I came across the question:

Single-page personal portfolio website

It has an answer, that doesn't review the code at all. It only comments:

[…] I can tell you there is not many things you can really cut in order to make the code more tidy without resorting to frameworks. Inevitably as this is a static website you will have duplication especially if you want to have those auto-prefixes.

The rest of the answer looks biased to me. It gives tips regarding the design/look and in the broadest sense about the UX of the website. But it doesn't address the actual code at all.

As the answer has some upvotes already, my question is:
Is an answer not discussing the code at all on-topic?

I've read "Can you have an answer without any code in the question?", but it seems like a different problem. Unfortunately I don't have enough reputation to see the actual discussed question.

My intention is not to have any sort of meta-effect on the question or answer.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure why this question is receiving downvotes, seems a perfectly legit question to me. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2017 at 15:57

2 Answers 2


An answer is not really on-topic, or off-topic, as such, and you can't "close" an answer. You can flag it to be low quality, or "Not an Answer", but the only option in the review queue for those is for the reviewer to vote to delete the answer. While I don't think the answer you referenced is a comprehensive Code Review answer, it does review a significant portion of the OP's concerns - he directly says he's reviewed the code, and there's not much that can be changed to improve it.

The rest of the answer is a review of the website, not the code, I agree, but it's valuable, not trash, so deleting that post is not, in my opinion, an option. The post is, in fact, an answer, and it's not spam, or nonsense.

So, deleting it is not appropriate.

So, what is appropriate, then? Well, the normal "Vote" option is there - you can downvote the answer if you feel it removes value from Code Review, or you can add a comment asking for more detail, or you can submit your own answer that addresses the issues you feel were not covered.


What goes into an answer

Every answer must make at least one insightful observation about the code in the question.
- Help Center > Answering

Improving the design is an insightful observation. The design is the output of the code, and so suggesting changes to the design is indirectly suggesting changes about the code. In other words, should the answer discredited for using:

Try to use a lighter blue color in the background or use a flat color scheme from adobe kuler.

Rather than:

Your background colour:

background: #2284c6;
background: -webkit-linear-gradient(left, rgba(34, 132, 198, 1) 0%, rgba(130, 67, 193, 1) 100%);
background: linear-gradient(to right, rgba(34, 132, 198, 1) 0%, rgba(130, 67, 193, 1) 100%)

looks bad, you should probably use something like:

background: #0000aa;

Sure, they can specifically mention the code, or they can indirectly mention it, and make the answer easier to read.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ First of all I like to say, that hate is a very strong word. My question is about whether something is on-tpoic and not about liking a given answer. That being said, I agree with you saying, that you don't have write code to make a point about the question. You also say "Improving the design is an insightful observation.". I'm not sure whether I agree here. This seems highly opinion based, especially something like a color or the choice of a design type. Don't you think? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2017 at 17:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it's about the wording and how the solution is presented. And maybe something like this could improve an answer: "It's better to increase the contrast of your GUI elements and to remove colorful gradients. You can read more about this UX topic here …". \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2017 at 17:47
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @insertusernamehere Sorry, 'hate on' is slang, and in my experience is nowhere near as strong as hate. Regardless I'll try to amend it to something more constructive, :) IMO you could say all Code Review answers are opinion based, that's why we should not only say that we think x is poor, but also why. I think your second comment would make every answer a better answer, linking to external sources that is, but if a point is a good UX point then it's a good CR point too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Feb 27, 2017 at 18:18

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