I recently asked this question:

which got closed for two reasons: The first I agree with--it's too graphic design oriented (so I re-asked it on GD.SE).

The second reason I feel could stand discussion here on meta, namely, that this is a survey rather than an expert question.

The question asks about the tools that experts use to get their work done. I feel this is a question where the expertise of UX members is a real asset. I as a questioner would like to make use of, as an expert I would contribute to questions like this, and I feel that others coming along would also benefit from the knowledge.

On other sites, this question would get marked as "community wiki", because there's no one right answer. I didn't see a way to do that here--or perhaps the meaning of CW has changed on SO/*.SE over the years. This allowed for questions like this, where the variety of answers were all interesting.

How do we want these questions handled here on UX?

  • Do we want to exclude all survey-type questions in favor of questions with a single correct answer?
  • Do we want to allow them but provide a mechanism for marking questions as potentially having many valid answers and no 'right' answer?
  • Some other option?
An opinion survey about opinion surveys; if that's not meta I don't know what is! –  Ben Brocka Sep 15 '11 at 21:05
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Do we want to exclude all survey-type questions in favor of questions with a single correct answer?

Generally this, though some forms can be acceptable under specific conditions.

per the faq

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite __?”

The "infinite list of X" question is very dangerous, akin to "what's your favorite ice cream flavor, and why?"

See also:

Alright; sounds like a policy decision. So do users who need such questions answered go to a different site, or reword them somehow? Put another way: as a user, how can I get recommendations from UX about what tools to use? –  Alex Feinman Sep 19 '11 at 14:44
Chat is generally recommended for that –  Jeff Atwood Sep 19 '11 at 15:11
Hmm. This presumes the users discover and use chat, want to restrict their answering population to the (much smaller) set of people that also use chat, and want to wait for synchronous (or near-synchronous) answers. It feels like this solves one of the use cases, but leaves a larger chunk of our users out in the cold. –  Alex Feinman Sep 19 '11 at 16:08
Ask a separate question for every option of the list you can think of. (I am joking.) –  Naoise Golden Jan 9 '12 at 19:06
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I think that there is a place for questions that are not simple and straightforward, but have some arguments on different sides, where it is useful to express some differing opinions and argue for them. This is not to say discussion, but to explore why different answers are appropriate for different situations. I think within UX this is more important than some other places, because the UX answers are so often dependent on the precise situation.

Questions that have a whole range of answers that are more dependent on personal preference - as opposed to the right answers based on solution requirements - are far less suitable, IMO. These are questions that are unanswerable in any real sense, andd so are probably better suited to another forum.

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