What if I want to ask a question for which I haven't got any idea what to try but want simple solution?

What if I want to ask a question for other gender's general problems which I can not try? (She doesn't have internet access)

  • 3
    Can she talk to you? Can you ask her questions, help to narrow down the scenario in which she is struggling for a solution? If so, you have all you need; if not, it is unlikely you will be able to help her, with or without our assistance.
    – Shog9
    Dec 30, 2014 at 1:23
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    Just said like an example. I know there are many hacks with male and female dressings(to look disciplined & formal) and feminine problems, But I cannot fill the solution tried area for these, but like to start a thread for spreading a knowledgeable hack for public and to get more answers from public. I believe lifehacks.SE will be like a hack repository in future and people should find answer for all their need. Dec 30, 2014 at 4:28

2 Answers 2


I wasn't gonna answer this, but Sterno's answer is fixated on closing... which I think is sorta like answering a question about dietary health with a reference to the still-not-dead guy who eats nothing but Big Macs. Yeah, ok, leaving out details might not kill your question, but that doesn't make it an awesome idea if you actually care about solving your problem...

...And that's where you need to focus: on solving a real problem. Doesn't necessarily need to be your problem, but it damn well better be a problem you understand as well as if it was your own. Hypothetical problems and problems for which you can't actually test any of the proposed solutions are notoriously problematic, so much so that the help center explicitly states,

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

Since you used the example of asking a question for a member of the opposite sex, let me use this question an example of what not to do:

  • Neglect to mention that you're asking for someone else, sparking questions that you can't easily answer.
  • Skim over the details of what you're actually trying to accomplish, leaving folks to make their own (perhaps comically inaccurate) assumptions.
  • Don't mention any of the research you've done, leading to folks wasting their time with suggestions you've already tried or which aren't practical for your scenario.
  • Mention what you've tried, but don't explain why or how it didn't work for you.

Note that not mentioning what was tried isn't among the errors there! This is why "what have you tried" makes for a lousy criteria - without knowing why the things you've tried didn't work, there's little value to this information; for all we know, you just did it wrong and we should explain how to do it right.

Asking a good question involves communicating well enough to put potential answerers in a position similar to your own, one in which they can then use their own experience to find an answer. Don't assume that there's a vast library of applicable solutions floating around which you'll be able to cherry-pick for your specific scenario, and by the same token don't assume that you can throw up someone else's problem without knowing anything about it, and be able to accurately identify a workable solution on their behalf.

  • Love this. Note Shog's point that the help center is overstating it. You can totally ask questions that confront actual problems that you know people do face. That's usually you, right now. But it can be you in the past. Or your cousin now. Etc. What it shouldn't be is what you'd guess someone else might face. We may want to tweak that language.
    – Jaydles
    Dec 30, 2014 at 18:38
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    @shog9 My answer was fixated on closing because it was the policy for a while here to close any question that didn't mention, in some form, what was tried. He also used the word "require", which to me says "the question will be closed without this required criteria". But I fully agree, and my answer tried to touch on, that the more detail you can give the better, and you should expect at the very least some serious down-votes if you're just making up problems.
    – Sterno
    Dec 30, 2014 at 20:38
  • I think the language is fine, as it is directed at those asking questions, @Jaydles - whether or not you're currently facing the problem you describe, writing it from that perspective is helpful both to those answering and those who might benefit from it in the future.
    – Shog9
    Jan 2, 2015 at 19:40

Simply put, no. The meta consensus has been that closing for that reason is not workable. I say consensus because at this point there have been two "no" answers, one poorly voted "maybe" answer, and no "yes" answers.

It has been discussed at some length here.

Are people still closing for this reason? If so, it would be great if one of them could present a counter-argument so the community could better reflect the decision in meta voting.

That said, asking questions "for someone else" isn't exactly prohibited, but can often lead to poor quality questions (which will be down-voted) or possibly even closed as unclear what you're asking if you don't describe the problem well enough.

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