2015 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

This election ended Jan 27 '15 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution.

2,999 voters were eligible, 794 visited the site during the election, 739 visited the election page, and 342 voted

I've been a member of UX.SE for a little over 2 years and a UX designer at an enterprise software company for a little over 1.5. When I was first getting into the field, the site helped me to learn what UX was about. I try to pay this positive experience forward by helping to welcome and orient new members.

A lot of what I do here is already moderation-like. I don't often have time to answer questions nowadays, but I've remained very active in the review queues. I've flagged hundreds of posts and comments for moderator review. I participate actively in Meta.

Most of the time, mods should remain fairly passive, but viral questions are a key time to become actively involved. At such times, I encourage all users to actively down-vote and flag opinion-based answers, and I think it becomes the responsibility of the mods to delete such answers. (I won't delete things randomly, but if several members challenge the quality of a post—and if the author makes no effort to improve it—I will take the somewhat controversial position of removing it.)

On the whole though, I think a good moderator should be like a good UI: invisible unless something goes very wrong.

I'd like to nominate myself as a moderator.

I've put in significant time and effort over the last few years to this site, answering more questions than anyone else that I'm aware of, and asking questions that I believed would bring out interesting UX arguments.

However, simply having a high reputation and asking questions only shows a commitment and interest in the community and topic, and doesn't necessarily make someone a good moderator candidate.

I believe that I would make a good moderator for the following main reasons:

  • I'm fair and impartial. I don't take sides in a discussion or disagreement, and give my judgement based on the facts - even if they conflict with my own personal opinion.
  • I follow the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. In the context of UX.se that means that my overriding question is whether or not an action will make the community a better resource for UX or not.
  • I'm typically at my computer for 12+ hours a day, so I would give good time coverage.
  • You have good judgement, John, and I believe you would make a great moderator! Welcome to our growing team of candidates. – Benny Skogberg Jan 18 '15 at 16:51
  • Thanks for the vote of confidence Benny. If I get in I'm fairly sure it will be as the second candidate behind you :) – JohnGB Jan 18 '15 at 22:11

I've decided to throw my hat in the ring too.

I've been a pro-tem moderator here during the public beta up until the site graduated, and personally I think I did a decent job :).

I've withdrawn my candidacy from the post-graduation elections because I was starting a new job at the time and I didn't believe I'd have the time. Then I realized that I do have the time and that I really missed being an integral part of this site. My participation had dwindled and I think that being a moderator again would be a good "hook" that will draw me back and make me reacquaint myself with it.

I have a Master's degree in Cognitive Psychology, I've worked as a UX expert for a number of leading local agencies for a few years before I went in-house to work on enterprise software.

I believe that my vision for the site is the same as the general vision behind the SE network - to make sure that when you google a UX question, the first result will be a question on this site, with a clear, high quality answer. We're already halfway there.

I'm conveniently located in the Middle East, which is 6-12 hours earlier than the US - this should help to provide a good moderation coverage around the clock.

Hello! I would like to step forward as a candidate for one of the open moderator positions for this Stack Exchange site.

I have been an active member in good standing for a little over two years, and I have found this community to be a valuable resource.

As I mod I would primarily focus on healthy community growth. I seek to foster an inclusive culture that integrates new voices into the community.

The new user's experience can sometimes be harsh with down-votes and votes to close slamming the door in the face of a well-intentioned new user who runs afoul of community norms.

A moderator can soften that experience by counter-balancing that negative input with constructive feedback that encourages the user to try again.

In cases where a firm line needs to be drawn, I would not hesitate to do so--especially in cases where a user expresses gross insensitivity or hostility to others based on gender, religion, culture, etc. No group should feel that this community is a hostile or unsafe place.

I would also seek to foster a strong partnership with the veteran mods and work to integrate into their team quickly and respectfully.

Thank you for your consideration!

