reviewers, the actual question, closing terminology, or moderators?) – curious Dec 7 '19 at 16:05
  • Actually is not a question, it's, let say an appreciation, similar than this one which includes you have kindly added your answer. – user120647 Dec 7 '19 at 16:18
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    What is a "Real Professional Graphic Designer Moderator"? A professional graphic designer that is a moderator? Or a graphic designer that is a Professional Moderator? Why do you assume all the moderators are not professional graphic designers? – Luciano Dec 9 '19 at 10:53
  • @Luciano I mean someone a little more committed to the profession and more actively involved in the questions submitted to meaningless closures that are becoming more frequent. About the assumption you are referring to, I know that at least two moderators are not graphic designers because they have made it public. Regarding the others, I think some are, but they do not usually participate very actively in the activity of the site. – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 11:09
  • @Luciano I usually participate in other sites within stackexchange and the difference in attitude and participation of the moderators regarding GD:SE is abysmal. I would like this kind of attitude also occurred here, since I see the current level of this site in gradual retreat. – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 11:09
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    You have to remember that moderation is a volunteer job, perhaps other sites have less questions / less users / less new users / moderators with more time? Perhaps the questions are also more on scope? – Luciano Dec 9 '19 at 11:36
  • I am a volunteer user and I dedicate myself every time I can trying to make people interpret graphic design better in each of my answers and comments. But I feel I'm the only one. Regarding the other sites I assure you that they are equally complicated or more of GD:SE. – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 11:45
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    Not every volunteer can spare as much time as you can. – Vincent Dec 9 '19 at 13:42
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OK, this is a lot to unpack, and with the comments you keep posting it only gets more. So bear with me.

I will number the different parts to make it easier to refer back to them.


  1. A suggestion for valuable constructive feedback

First of all, I would like to suggest you create separate Meta questions for each issue you have with how the site works or is moderated. The issue should be focused and actionable. That is the only way you will be able to affect real change in the community, since that is how the SE model works. If the community cannot vote and come to a consensus, then you are just throwing stones in the desert.


  1. The closure and how to proceed with your disagreement

Now let's speak about the question you linked. It has indeed been closed. You do not agree with that, or at least not with the reason given by the people who closed it. Fair enough, that is your prerogative. I might even agree with you. Or not. Doesn't matter. Point is: there are some steps you can take to address this:

  • Ask the closers for some clarification in a comment. It happens often, and is not frowned upon.

  • Ask the closers for some clarification in chat. If you want, you can even make a chatroom with only those people for a little privacy and to not pollute the main chatroom.

  • Ask a question on Meta about it. Like you did, but without all the extra baggage.

  • Vote to reopen. This option is there just for this reason!

These are all valid strategies. No users will be offended if you ask the question genuinely and with an open mindset.


  1. The reasoning behind the close reasons

Regarding your questions about and criticisms of the close reasons I can only say: we welcome any and all constructive feedback. As evidenced by the fact that the close reasons have been changed many times in the past, and will probably change again in the future.

The SE model dictates that questions can be closed, and that there are to be a number of canned reasons. If you think this is wrong and should not be, please take it up with Stack Overflow The Company (SOTC) either through Big Meta or via the contact form. There is nothing we can do about this.

If you are fine with the possibility of closing questions, but not with the canned reasons, please make a Meta question for each separate reason you want to see changed, and a proposal for a new text. This will enable the community to weigh in via votes, answers and comments.


  1. Will the real Graphic Designer please stand up?

I take really BIG issue with your comments regarding "real graphic designers".

I mean someone a little more committed to the profession [...]. I know that at least two moderators are not graphic designers because they have made it public. Regarding the others, I think some are, but they do not usually participate very actively in the activity of the site.

While it is true that Graphic Design is not the main part of my daily job, that does not mean I am not committed or am any less a "real" graphic designer. I have the most respect for your abilities and knowledge, and will readily admit you know more of design and which buttons to press than me. That does not mean I will let you look down on me and let you take the piss.

I can only tell you that you seem blinded by your own ego, and knowledge comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. I will not stand by and let you insult or belittle any user. Be forewarned that from now on any comment that only reeks of a condescending tone will by deleted promptly.


  1. The SE model and the moderators role

As you can clearly tell, none of the people who voted to close on the question you linked are moderators. With reason, because our votes are final, which is why we are very hesitant to use them except in the most obvious of cases. So I fail to see how this question being closed is the fault of any moderator?

You seem to be mistaken about the role of moderators on SE sites. We are not "management", nor are we the GDSE police. Our job is not to check every question and answer to see if everyone is in line with policy.

On the contrary, we try to involve ourselves as little as possible. The whole point of the SE model is that sites are moderated and policed by the users. We assume good intentions and sound judgement from them. Especially those who contribute enough to gain sufficient reputation to comment, vote and review.

It is only when things are outside the norm that we intervene. Spam and nonsense mostly. Sometimes new users who think this is a regular forum and use answer fields for comments, rants against Adobe or general banter. Flags that get raised by the system or by users. And once every blue moon a wall-of-text rant on Meta.


