I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this or discuss this.
When I'm looking for help, sometimes I want advice, either in the form of a solution or in the form of a strategic suggestion, even one that approximates a solution. It can be helpful to approach the problem in a different way, or to have someone help me uncover the root of the issue.
Sometimes, due to outside forces, I cannot accept approximations or new ways to tackle the problem. The root issue is not at hand in these circumstances. In my work, this happens all the time with customer requests. If my customer wants it painted green with a red teddy bear holding a pink balloon on the side, any advice on picking better color schemes or using more professional themes is irrelevant.
In an effort to cut to the chase on questions requiring direct answers, and also to signify that advice is welcome on advice type questions, I'm wondering if there is a standard phrase, tag, or acronym that could be mentioned at the top of these questions. Perhaps it's something you type in the first line of the text box, before you ask your question.
The only other way to do this is to completely explain your position every time you ask a question, else you may face the wrath of people who are quick to offer solutions that do not fit the bill. Many times, these people are also quick to tell you you're doing it wrong. It can be a waste of time for both parties.
This would also be helpful to me as a responder. If I see that the OP is asking for a response that answers the original question and I am unable to do so, I don't have to waste my time coming up with alternate solutions. Not only that, I won't have any basis for disappointment when I don't receive any points for my thoughtful, well-reasoned answer.
Similarly, if the OP is asking for advice (or any kind of answer), they can signal that and I might be more likely to jump in and participate.
As I'm imagining it, this type of phrase, tag, or acronym could save so much time. Perhaps, though, this is too much wishful thinking.
Perhaps, in a future version of the software, it's just a checkbox.
[ ] I only want direct answers.
Unchecked means you're open to all types of responses. Checking it displays some kind of visual indicator. Not a warning. Just a nice friendly visual. It's not meant to be a "Experts Only; Go Away!" type of thing. Just a suggestion to indicate the type of response the OP is looking for.
Does that make sense? Is this already being done and I'm missing it?