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With the new addition of the help center, the FAQ is now a part of the help center and the link up top has even been replaced with "help" instead of "faq".

Now the [faq] magic link still reads "faq", but it leads to the help center. I think this can lead to confusion when you click on a link that reads "faq" and come to a page that is titled "help center" (though similar concepts, people may think they clicked the wrong thing or it is broken).

There are a few options:

  1. keep the [faq] magic link, but have it read "help" and lead to the help center.
  2. keep the [faq] magic link, create a [help] magic link, and have both read "help" and lead to the help center
  3. keep the [faq] magic link that leads to the faq, and create a [help] magic link that leads to the help center
  4. destroy the [faq] magic link and replace it with the [help] magic link.

Which option seems to be the best? And can we implement that?

EDIT Discussion about the help center itself can go here.

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Example: faq help center –  TronicZomB Jun 5 '13 at 14:01
    
Also, why when I click the "faq" link I can not go back using the back button? Anyone else have that problem? –  TronicZomB Jun 5 '13 at 14:02
    
Let's see... faq –  Shadow Wizard Jun 5 '13 at 14:11
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Nope, going back works for me. There's a redirection going on, but that does not stop FF from letting me go back. –  Time Traveling Bobby Jun 5 '13 at 14:12
    
Ok maybe just something funny with my computer. –  TronicZomB Jun 5 '13 at 14:12
    
@M.NightDemonbobby Oh ok, on IE 10 that redirection seems to keep me on the help center page. –  TronicZomB Jun 5 '13 at 14:12
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Well, the faq page stackoverflow.com/faq still exists and using client side redirection that's probably the reason you can't go back. –  Shadow Wizard Jun 5 '13 at 14:13
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I'm sure they thought about it : help center –  ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd Jun 5 '13 at 14:36
    
@ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd I guess they haven't yet... –  TronicZomB Jun 5 '13 at 14:39
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@TronicZomB Ouch. –  ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd Jun 5 '13 at 14:39
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@TronicZomB it's still new, give them some time. Also, it was already requested in a comment :) –  Shadow Wizard Jun 5 '13 at 14:40
    
@ShaWizDowArd Yea I figured they just haven't got around to it yet being so new. And I did not see that, nice catch. –  TronicZomB Jun 5 '13 at 14:41
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Slapped a status-planned on there to let you know we haven't forgotten about this. The old magic links redirect, and [help] works for pointing to the help center landing page, but we're going to add a couple more for heavily-referenced articles. –  Laura Jul 5 '13 at 19:16

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The old [faq] magic links are redirected to their new corresponding help pages. In addition, we've implemented the following magic links:

  • [help] -> /help (the help center landing page for whatever site you're on)
  • [help/on-topic] links to "What topics can I ask about here?" (/help/on-topic)
  • [help/dont-ask] links to "What types of questions should I avoid asking?" (/help/dont-ask)
  • [meta-help] links to "What is meta?" (/help/whats-meta)
  • [help/behavior] links to "What kind of behavior is expected of users?" (/help/behavior)

The link text displayed for all of these is "help center".

This should cover the most commonly referenced pages - since we have a large number of articles, and will likely add more as time goes on, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for us to create a magic link for each and every article.

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The only issue I have with this is that the help center is now a clearing house for all things FAQ. Rather than linking to the whole thing and making people look for the article that applies, I'd prefer if people link to the more specific articles.

Example:

Your question is a bit subjective, and is likely to be closed. See http://stackoverflow.com/helpcenter/dont-ask to find out more.

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That is a really good point. –  TronicZomB Jun 5 '13 at 15:26
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Even better, then, would be to also provide magic for links of the form [help:dont-ask]. –  Isaac Moses Jun 5 '13 at 16:08
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I'd be OK with that. –  Robert Harvey Jun 5 '13 at 16:09
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People should use more-specific links where applicable, and are more likely to do so if it's easy as Isaac suggested, but I suspect there will still be call for the general link. –  Monica Cellio Jun 5 '13 at 16:24

Unless a script is going to scrub the source (all posts, all comments) across the network, the "[faq]" link needs to continue to do something useful. We don't want to break existing links. In the absence of a more-specific link, that should point to the Help Center and show the text "help" instead of "faq" (option #2 or #4 in the question).

While people will get used to tying "[help]" instead of "[faq]" when composing comments, they probably won't get it on day 1. So continuing to support "[faq]" would be friendlier than just killing it. That is, I'm voting for option #2.

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Since [faq] supported anchor text to get to a specific portion of the FAQ hierarchy, we could use the same concept to anchor parts of [help]:

  • [help], [help#anchor] instead of [faq], [faq#anchor]

And we'd just have to come up with a set of anchors that worked and edit the main answer on Magic Links to explain how the system handles the new and the old (or doesn't handle them).

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