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I think a link to help should be added to the site headers on all of the Stack Exchange sites. This would make it easier to find, and could prevent a lot of users from asking questions that are covered there.

The relevant part of the current header looks somewhat like this:

▼ username 128 ●5    chat    meta    about    faq

I think this would be better:

▼ username 128 ●5    chat    meta    help    about    faq

This would make it much easier to find, particularly for new users. It would also prevent dozens of similar questions about topics that are covered in help from being asked here on meta.

Edit: Tim Post has indicated that moderators and very high-rep users have additional items in the header, so there would not be room for an additional link. However, they are less likely to need it, and if they do they will probably know where it is.

However, most users do not see the other stuff, so I think it should be added for users who have enough room for it, since they would be more likely to need it. Users with less reputation are also much more likely to post a question that only results in moderators and high-rep users answering with links to the help page.

Therefore, I think it would be a good idea to add it for all users who have enough space in their headers.

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There is a help? That would be useful... – Austin Henley Dec 21 '12 at 1:48
I don't like the idea of having so many help links in the header. There's already the FAQ link up there, and an about link for low-rep users. The header shouldn't be that cluttered. I am surprised, though, that it's not linked in the "What if I need more help?" section of the FAQ. – animuson Dec 21 '12 at 2:02
It's not a bad idea, but that's rather prime real estate that's already close to full. Something else would probably have to come out in order for that to go in. – Tim Post Dec 21 '12 at 2:35
@TinyTimPost It looks to me like it is mostly empty. Are you seeing something up there that I can't? Maybe it should only be there if there is room for it. – ctype.h Dec 21 '12 at 2:39
@ctype.h Users with higher reputation counts see additional things in the header, such as counts of things to review. Moderators see a flag count. Users with lots of reputation and badges are also a bit 'wider'. A suggestion might be, amend your proposal so only relatively new users who don't see those things see the link. It would make sense, as they need it more than more experienced users. – Tim Post Dec 21 '12 at 2:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm definitely in agreement with this as revised. Since we have gone to all of the trouble of creating that text, we might as well make it more prominent for those that could benefit from reading it.

After reaching the neighborhood of ~100 reputation points, the link can come out. I don't know if it's going to make a large impact, but I don't see any reason not to do this. We do quite a bit to help people get up to speed with how Stack Exchange works as quickly as possible. Adding one more thing into that mix (especially since, you know, it already exists) seems to make sense in this case.

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