  1. Whom the cap fits, let him wear it

You have been criticising and condemning for quite some time now. You specifically say the following:

Among these, I think I'm one of the few or the only one, who publicly has made a disagreement with the management of this site.

Apparently, you fail to see that you are the management of the site. Not the mods, not other users, you.


A fair warning: I will delete, with extreme prejudice, any comment on this answer that does not pertain to its contents. The discussion is muddied enough as it is, it does not need more distractions. Again, anyone is free to open a new Meta question or a chat room. If you want to discuss anything that was not covered in this answer, please use one of these routes.

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    👏 well said 👏 – WELZ Dec 11 '19 at 2:17
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Note that if a question is closed and seems problematic, you can vote to reopen. If all else fails, you can discuss the closing of the question in meta.

It's not reasonable to expect moderators to see and act on every question of the site. We are elected to handle human exceptions. Also, because our vote is binding, it wouldn't be fair to the community if we acted on every question.

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  • I don't think it's about acting in the sense you describe it, it's not closing, opening or maintaining a question (Q), it's just explaining the reasons why a specific graphic design Q should be interpreted as such with the corresponding arguments. This is a site for graphic design, and many users may not fully understand the scope this profession can have. – user120647 Dec 7 '19 at 18:07
  • As a simple user I have tried to explain on more than one occasion about how a Q should be interpreted, many times without even making a single comment, just answering. It doesn't require any effort, this is something that any graphic designer can easily do. Hence my insistence that this type of assessment should start from who commands the site, not from a user. – user120647 Dec 7 '19 at 18:07
  • On the other hand I have read that within your functions you aren't interested in answering questions or rarely you do, that you don't mind about the votes (I think you only referred to your answers and questions), now I see that you also have no interest in act on each question asked on this site. My call remains the same, there must be a Real Professional Graphic Designer Moderator on the team that performs its functions 100%, including those of understanding and making understand the profession. – user120647 Dec 7 '19 at 18:10
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    I have no problem addressing questions that get flagged for my attention. Flags are currently handled on average in 20 minutes. This average is around the clock. If answering on meta on a Saturday is not performing my function 100%, then I think we may at least agree that have different expectations of each other – curious Dec 7 '19 at 20:29
  • The 100% I indicate doesn't refer to time, working hours or days, simply 100% commitment to graphic design, something that will consequently affect the site quality. Nor do I refer to your person, but to anyone who feels a minimum of respect & interest in the profession. As this site is managed by moderators, I have no choice but to address them. If you tried to see each of my interventions by taking off the resentment glasses you have towards me since I practically started participating in GD:SE, you will see that absolutely all my interventions here are positive towards the site & g. design. – user120647 Dec 7 '19 at 21:58
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    @Danielillo Well since you assume I am resentful towards you, I will invite others to chime in and disengage from further replies. – curious Dec 7 '19 at 22:04
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Danielillo, I think I feel you. I don't know whether the site is in decline, but I do feel that interesting, worthwhile and just plain valid questions get closed with a completely irrelevant reason.

Abuse of the 'needs more focus' (the old 'too broad') and 'off-topic' close reasons is as old as I can remember, even from before I was a mod. There have been multiple threads on this very meta about it, and it doesn't look like the problem is ever going to go away. It's frustrating, it looks like the close voters aren't reading the questions and just click 'close' because they can't easily find an answer. Good questions get silenced this way. Their askers, often new users, get scared away from further interaction.

I would ask you to remember one thing, though, which is one of the Golden Rules of Stack Exchange (and, imho, online interaction in general) and that is to assume good intent with all parties involved. I want to defend these close-voters by asking you assume they are not informed enough, may be tired or distracted at the moment they vote, or maybe as annoyed by some issue as you are now and they thus take a questionable decision.

Please assume that they are fallible, imperfect humans rather than actively malicious and out to harm the site or our profession.

If you find a question that has been closed in error (and yes, there are a lot), please flag it for reopening and leave a comment once it has been. Our mods are a reasonable lot. Which brings me to my next point.

I take a lot of issue with the way you, apparently, assume bad intent with the moderators and curious in particular. I want to assume good intent on your part, but I am having problems not reading your wish for a 'professional graphic designer' as a moderator as a suggestion that the current moderators, in your eyes, are not professional enough for your standards. Knowing what some of our moderators' day jobs are, that makes me feel attacked by proxy.

Let me start out by saying that being a moderator on Stack Exchange is hard. I don't know whether you follow Big Meta, but taking into account what has happened over there the last few months, being a mod has become at least twice as hard over that period. Especially for an unpaid position, taken out of a desire to help others with a time investment not compensated for in any way, being a moderator here is akin to choosing the 'crushing' or 'impossible' difficulties in a video game. I know, I've been there, and I've given up. It was too hard for me.

On top of that, and most importantly, these mod people are, well, people. They can be absent. They can be distracted. They can be tired, annoyed or angry. Just like me and you, they can be human, and thus fallible. Still:

Please assume good intent.

