Jin and I had a discussion about Graphic Design and what we can do to help promote the site. We definitely took into account all of the feedback I've been reading and gathering from you all over the past few weeks. We think we've come up with a plan that will make the site more desirable to graphic designers, publicize our best questions and answers and not the run-of-the-mill stuff, and use those best Qs and As to get new eyes to the site, as well as rewarding people with prizes. This is still in the early stages, so I can only offer you an outline of what we're planning, but I hope this sounds awesome. I think it does.

  • Graphic Design.SE has been bumped up to get a design completed ASAP, which will be presented to the you all on Meta just like normal. This doesn't necessarily mean graduation, but it does mean that GD.SE will have a distinct look just like a graduated site. This will, ideally, make the site look infinitely more legit, similar to what was done with UX's early design launch.

  • The site will be designed by a respected graphic designer who has a significant following online. This graphic designer will also chronicle their process and/or final design on their blog, introducing their followers and fans to the site.

  • In conjunction with the design's launch and our graphic designer's blog post, a contest will be done to help encourage new people to get involved on GD.SE and drum up excitement here amongst the existing users. The contest will be similar to one that RPG.SE ran with the notable RPG site Obsidian Portal.

  • The specifics of the contest will be changed to reflect the needs of GD.SE, but the overall gist is that users new and old will together create a list of the best, most helpful answers and questions on GD.SE. As this list is populated, it will be placed in close proximity to the high-profile graphic designer's blog post about GD.SE (most likely in the blog's comments, but that isn't set in stone). This means that graphic designers who have never heard of GD.SE that visit this blog/site will be introduced to GD.SE via a list of our best content.

  • The GD.SE community will be kept up-to-date of this entire process, as you will all be called on to populate that list when it goes live. More details on that as they become finalized.

And now you know what Jin and I have planned. I'm excited to have a plan in place and I'll continue to be excited as I deliver more updates to all of you. Please leave a comment or ping me in chat (let's chat) if you want to brainstorm on this outline some.

  • :D sounds like a great plan! I like the idea of the designer taking people through the process and having the design evolve a bit more than normal. All sounds very sensible! Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 23:11
  • We also need Community Promotion Ads. Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 21:41

2 Answers 2


A thought just occurred to me while commenting on this new user's post where he couldn't add an image he made because he didn't have enough rep.

Images in questions and answers here are normal, important, sometimes essential and a good practice to be encouraged (a bit like code in programming Q&A questions and answers). Rep also isn't massively easy to earn here, and it'll be harder still during a time when the proportion of actively voting old hands is low compared to an increase of new users not used to our format.

If we're hoping for a wave of new design-orientated users, they're likely to want to include images, and with good reason. When they hit that "NOT ENOUGH REP - DENIED" message it'll feel a bit like we opened the door to them then tripped them up on their way in.

Two possible solutions:

  • We have the rule tweaked in our case. For example, we could have it set to no more than 1 image per post up to X rep, rather than no images at all up to X rep - so there's still a clear incentive to earn rep but it's not actually a major barrier to asking and answering questions.
  • We make sure there's a clearly communicated backup way for people trying to post images to do something with the images they have. For example, suggesting a workaround (copying and pasting the text of an imgur link?) in the "DENIED" message, so people aren't just left cold.

The first option would be best (not least because some people will insist on trying to make the imgur link text into a link, hitting another patience-testing "DENIED" message...).

  • 2
    Absolutely agree. Good post.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 18:51

While I'm here, one other new user experience thought.

There's nothing particularly visible to a new user of the site that communicates clearly the SE way of doing things, how it's different to elsewhere, and why it's a good thing. (unless they read right down to the very bottom of the FAQ or the footer of the homepage and follow the "About" links, or unless they have the idea of deleting the "graphicdesign" bit of the URL, go to stackexchange.com, then click About).

It's a pretty simple idea that can be communicated in a sentence, and for new users with design backgrounds (as opposed to new users who wandered over from StackOverflow.com etc), it's probably more important as the first defining piece of information about what we are at the top of the FAQ.

I'm a terrible writer so I won't suggest wording, but it seems to make more sense to top the FAQ with a simple sentence defining ourselves as the best place to get solid answers to solid design questions thanks to the pioneering stack exchange system of upvotes, edits, comments etc (with a link to the About page for more): then a simple comment introducing the rules stating that keep everything moving smoothly and on topic needs some clear sharp rules, then our definitions of what is and isn't on topic and all the other existing content.

Right now, if a designer pokes around trying to understand what the deal is with this site and how it's different to every other graphic design site, the first thing they see is a lengthy definition of what graphic design is. It's important, but it's not the thing they are looking for, the thing that defines us in the world of sites about design.

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