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I think this would go a long way towards encouraging question acceptance, especially if it were the default sorting method.

Take this user, for instance. He has (at the time of writing) a 54% acceptance rate - 73 out of 135 of his questions have an accepted answer. How can he improve this acceptance rate? Currently, there's only 2 things he can do:

  1. Pick a sorting option from the ones currently available and work his way through each page looking for ones he hasn't accepted.
  2. Use the advanced search options as a work around, user:me hasaccepted:0 in the search terms would do it.

The problem with #1 is that it takes a lot of work when you have a lot of questions. It might be something that you start doing and bail out on when you realize how tedious it is. Later when you come back to it how do you pick up where you left off? You're not likely to remember the sorting method/page number. If his questions were sorted by unaccepted, whenever he comes back to his profile he can continue easily, nipping away at the unaccepted questions bit by bit until his accept rate has improved enough.

As for #2, not everyone knows about the advanced search options (they're limited to ninjas only).

A sorting method in the user profile may also serve as a reminder for these users to accept answers to their questions, something that's sorely needed for some users.

Of course, this also comes with a couple of issues - "Unaccepted" is more of a filter than a sort, but a filter is a little out of context amongst sort options. As a solution to this, I would suggest that the sort would be on "Date accepted" descending with unaccepted at the top, followed by most recently accepted. A sub-sort would also be required, for which I would suggest total answers, then date posted.

It may also be worth displaying the accept rate, possibly next to the "x Questions" heading.

Related posts
View my questions with unaccepted answers
Encourage users to select accepted answer for old questions
"Unanswered" question sort order on profile pages*

* (yes, his freehand circle puts mine to shame)

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There's also smaller benefits to others visiting the page. For instance, you can quickly identify questions a user needs help with by sorting his list by "Unaccepted" and help out if you can. –  Andy E Aug 11 '10 at 14:34
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I think it would be worth putting it as the leftmost option as well, instead of the rightmost –  devinb Aug 11 '10 at 14:35
    
@dev: yeah, I was unsure whether to put it on the left or the right. –  Andy E Aug 11 '10 at 14:37
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thanks for your help. –  devinb Aug 11 '10 at 15:05

1 Answer 1

This is a good idea, however the main problem is exactly the one you noted.

Unaccepted" is more of a filter than a sort, but a filter is a little out of context amongst sort options.

"out of context" is a much gentler way of saying "unintuitively breaks site consistency".

These types of items come in sets. Buttons or tabs are used fairly interchangably, but they are always internally consistent. (If they aren't, that should be changed)

In this case, you would have three "sorts" and a "filter" all of the same level. What you would want is an additional level. So that I could filter on only unaccepted questions and still sort by whatever option I choose.

I would recommend something different.

Above the questions it should say

140 Questions : 75 Unaccepted

This doesn't break consistency, because it takes them to a search they are already familiar with.

EDIT: this would only be visible to the user. Other users would not see this. This is because we want to encourage users to accept an answer to their own questions, but we don't want to encourage other users acting upon anyone's accept rate.

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+1, this solution might be nice for drawing attention to that unaccepted number. –  Andy E Aug 11 '10 at 15:05
    
How about you flash the precentage up there as well? And scale the color of the percentage towards red as it goes towards 0% –  James Aug 11 '10 at 15:06
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@James, I believe in incremental changes, this is dangerously close to bashing them over the head already. –  devinb Aug 11 '10 at 15:23
    
@devinb <sarcasm>OR How about we only allow them to view the questions they haven't accepted an answer to?</sarcasm> –  James Aug 11 '10 at 15:31
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@James, Words you NEVER want to hear from a client: "I think this is a great place for the <blink> tag." –  devinb Aug 11 '10 at 16:03
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+1 When can we expect this feature on the profile page? It's almost a year since it was suggested and it actually seems to be a very valuable feature. –  Robert Koritnik May 27 '11 at 9:11

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