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I was confused initially about what the pins mean next to a topic in the new help center. Apparently "those articles are "featured" articles; they are meant to draw attention to the most important site policies or most frequently encountered issues."

If the pin is used to denote an important topic, it should at least be noted as such. Also a pin generally means to me that this is something that I personally selected.

Could their meaning be clarified somehow?

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I think people who have spent time on traditional forums expect a pin icon to mean that a post is "sticky", or always at the top, which is what these pinned items are. However, we also added a sentence in the hero image on the help center landing page that instructs users to begin by reading the pinned articles first. This should make it pretty clear that the pinned articles are the most important.

We could probably do better, and I'm going to keep an eye out to see if this still causes confusion and needs to be revisited.

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"hero image on the help center landing page" - what's that exactly, if I might ask? :) – Shadow Wizard Jul 5 '13 at 23:11
@ShaWizDowArd on /help, the big banner thing with the "take the tour" button. – Laura Jul 7 '13 at 2:58
Yep can see that now. Thanks! – Shadow Wizard Jul 7 '13 at 6:37
I expect that a “sticky post” is permanent, as opposed to other posts which go away with time, displaced by newer content. In the help center, where every page is permanent, it seems out of place. Sticky says “the rest is ephemeral”, not “this is more important”. Switch to bold, or stars. – Gilles Dec 28 '13 at 0:04

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