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Ok so I am a new user on Stack Overflow and I want to ask my first Question (yay).

Step 1 (one):

ok So I click on Ask Question:

ask it

Step 2 (two):

Read Read Read Now I have a whole megillah to read:

reading... Now I click proceed to get to the next step! Finally asking my question! :-)

Step 3 (three):

I am stopped dead in my tracks and am asked to log in: log me in!

Why was that second step necessary?
Should that not be asked to log in before I have to read that whole thing?

This could deter a new user or two.

I suggest only showing the "How to Ask" page if a user is already logged in and tries to ask a new question, not beforehand.

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2  
The cake is a lie! –  animuson Feb 29 '12 at 20:20
    
So you're actually advocating that less people read the instructions on how to ask than they do now? –  Robert Harvey Feb 29 '12 at 20:23
    
@RobertHarvey See my comment here: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/124008/… –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 29 '12 at 20:24
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@RobertHarvey - I thought there was no requirement to register/login in order to ask questions. When did that change? –  Oded Feb 29 '12 at 20:24
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@Oded a little while back. looking for reference now.... –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 29 '12 at 20:25
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This could deter a new user or two. -- Mission accomplished. If you can't get through one page of text, you probably won't be capable of asking a decent question. –  Robert Harvey Feb 29 '12 at 20:25
    
@Oded I cannot find the reference at the moment. –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 29 '12 at 20:27
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+1 for the Yiddish. Do you suggest swapping step 2 and step 3? –  Jon Ericson Feb 29 '12 at 20:32
    
@JonEricson hehe thats not yiddish, its hebrew :-P. I guess, basically that is what I mean. –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 29 '12 at 20:32
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@Oded: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/107152 –  Robert Harvey Feb 29 '12 at 20:33
    
@RobertHarvey ahhh there you go ^_^ –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 29 '12 at 20:34
    
Oh. In the definition, I saw: "Origin: 1950–55; < Yiddish megile literally, scroll < Hebrew məgillāh". Still, I like picking up interesting new words. ;-) –  Jon Ericson Feb 29 '12 at 20:34
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@Robert: Users don't read anything. I'm pretty sure the average person confronted with that page will treat it like any other legalese form required to do anything on so many sites these days. It looks vaguely like an EULA that we've all been trained to ignore. –  Jon Ericson Feb 29 '12 at 20:41
    
@JonEricson: I thought a məgillāh was a type of gorilla. –  Won't Feb 29 '12 at 21:00
    
@Won't haha oy.... (like my numbers? ^_^) –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 29 '12 at 21:00
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think you are making your case exactly backwards: step #2 deters almost nobody. Here's why:

The plain fact is users will not read anything you put on the screen.

If I'd been confronted with the megillah (it's going to go into my vocabulary now!), I'd skip all the nonsense about "How to Ask" (no offense to whoever wrote it) and find that sweet, sweet checkbox so that I could get on with asking my question.

The 0.0001% of new users who do take the time to read the text are also the folks who will follow all the rules (and then some) spelled out in the megillah anyway.

By the way, a checkbox just screams EULA to anyone who has used the internet lately.

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11  
The checkbox should probably be buried in the middle. Or maybe hide it, and put a "Click this link to show the Accept checkbox so that you may escape from this megillah" right in the bottom 3/4ths. That way, when people come to Meta asking "How do I get past the How to Ask screen" we can maliciously close it as a dupe and laugh at them in the comments. –  Won't Feb 29 '12 at 21:26
    
@Won't You are truly an evil genius ahead of your time. –  Josh Caswell Mar 1 '12 at 1:21
    
That's really evil ;) –  proGamer Mar 2 '12 at 6:09
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It sure seems like you could simplify that a and still leave the wall of text there.

Just change the proceed » link to something like proceed to login » (Logins are required) or something like that. Only allow users to click the link after the checkbox is selected. Having an additional page doesn't really seem to add anything useful.

logins are required

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