Related reading: What are our custom “Off-Topic” reasons?

It's been a month and a half since we were introduced to the new off-topic close reasons. Right now, we've got two currently active:

  • This appears to be a tech support question about fixing technology to work as advertised. Please edit the question so that it pertains to using technology to solve a design problem. You may want to check if it hasn't already been asked in Super User. In many cases, contacting the manufacturer is the quickest option.
  • This looks like brainstorming/idea gathering for a specific project or a request for free work. This site is suited for answers to general design problems, not ideas or work that is specific to one project. See this meta post for more info.

Are they adequately covering our commonly closed questions? Do any changes need to be made to the wording?

We've got room for a third one (the 3D one was removed because of ambiguity). Is there a common trend among questions that are off-topic but don't fit into one of these?

If it helps, you can run a search query for recently closed questions.

2 Answers 2


I think these two have worked quite well. I wouldn't change anything in n. 1, but I would perhaps re-word n. 2

I personally find the bold "request for free work" a bit aggressive (un-bolding it would probably be enough). And we could add some instructions to this reason, something in the lines of:

This looks like brainstorming/idea gathering for a specific project or a request for free work. This site is suited for answers to general design problems, so try to think how you can re-word the question to be potentially helpful for other people. See this meta post for suggestions.

Now about n. 3 (3D questions), it was removed after we noticed we were linking to a meta post that actually said "We accept 3D questions now". I don't think we need a close reason for it, as we treat each case separately, so to say (Blender is migrated to Blender, and we try our best to answer the rest of them).


I really think the brainstorming reason should be split.

  1. Tech support issue
  2. Brainstorming/Idea gathering
  3. Request for free work/Request for specific localized project input (these seem to be becoming more common. Or is that just my perception?).

Perhaps an auto-comment for #3 related to "If you can phrase your question in a manner which is not related to any specific project it may be more relatable to all users."

Examples of #3 --
How can I add perspective to something using Illustrator?
Why does my line drawing look so sad
Adobe Illustrator pictures to be played on a scoreboard with the dimensions of 1280 x 424
How to approach the creation of a personal logo

That being posted, I think they are pretty much working as is. If others feel there's no need to split the brainstorming, I understand that.

  • I've been starting to wonder about the 'specific to just one project' thing. I think I actually suggested it... but I'm starting to think it's maybe not actually a problem. Several of the questions you link to are specific to one project - but interesting and got a good response anyway because they're relevant projects we can relate to and learn from the tips given. 99% of stackoverflow questions are specific to one project and it hasn't caused that site any harm. Maybe we should draw the line at requests for free work and questions that are impossible to answer without knowing the client? Aug 15, 2013 at 8:36

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