I asked a question recently, and it was pointed out to me that it was off topic. SImple enough, I deleted the question and got my butt over to the FAQs to re-read what is on/off topic.

But then I noticed that How-To questions are listed as off topic, but there are hundreds of How-To questions that I've seen since I've joined this SE site. (eg this, this, this, etc.)

Are these questions still off topic? Should I not be asking my Adobe technical questions here?

  • What did your question say?
    – Yisela
    Jan 18, 2013 at 1:16
  • 1
    I was wanting help on improving a logo, but someone said that it was "brainstorming" which was off topic. Although, now that I think about it, I see others getting the same help I was looking for on other things and they aren't considered off topic... Jan 18, 2013 at 1:32
  • Just because other questions exist it doesn't mean they are "on-topic". Those questions could be just as off-topic as yours but the owners aren't as quick to delete as you were.
    – Scott
    Jan 20, 2013 at 23:10

2 Answers 2


I remember your question now. I was actually surprised you deleted it, because it was one of those questions I'd not consider 'just bainstorming'.

It's quite difficult to draw a line when it comes to advice about design, and there are a couple fo discussions in meta that tried to do that. Usually, the question is closed when it's too specific, but it remains open and gets votes and answers when it's something that can be helpful for other people.

For example, I remember one that got lots of attention and said something like "How to make my web look less 90s". That's something that applies to different projects/people, so it was left open and got good feedback. "How to convey xxxx in an icon" is usually closed, because it can't get a definite answer (as interesting as they are, it's difficult to choose one correct answer).

If your question can be expanded to something like "How to simplify a logo to blah blah blah", then it's a good fit. We all have different opinions on how certain questions belong or not here, so it's better to first see what the majority thinks. That's why questions need 5 votes to be closed, because it's an agreement.

Try reopening your question. If it looks too specific, you (or someone else) can edit it. The ones that get closed are usually the ones where the OP asks something and then disappears forever, or shows no effort to make it relevant for others.

  • I should probably repost it then. I mean, I thought I was asking for design help rather than content help. Jan 18, 2013 at 1:44
  • I figured out my problem (roughly) so I don't really need to post the question again. But I am glad to know I could if I still needed to. Jan 18, 2013 at 23:05

I considered it idea gathering or brainstorming so I flagged it. But that doesn't mean others would agree with me :) It takes more than just one opinion.

"How to make this look better" is a much different question than "How do I make this appear at a 30° angle". The latter is a specific issue trying to be solved. The former is a very general, opinion-based, unsolvable question.

If there is no correct answer to a question.... then it's not a "how to" question. That doesn't necessarily make the question bad or off-topic. It may be opinion-based but not project related. Which I think is perfectly on-topic. However, I feel if the question is asking me to design or how I would design a solution for a specific project, that's a localized question (unlikely to help anyone else) and quite often brainstorming, hence my close vote.

But again, this is merely my opinion.

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