  • Hey, glad you're running! I totally understand what you are saying about the new user experience and agree 100%. It's a harsh world out there even for veterans at times. That said, I noticed you have ~3k upvotes and only 6 downvotes. With all due respect, when you compare that to @JonW, a mod, who has ~3k upvotes and ~1k downvotes, it seems you are afraid to let people know their questions/answers aren't helpful. This may or may not be due to losing rep for downvoting, which only you know that, but how would you respond to all that? – Code Maverick Jan 16 '15 at 20:35
  • @CodeMaverick thanks for the comment-it's an important point. I take great pride in only having 6 downvotes, because I view a downvote as an absolute last resort. There are MANY better tools at hand. The best is to engage with the user. Usually the conversation is productive and the user learns norms. Next, you can flag questions or comments for moderator attention (which I do, with a 98/102 helpful rate). Lastly, you can downvote. I feel that a downvote is an admission that there is a problem that you are either unwilling or unable to constructively address. From that POV my 6 votes is great! – Charles Wesley Jan 16 '15 at 21:17

UX.SE covers a range of how people and tech can best work together. Although we use the moniker of UX I feel the site is appropriate for many similar fields. I would enjoy the opportunity to help community members see this site as a place to ask questions across those fields which fall directly in, or are so closely aligned with, UX.

Keeping the questions on this site tidy is important, but I also feel that making sure people understand why something is not appropriate for this SE, or a Q&A site, is important too. Through community-review I've felt certain questions/answers where out of scope, and felt some closures were in scope, learning from others when they disagree and what the community at large sees as good questions. It is how the community works!

Advice can sometimes be contentious. Some see UX as a little more opinion based than it is and comments can be viewed more harshly than intended. Opinions are important; so is stepping in when someone feels wronged or when that person is wronging someone else.

By acting as a moderator I hope to help maintain the professional state that we have at UX.SE, while broadening understanding of UX.SE's place within the SE umbrella.

Cheers! My name is Zoe, I'm a Senior UX designer / Data Visualisation design expert with a background in Psychology.

I like UX Stack Exchange for the friendly atmosphere, but there always is a place for improvement or for an effort to maintain the status quo. I am good at keeping discussions constructive and positively neutral and thus I can contribute to this community's social health. Fun fact: I've joined just recently and gained my first 1000 points in three weeks.

Together, we can keep this place helpful and friendly and help the global community of UX designers excel and grow.

Vote for me and I will do my best to help the community thrive!

  • Hi Zoe. Seeing that you're quite new to this community I'm interested to hear a bit more. You say that you're "good at keeping discussions constructive and positively neutral", is this a quality you've assigned yourself or do you have any actual experience from moderating other communities with good results that you can mention? – AndroidHustle Jan 13 '15 at 13:47
  • Hi AndroidHustle. This is an actual skill gained by leading development teams, and moderating workshops and a few thematic communities at Livejournal. I am also familiar with the moderation of psychological help communities (that tend to function almost like conventional communities but have higher requirements for constructiveness, safety and information security for users). – Zoe K Jan 13 '15 at 13:56
  • OK, interesting, thanks! – AndroidHustle Jan 13 '15 at 14:26

I'd like to nominate myself as your next moderator. I've been here for almost four years and have had met so many new ideas I couldn't even dream of in the beginning. This community is one of the most precious ones with superb score compared to other communities with over 99 percent answering score. That is truly amazing.

My task, if you would elect me, would be to extend my moderation skills from the pure technical one I now hold at SharePoint.SE. UX is in my mind more delicate to moderate since it's more blur on the edges what is on topic and what isn't.

Professionally I hold a Bachlor Degree in Informtion Architecture from Malmö University I received in 2010, which I have extended to my SharePoint Architecture role. Trust me when I say SharePoint really need to improve on its out of the box User Experience. ;-)

See you around!

  • What have been the most challenging issues you've come up against as a mod at SharePoint? – fredley Jan 13 '15 at 8:42
  • @fredley The most challenging effort was last month when I received a heads up on from a colleague at SO who informed me of a user who was sock puppeting on SO, and wanted me to check it out on SP. It turned out that this was actually the case, so I needed to destroy both sock puppets and suspend the user for a week. That's a tough call to take, but this case was so obvious it couldn't be left without action. However, the user took it very well and is now back on track! – Benny Skogberg Jan 13 '15 at 8:47

Howdy from Texas!

I recently took the leap and switched jobs from UI developer to UX designer. Yee-Haw!

I'm so glad I found this awesome community to help me as I make the transition. I want to give back.

With a developer background I can enhance screen shots by providing links to working prototypes:

Thanks for looking and I will continue to give UX Exchange my all regardless of the election outcome.


