There's been a question by high-rep member of the GD site which is clearly an attracting opinion based answers: How to give back as a designer? The way the question is formulated ("Do you give back?", " Do you donate? How?" "if there's a way to donate design services to large caregiving organizations") clearly does not fit with SE guidelines (https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask)

In my opinion the question can still be salvaged by reformulating (e.g. "What are the sites where .. ?") and changed to community wiki format. But OP thinks otherwise and seeing his rep score, so I'm hesitating I on the right track?

What is the GD course of action regarding opinion-based questions, are they for good or should they be treated?

UPDATE: Thanks for explanations, so CW is not the best format for the issue. Changing questions title (Do you give back? -> How to give back as a designer?) and main focus to What are some places or areas where one could donate graphic design services for the greater good? is better IMO.

  • 2
    It's not that opinion is evil: the problem is random opinions that aren't based on experience, expertise or referable facts. Questions like the linked one are fine because they invite experience, expertise and facts - e.g. Ryan's answer is entirely experience-based and useful. On SE we sometimes get obsessively perfectionistic about questions: but SE is about prompting useful answers, it's not a question-crafting academy. Read that "don't ask" page you linked to closely and you'll see these questions fit fine: requests for experience and expertise, based around solving a genuine problem. Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


I purposely post some questions which may skirt the realm of on-topic but are still related to design. This is done intentionally to offer other alternatives to "My Adobe isn't working" questions.

Face it, probably +80% of the questions on GD.SE are software questions. I see no harm and only added value in questions which pose general design related or design business related topics as opposed to software questions. Of course they will be opinion based to a degree. Art is subjective and not quantified by absolutes. If you are looking for absolutes design is the wrong area to be searching. This is not math.se not StackOverflow.se where answers can always be either back or white, right or wrong. Art lives in the 256 levels of grey between black and white, and questions should as well to a degree.

Designers can give back. Designers often do give back. Asking how I, as a designer, could offer my services for the greater good is 100% on-topic in my opinion.

My reputation should have nothing to do with the matter, other than perhaps to offer an insight that I am fully aware of what is and is not permitted on the site. But I am human and not infallible. This is a community site. You are free to disagree, down vote, and vote to close as you did, but that doesn't mean I must agree with you in any way.

Wiki posts can only be designated by moderators. Users have zero control over what is wiki and what is not.

I don't know what part of the guidelines you feel addresses my question as "not" permitted all I see are "yes share..."

Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. What does that mean? Constructive subjective questions:

inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”

invite sharing experiences over opinions

Great subjective questions invite sharing experiences over opinions. Certainly experiences inform opinions, but the best subjective questions unabashedly and unashamedly prioritize sharing actual experiences over random opinions. It’s more useful to share with us what you’ve done than what you think. Everyone has an opinion. It takes zero effort or imagination to have an opinion about anything and everything. But people who have done things, real things in the world, and have the scars and arrows in their back to show for it — now that’s worth sharing. You should be uniquely qualified to have your opinion based on the specific experiences you had. And you should share those experiences, and more specifically what you learned from your experiences, with us!

  • You refused to talk it over in chat and so I had to escalate. Sorry. With questions title and focus reformulated it is quite better IMO. Still broad, still a bit opinion-based, but is within reasons you describe in 2nd paragraph and for the better of GD.
    – Kromster
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 16:25
  • 1
    @KromStern sometimes 8bit ASCii text does a poor job of conveying mood. Often users want to argue and defend a position without actually discussing things openly. It's most likely my shortcoming for getting the impression you were more interested in arguing and having me state you were right, than any actual solution. Sorry for that.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 18:24

When I first saw the question pop up, I did have immediate concern for it. "Do you give back?" just sounds like a polling question. However, then I read the body of the question, and my concerns evaporated. It is a good question.

I'm comfortable with the edit that Yisela made; the title is a better fit for the question actually being asked. It's important to see the see the forest for the trees in these situations.

I don't fully understand why you think that this question "clearly does not fit with SE guidelines", and I'd have to disagree with you there. It is not what I consider opinion based as you assert. An example of an opinion based question that I would close would be "I'm considering donating design services to the Red Cross, are they a worthwhile organization?". I could write an equally valid answer to that saying "yes!", and another equally valid answer saying "no!" because it is far too opinion based.

If anything, the question might be considered too broad. It's impossible to list every single organization that can benefit from volunteer design services. On the contrary, the question is not asking for a complete compendium. It is reasonably scoped.

To address your question of whether or not this type of question should be a Community Wiki: no. CW was previously a tool for "general reference" type questions so that anyone could edit and contribute. Edits could only be made by users with an established amount of reputation; setting a question as CW lowered the rep requirement to encourage collaboration.

This is no longer the case. We now have suggested edits so that even drive-by users without an account can make edits to posts. This eliminates the need to mark general reference posts as CW.

Here is a blog post explaining this. Check out the question they provide as one of the examples. It's a question that can never be definitively answered, yet the answers provided still offer constructive solutions. Sound familiar?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .