Around half the questions I've clicked on in the last couple of weeks have had a pile of "Too broad" close votes. Some of them have been closed already, and in some cases I've had to push for them to be re-opened (frustrating for everyone concerned).
None of them seemed "too broad" - they've all been perfectly clear questions along the lines of "Here's something cool, I can't figure out where to start when making something like this, what would be a good technique or approach to take?".
It's a totally normal, common type of question for a designer to ask, and a lot more interesting than the "I've never seen a drop-shadow before, can I haz teh menu opshun names?" type questions we all want to move away from.
So why are we trying to stamp these out?
- How do I create this Mondreaan like graphic? (x3 close votes when I got my answer in - was fast-typing to try to beat the close-voters...)
- How to re-create letters using pieces of photographies? (was closed, had to ask for it to be re-opened)
- Convert a map image to black and white [outline], which is a duplicate of How can I easily turn a Google Maps screenshot into an outline drawing? but which people were trying to close as "Too broad", even though it's entirely answerable: the duplicate has three focussed potentially useful answers (one deleted, although I think it's a worthy answer)
- Several others I can't find because the comments and votes were since deleted or expired
The only explanation I can think of is that someone has decided that "Too broad" means "Close anything where there's more than one possible answer that would work". That's not what it's for. Questions with multiple good answers are encouraged. It's more like "Close anything where there are NO possible answers that would work (without writing a multi-chaptered book)".
Edit: Just saw that DA01 commented on one of these that:
"It's too broad in that it's basically "how do I do illustration/do photo manipulation". While there are certainly steps that can be outlined to achieve the above, it's really more about 'practice, practice, practice + a bit of talent and skill'"
I don't want to see every question closed if it is about a problem that involves or requires talent or skill. We wouldn't have a site left - or even worse, we'd have nothing but "can I haz teh menu opshun names?" questions.
It's really common for someone who has reasonable baseline skills to have an image in their head and think "where the hell do I start making that?". It's not a sign they have no idea what they're doing, just that they're stretching themselves attempting something specific they've not attempted before (which I'd say is healthy - it's the opposite of a designer stagnating or hiding in a comfort zone).
There also seems to be an implied assumption that people asking questions can't do anything except be led by the hand through step-by-step instructions. I don't want to be part of a site that is exclusively aimed at step-following robots and assumes its askers can't apply good judgement or creativity. I want to be able to write answers a bit like my answer to the 'Mondreaan' question, that are essentially "Here are some tips, techniques or approaches to get you started (or un-stuck). Now take it from here - I'm trusting that, as a user on a design site, you have enough skill and aesthetic sense to do the rest unaided".
We've come a long way from being 90% 'design software tips for StackOverflow users' to being (very nearly!) a good proper freestanding design site largely populated by actual designers.
Can we start treating our question askers like they're actual designers?