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I have a number of suggestions to improve a site's look, feel, design, etc. and wonder where or who to direct those thoughts:

  • The Moderators, who are either elected or appointed, I believe just 'moderate'.
  • I assume if the Best Answer is a discussion in Meta - someone ultimately decides, or the decision is simply based on a set of predefined criteria that is used. For example, the original Web designer (Jin?) had input from the "customer" - the three founding sites, but now in this case, it is one of ~ 170 sites, each with, I assume, differing goals.
  • Stack Overflow I believe is designed for programmers, and would naturally have different goals than Life/ Arts sites, or Mathematica, for example.

If the question of change is raised locally on a Site, there is likely a better chance the Answers will be more on target, than in a general discussion with Answers at the Meta level, I would imagine.

Bottom-up decisions typically work better than Top-down ones, especially when Consensus is used in the decision-making process.

I reviewed much of the possible duplicate/similar questions and end up with this concern with group discussions/decisions (Meta), expressed in the statement " A camel is a horse designed by committee".

  • It should start on a per-site meta or here on MSE. – rene Dec 23 '18 at 19:46
  • I wouldn't expect much room for bottom-up input though. Maybe have a look at their Stacks Design system that gets implemented around the several pages. – rene Dec 23 '18 at 19:52
  • Under certain circumstances a camel is better than a horse. What kind of improvements are you thinking about? Are they just about the web site look-and-feel or your etc. also includes system functions, site policies, community culture, ...? Please note that the design tag is for "look-and-feel" questions not about "systems design" – Rubén Dec 23 '18 at 20:30
  • Related How is consensus determined on Meta sites? – Rubén Dec 24 '18 at 19:49
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It depends on the breadth of the impact.

If a question is specific to a site -- whether it's "should X be on-topic?" or "can we tweak our logo?" or "do we want to opt out of Hot Network Questions?" or anything else that pertains only to that site, ask it on the per-site meta. If you ask it on Meta.SE it'll be closed as pertaining only to a specific site.

At the other end of the spectrum, if you are bringing up something about how SE behaves, like "can we have a way to pull questions from the Hot Network Questions list?" or "there's a bug in the left nav" or "why do I keep getting logged out across the network", ask it on Meta.SE. They affect everybody, not just your site, so ask them where everybody (who cares about meta stuff at all) can see, comment, and answer. You may ask such questions on per-site metas; we don't require people to come here, and SE does monitor the other metas. But a change that affects everybody is going to have to be brought here eventually anyway, so unless you first want to discuss and refine the idea locally, you might as well just ask it here to begin with. Discussing and refining the idea locally first is fine; it's a good idea to say you're doing that before asking on main meta, to head off calls to migrate your question before you're ready.

If your question is somewhere in between or you don't know if it's about something that can be customized for one site, ask in either place. I tend to steer new users or people who only use my site to the site meta (why make them learn a third place?) and experienced network users to Meta.SE (they should be aware of this place).

  • That was missing in my SE education, so, I explored, researched. Before, I really didn't understand that clicking meta in Help would take me to the child meta and not here. I also learned that the Responsive Design project was rolling out (Dec 7/18), which was related to one of my suggestions for improvement. I was disappointed that my Rep here did not allow me to access the child meta, and so I just posted the Question at the local site. – P Lloyd Dec 25 '18 at 4:24
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Totally depends on the specific topic/improvement proposal.

If you have proposals for moderation improvements, that's probably more a topic for the per site meta.
If you have something more general regarding overall design, the Meta Stack Exchange might be more appropriate.

  • The Moderators, who are either elected or appointed, I believe just 'moderate'.

Yes, but there might be questions about improvement on their policies how do they do that

  • I assume if the Best Answer is a discussion in Meta - someone ultimately decides, or the decision is simply based on a set of predefined criteria that is used. For example, the original Web designer (Jin?) had input from the "customer" - the three founding sites, but now in this case, it is one of ~ 170 sites, each with, I assume, differing goals.

Not necessarily, specific sites have different policies and have different goals as you mention already.

  • Stack Overflow I believe is designed for programmers, and would naturally have different goals than Life/ Arts sites, or Mathematica, for example.

Of course that matters, and maybe a question (feature-request) might only be appropriate for a specific site.

Anyways, feature requests would involve SE developer resources rather than moderators, and you seriously should consider if it's worth what you asking for everytime.


Regarding plain UX designs, you should note that those aren't applicable for all present Stack Exchange sites.
It sometimes will take some time until UI improvements will be rolled out for all sites.

  • First sentence to improve a site's look, feel, design, etc. and further on they refer to Jin. I don't think moderation will be part of their suggestions ... – rene Dec 23 '18 at 20:00
  • @rene I was in process of elaboration. – πάντα ῥεῖ Dec 23 '18 at 20:01
  • @rene I think moderation policies are also design to some extend. I am done now so far. – πάντα ῥεῖ Dec 23 '18 at 20:03
  • That is a far stretched definition but okay ... fine with me – rene Dec 23 '18 at 20:05
  • @rene At least moderation policies would affect the feel point, no? – πάντα ῥεῖ Dec 23 '18 at 20:11
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    Only if you poke them too much .... ;) – rene Dec 23 '18 at 20:18

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