I've been using Stack Overflow for a couple of weeks, and it is an amazing resource and community. A couple of things have been bugging me, however, and I wanted to share them from the perspective of a new user.
- the Community Wiki concept is utterly baffling at first - not because the concept is difficult, but because it receives very little support from the interface:
- What IS the community wiki?
- What posts should go in there?
- How do I know if a post is community wiki? (yes, I know it's labeled as such, but it's really not visually distinct unless you're looking for it).
- Is it an important aspect of Stack Overflow?
- If it is, why is it so downplayed by the interface and the FAQ (barely mentioned in passing)?
- If it isn't an important aspect, why is it there in the first place, and why do so many posts complain "this should be community wiki"?
- And, last but not least - if it's a WIKI, how do I search/browse it?
- "my tags" unanswered questions - why can they only be sorted by votes, not by date? For the longest time, I thought I was simply missing an interface feature somewhere. I've seen this question, but my experience so far doesn't match with the reasoning given. Only something like 10% of the new questions have one of my tags, and I have yet to answer a question outside my tags. I get tired of sifting through all the unrelated questions on the "newest" page, so I don't do it very often. On the other hand, "my tags" doesn't show the newest questions, so I miss them. Unless there's been some significant testing done to show otherwise, I think this is the biggest flaw in Stack Overflow.
Edit: a couple of things I forgot to mention. These tripped me up a bit at first, but I mostly got used to them by now.
- The difference between the home page and the questions page. They're... different, but it's not immediately obvious how.
- The difference between the "Recent activity" page (click on the mail icon) and the user page (click on my username). The difference is a bit more obvious, but getting to the "Recent activity" page isn't that obvious unless the mail icon is colored in. (my first instinct was that the mail icon and the username, being so close together, would both go to the same place).