  • I am a non UX guy, and my issue is that this website is just too strict. Considering that UX is not a skill set that is obvious, every question someone is trying to teach me the difference between UX and Usability. Frankly, I dont care, but I have done enough research to ask a question and have the right question. Will you be strict on this website and disallow people from learning just like you did, or do you understand the need to be easy. Remember that SO is not as strict (basically because of the volume of questions is higher compared to number of moderators). – Siddharth Jan 13 '15 at 5:30
  • I'm still learning along with everyone else and if there is any way to edit a question to be specific to UX then I will look for that first. Any questions that are strictly related to implementation/code (i.e. Why doesn't this work in Fire Fox?) will be flagged. – DaveAlger Jan 13 '15 at 5:45
  • ux.stackexchange.com/questions/28633/choosing-a-font-for-text was a good question. I was trying to find a place to compare fonts for a particular text. I did not know about google fonts. What is your opinion on this ? – Siddharth Jan 13 '15 at 7:14
  • @Siddharth That was not a good question. It's asking for recommendations for websites. That isn't a UX issue, and it was closed accordingly. If this site let in all sorts of questions it'd descend into being Yahoo Answers / Quora, not the professional UX Q&A repository that it currently is. Moderators would hold this responsibility - is that the direction they want the site to go? – JonW Jan 13 '15 at 9:25

User experience is a great area, I would simply just enjoy to be a bigger part of a site which supports something I love.

I have lower reputation that most people for this, but that does not make me any less capable at moderation than anyone else. My flagging history is also low in comparison because of lesser time spent being a member than others. I still endeavour to read through the site at any spare moments in my day and flag appropriately.

I actively participate in review tasks and pop into the site every few hours when taking a break from my work.

I have the right attitude to be a moderator, I am passionate about the subject and I love this site. I am patient, fair and committed. This would help me to be an even bigger part of this community.

  • Being addicted to the site is one thing, but what about you would make you a better pick for moderator than the other candidates, almost all of whom have more reputation and flagging history? – fredley Jan 13 '15 at 8:39
  • For info: Flag count shown in election nominations don't take into account Close flags, as those are now added to the review queue not to the moderator queue. – JonW Jan 16 '15 at 10:23

I would enjoy the chance to serve this community as a moderator.

I have posted several highly-ranked questions, which hopefully demonstrate my attention to our art, and I read the Meta site. I think of myself as having a passion for fair dialogue that respects all levels of the participant / audience. I have a Librarian streak, and consider classification and community ontology / folksonomy to be important in reinforcing a coherent experience. I would take my stewardship responsibilities seriously.

I have been a member of many SE sites for several years, which has given me the chance to observe the moderation behavior differences between them. I have launched beta sites, and I have a very involved review record since gaining those privileges on SE.

If worthwhile to anyone, I also have a BFA and MFA in HCI programmes,and I maintain a diet of the recent journal posting in the field.

  • You've only cast one flag - are you sure you have enough experience to start handling them? – Undo Jan 13 '15 at 19:47
  • I can appreciate the question — if you look at my flag queue on StackOverflow, you'll see it's quite healthy. I understand that's not UX activity, but it is representative of the capacity and attention to detail that I bring. – New Alexandria Jan 13 '15 at 20:51

My name is Code Maverick and I am throwing my hat in the ring!

Now that we are in the primary phase, here are my answers to your questions ...

My Background

I am a Sr. Software Engineer with UX at the heart. Once I found this site I was hooked, as, all I want to do is make the web a better experience for everyone: visually, functionally, for ALL people, on ALL devices.

I solve problems on a daily basis and make tough, unbiased decisions, often putting me on an island; not unlike moderating does. If chosen, I will bring to the table a different point-of-view be the best moderator I can be.

Your Concerns

Rep and flag history: Low? Somewhat, as a major medical issue took about 75% of 2014 away. That said, in my first few months, @JonW told me that I was repping up faster than anyone he'd seen. That will change this year and beyond.

My Promise To You

Because, what would a campaign be without a promise?

I promise keep this site PRISTINE so it is THE site that sets the example for all sites to follow!