No moderator is out to 'get' you, or is resentful of you. If they are, they would most likely either try and talk things out in a (private) chat, step back, or ask a co-mod to step in and help you out or mediate.

GD.SE, and Stack Exchange, even the Internet as a whole, is an imperfect mess made by imperfect parts. Please accept that imperfection. We can try and make it, little by little, less imperfect every day—together. Pointing accusing fingers and attacking people's professionalism will not help, will not whip people into action to do better. On the contrary, it will alienate them from interaction and demotivate them from doing more.

Once again, I try to assume good intent on your part. I see that you are genuinely concerned for this site's well-being and the quality of its content, and I applaud that level of concern. I think I understand your frustration and anger, and can understand that those can make you say things in a less constructive and less diplomatic way.

I would just ask that you assume good intent as well, and work with everyone else to make this a better place. Renew the close vote queue discussion. Flag to reopen. Try and educate the close voters. Be constructive.

Thank you.

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  • Thanks for your answer / comments Vincent. There are many things to talk about. First, the meaning of my post in Meta it's not about my feeling towards the moderators, but what really interests me is the quality of the site based on the questions and answers. If it led to a message crossing with a moderator it is because they usually question absolutely all my activity systematically – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 11:35
  • There have been multiple threads on this very meta about it, and it doesn't look like the problem is ever going to go away. Ok, I am proposing a solution in this post . Regarding the professionalism of a moderator in his daily work, I don't question at all. In reference to the quality of their activity in GD:SE is another issue. – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 11:37
  • As you know, some things have happened and these things have not been corrected or carried out in good manners or professionally (to call it somehow). This lack of empathy and response obviously leads me to interpret a certain type of maliciousness. In fact, I could open another thread with this topic, but it will be too long and not very positive. – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 11:37
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    @Danielillo And there is what I think is your error: you see bad manners, lack of professionalism and you assume lack of empathy and jump to the maliciousness conclusion. Assume good intent. I can't make it any clearer. If you feel slighted by someone, try and objectively describe the why and ask them why they did it, before suggesting an alternate course of action. Please be patient with our mods here, they have been stretched very thin already. – Vincent Dec 9 '19 at 11:45
  • Ok @Vincent , I understand what you say but I think you speak without having the complete information. Regarding the event I referred to, I have sent four extensive emails asking for an explanation, two to the moderators and two to Stackexchange, I have not received any response from any of them. Where do you want me to see professionalism? Where do you want me not to see bad intentions? – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 11:49
  • @Danielillo If the original post is intended as a new opening of the 'close vote' discussion, I personally am having trouble seeing that intent beyond you expressing your frustration with the status quo and the mod team. I think your case might be helped by splitting these two subjects into separate threads. If you have a proposal for improving the close vote problem, please post that. If you don't have a proposal, but you want to improve, ask for new ideas. Take the constructive initiative. – Vincent Dec 9 '19 at 11:50
  • Over what period of time were those e-mails? As I said, the mods have been stretched very thin, and the SE community team? Yeah, no questions about being way too slow there. :/ – Vincent Dec 9 '19 at 11:53
  • They where sent around july 3th. Enough time to write an answer don't you think? Actually I have an online copy of this email. But not everything comes down to just this, there are other issues behind. – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 11:56
  • As I am no longer a mod, I can not and will not comment on any of that issue. All I can do is ask that you give it another chance and, once again, assume good intent. And yes, stuff can be put off for long. Try and put yourself in their shoes: that response is going to be hard to write, as diplomatic messages to people who feel slighted always are. These people are volunteers and will have to spend at least an hour or two just writing the response. That's not even taking into account discussing it amongst themselves and having a regular professional life. – Vincent Dec 9 '19 at 12:02
  • And that's not taking into account that they can hardly fall back on the community team because those are too busy pretending the dumpster fire that is Monicagate doesn't exist. If you add fuel to the fire by publicly declaring them unprofessional -- I'd put off answering, too. :/ – Vincent Dec 9 '19 at 12:04
  • Let me dissent and I hope you understand, as I said there is much more issue behind, but I prefer not to talk about it in this post since my goal is another totally different. By the way, all this situation was a long time before than Monicagate. – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 12:05
  • Dissent with what? That it's hard to be moderator? That stuff can be put off? I don't want to try and sound like a broken record, but please consider the fact that there is a human at a keyboard at the other end as well. I'm disengaging here for a bit, because I'm starting to respond from emotion as an ex-mod and I don't want that. – Vincent Dec 9 '19 at 12:24
  • Dissent about the good intentions – user120647 Dec 9 '19 at 12:27
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    If you can no longer assume good intentions, is this issue ever going to be resolved? If you can no longer see the other party as human, is any answer going to be satisfactory? I'm afraid you're asking for the impossible here, in more ways than one. – Vincent Dec 9 '19 at 12:31
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    @Vincent always being fair, I like your answer! – WELZ Dec 11 '19 at 2:20

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