There have been a few questions where users with little to no training are requesting instructions on how to design some object.
Some examples (both happen to be structural):
- Asking for a "set of equations" to design a solar dish loaded by wind
- How to design a custom structure "for example a ladder"
Questions like these are probably to be expected, and although they do present a problem, it should first be recognized that:
- This is a good problem to have since it means people are finding the site, and
- It is understandable that people with no knowledge of the nuances of engineering design will underestimate the complexity required to design even something as simple as, e.g., "for example a ladder" (sigh), much less a wind-loaded, parabolic solar dish.
I can't think of a rigorous definition for "naive design question;" like Justice Potter Stewart's obscenity test, "I know it when I see it." But it would be helpful to come up with one. I think "poorly researched" would be a primary characteristic.
I think we as a community need to think hard about how to handle NDQs, and what, specifically, we can do to make people feel like they can come here and "get some answers", while at the same time being honest with them that "Um, this is a lot more complicated than you seem to believe, and might be beyond your ability at the present time."