  • Now I'm curious: How do you define "better than"? – Jon Ericson Jan 12 '15 at 23:40
  • Ditto @JonEricson's question. How will you concretely improve UX.SE? – Joshua Barron Jan 12 '15 at 23:43
  • @JonEricson - I was hoping someone would ask that! Thanks. With respect to content and moderation, SO needs a lot of help. The close vote queue never seems to go down. So in that respect, my promise is geared to not letting that happen here. But, at the same time, I want to promote UX to developers on SO or at work, conferences, pubs, etc., so that popularity rises and UX can be to SO like Ying is to Yang, and not because they are simply opposites, but that they are opposites that compliment and need each other. – Code Maverick Jan 12 '15 at 23:45
  • @JoshuaBarron More so, I feel that on SO, there are TONS of duplicates (marked as such and not) that get credit via rep when the original poster and answerer may not have. I would be on special lookout to keep our site clean. – Code Maverick Jan 12 '15 at 23:54
  • @CodeMaverick: Ok. But be aware that the close queue size has very little to do with deficiency in moderation and quite a bit to do with SO's several thousand questions a day. All of UX.SE 15k questions is the work of 2 or 3 days on SO. – Jon Ericson Jan 12 '15 at 23:58
  • @JonEricson - Oh yes, I totally understand. I was just using it as a way to say that if we, as moderators, take it upon ourselves to diligently search through questions before they get to the close queue, we can hope to avoid the climb. And since, we don't get near as many as SO, that should be something a moderator should do; JonW does this a lot from what I've witnessed over the year I've been here. – Code Maverick Jan 13 '15 at 0:06
  • Just curious: what is your "point of view?" From me SE moderating experience I've found moderators aren't meant to be different, they're meant to bring the community together. If you're dramatically different, people won't respect you. You have to be a person who's trusted. Of course there are some hard decisions that you'll have to make and you can't make everyone happy. That doesn't mean that you can do your own thing, either. Can you explain your POV a bit more? – Anonymous Penguin Jan 19 '15 at 20:21
  • @AnnonomusPenguin - Sure, I don't just go with the flow and accept something just because someone said it, no matter who they are; I think outside-of-the-box. It'd be the same with moderating. I wouldn't just go with the trends. I would stop, read, think, and decide what I could do thinking in my own way. – Code Maverick Jan 23 '15 at 19:54
  • @AnnonomusPenguin - Jacob Barnett, mathematician and child prodigy began college at 8. He is now 16 and an astrophysicist. He had a TEDx talk, "Forget What You Know" 4 years ago, where he says essentially the same thing, "In order to succeed, you must look at everything with your unique perspective and not settle for accepting the straight facts." Basically he ends with, "Stop learning! Start thinking!" – Code Maverick Jan 23 '15 at 19:56

Although my rep isn't the highest, I do believe I have a genuine interest in both UX and this community. While it is often difficult to tell how someone will behave when entrusted with higher privileges, I am capable of using those privileges to further the site, increasing understanding between users and cooperation to facilitate the processes on the site.

I have not been very active here lately, that I admit. However, this has mainly been down to family circumstance - I have not been able to do complete research into questions here to answer them fully and so I have preferred to let the community answer. If made moderator, however, I would now be able to devote far more attention to the site and make it better as a result.

As the Theory says, moderators are human exception handlers. I tend to follow the approach of many other moderators here on the StackExchange network; until something requires intervention, a moderator should be as an active community member, and when an issue arrives it should be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

I am very passionate about novel applications of Human Computer Interaction in regards to altering User Experience. I do a great deal of reading in the area and while I may not post often here I still read on average 30% of the posts here meaning I am often.

One area that I am most passionate about is crowd sourcing and online communities that originated from my studies in graduate school. My undergrad university also sponsored sort of an idea stock market which I analyzed the negative aspects of the gammification in deteriorating the user experience and value of it. (In short because the people sponsoring each idea could only sell after 30 days, one could maximize their wealth by buying any stock/idea that just hit the market and then dumping it), then you could manipulate the market to promote your own ideas and give them unfair exposure.

I see Stack exchange as an ever evolving online community which many copy to reap the benefits of positive collaboration. I would definitely enjoy to help maintain and better this community by dedicating some time to moderate UX exchange (and it would be an incentive to post more often).

I would make an excellent moderator. I have been moderating things for a long time. I once was in-charge of moderating a moderator. I am a believer of the motto "A good moderator moderates in moderation".

  • Very interesting. – Aaron Hall Jan 12 '15 at 21:51
  • Count me moderately enthused. – Dirk v B Jan 12 '15 at 22:12
  • Did you use the moderating moderator mod or 8 I wrote to moderate the moderators? – DaveAlger Jan 13 '15 at 3:41
  • @DaveAlger, I found the moderating moderator mod 8 your wrote to be of moderate use. The moderating moderator mod definitely could have been a more modular mod though. – Mark Jan 13 '15 at 14:12

This election is complete.