Now that we have meta.stackoverflow.com, should we continue using uservoice.com?

The only requirement for participation here is that you have an existing stackoverflow / serverfault / superuser account -- but you can be a brand new user, so anonymous participation is allowed.

It seems that questions tagged "bug" or "feature" could be voted on and commented in a fashion very similar to what uservoice already offers.

Some people wanted to move to GetSatisfaction, but I wasn't happy with that service.

closed as too localized by random May 10 '12 at 1:35

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    Yes, but, as others have stated, a few modifications might be needed. Some new statuses ("closed (implemented)", "closed (declined)", etc.). And some tools to separate requests for site enhancements from general discussion of the site, so they could be more easily viewed and searched. It could be as simple as a tag, but probably would be better if it were something only mods could do. Some sort of "permatag" that only mods can apply and remove? There are a few details to work out, but I think it's a good idea. – raven Jun 28 '09 at 16:33
  • I think this is a great idea. But only if there is a way to track the different types of closed issues. Currently I don't think there is a way to do that, or is there? – Nick Berardi Jun 28 '09 at 20:12
  • nice.. You could even earn rep by proposing popular features :-) – Steve Schnepp Jun 29 '09 at 16:36
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    The question title is basically the opposite of the question in the first paragraph, potentially making it mildly difficult to interpret the various yes/no answers below. I'd suggest updating one or the other so that you're asking the same thing. :-) – An̲̳̳drew Jun 29 '09 at 16:54
  • 1
    "feedback always welcome" links are pointing to meta now. So this can be marked as "fixed" ;) – hayalci Jun 29 '09 at 17:48

Definitely Yes.

Counting votes in favor/against a feature/bug does not a web application make.

  1. SO already has the userbase.
  2. SO can track votes 1-per-user on question/answers.
  3. The status of change requests can be conveyed by tags/editing, etc.

In short: SO > UV

  • I always kind of hated that you could only participate so much, before you ran out of votes. Then either un-vote something, or wait to get the votes back. – Brad Gilbert Jun 29 '09 at 4:02
  • On the other hand, the meaning of votes was clear on uservoice. Here voting can mean "good point" or "I want that feature / fix". It can even be applied in the wrong place: people vote on answers to feature-request questions instead of the questions. – Hans-Peter Störr Jul 16 '09 at 18:12

I think this is a great idea. However, some tweaks need to be made to the system to be successful. Mainly, we need some way of marking a feature as completed or declined. Otherwise when you list out the feature requests there's no way to see what's been done and what's left to do.

The best existing mechanism for doing so would be the close mechanism. However, there are a few drawbacks to this approach. First, it's not possible to filter out the closed requests when viewing the request list. Second, it would be better to allow discussion to continue after a request has been completed or declined, to allow for discussion of the solution or additional justification about why it the feature is needed in an attempt to counteract the decline.

Another possibility is for a moderator to post a reply, then have that reply become the 'accepted' answer. This solution would allow people to continue discussing the issue past completion/decline. However, one of the suggestions I made to Jeff was to remove the notion of an 'accepted answer' from this site, as it doesn't make much sense in a subjective discussion.

In any case, the best solution would be for a completely new mechanism that could specifically handle feature requests. But yes, I definitely think that UV can, and should, be supplanted by this site.

As of right now, basic UV functions are now being emulated through tags. To make a feature request, tag your post feature-request. Similarly, bugs are tagged bug. If your request is declined, it will be tagged status-declined. Likewise, status-completed, status-started, and status-under-review are anticipated, but have not seen use yet.

This use of tags to reflect the status of the feature request may be temporary, but I suspect that tagging feature-request or bug will remain as the official mechanism for requesting or suggesting improvements to the site.

  • 1
    I think the accepted answer idea makes sense on non subjective things, acceptance (or not) of a request is on of those things tha isn't subjective which suggests that the SO team shou have the ability to mark an answer as accepted and only use it for those sorts of questions. – ShuggyCoUk Jun 28 '09 at 22:46
  • Not to mention that it would be trivial to just take the ability of accepting the answer from the person asking the question, and give it to moderators. Many other useful features will just fall into place, for example questions with accepted answers are already highlighted. – Brad Gilbert Jun 29 '09 at 4:06

What I like about meta.so.com vs uservoice is that it encourages the Q&A format.

As a uservoice mod, I see a lot of requests saying "I want you to do X", where 'X' is a specific way to handle problem 'A'. 'X' may or may not be very well thought out (often not), and there's no way to group together all the different requests that we solve 'A' without closing a bunch of them as duplicates, even though they don't all really ask for the same thing.

Here, a user is more likely to ask the question "How can we solve A?", and then provide their idea as the first answer. IMO, this sets us up to have a much better discussion over the best way to really handle the problem. It means when someone asks about the same problem we'll have a place we can point them. If someone poses a solution before stating the problem, we have a way to handle it (edits). Most of all, we have a way to vote among the different solutions, and a way to vote for items at the problem level.

The one thing uservoice does have vs stackoverflow is how it handles the voting:

  • Better vote scarcity. On meta.so.com, it will be too easy to just vote for everything that needs fixed, rather than forcing users to think about how they want to prioritize their votes. As a result, everything has a high vote total and it's less clear which new features or bugs users really feel is important
  • When voting on solutions to problems, you really want to be able to move an upvote from answer to another better one rather than just vote for both. But Stackoverflow locks your votes in place much too soon. And you'd want to do this in a way that doesn't necessarily impact the rep score for the person from whom you just revoked a vote.

I think there are two distinct purposes to serve. One is true meta-questions - asking about StackOverflow, the other is discussing improvements.

There are many such meta-questions, ranging from "what does this icon mean", or "what does Community Wiki mean" (what does it mean exactly?), to "why haven't I gotten this badge yet", or "should we edit grammatical errors in other people's questions", or "when should we vote to close?"

None of those really belong on UV.

Then there are bug tracking, feature requests and other discussions related to improving the site. Yes, they could probably be moved here - the SO software does seem to support most of the necessary features, but I think it makes sense to keep them separate. Isn't it simpler for everyone if we know that Meta is for asking questions about SO, and UserVoice is for, well, letting users voices get heard?

At the very least, I think some kind of stricter tagging policy might be required. If you're going to search through this place for feature requestions, it'll get messy if you have to search for everything tagged [feature], [feature-request], [features], [new-features] and so on. Perhaps a few tags ([feature] and [defect] perhaps) should be given special treatment, and be visible as checkboxes or radiobuttons, the way community wiki is, to make it easy to clearly mark which questions are "stuff I want improveed on SO", and which are just "stuff I'd like explained about SO"


I still think you should move to a real bug-tracking system. There must be a decent one out there somewhere...

But, until you manage to find a Fantastic Organizational and Grouping tool for Bugz, the SO system would be an improvement over UV. Heck... it can't be any worse...


The only real thing that I see that UV provides that MSO doesn't is a limited number of votes. This forces users to only vote up the stuff they really want until that gets done/rejected/whatever. That avoids the problem where every user up votes everything. It allows the developers to more easily prioritize feature requests.

  • 1
    but allowing users to assign 3 votes to suggestions they feel strongly about may allow for vocal minorities to increase the visibility of issues they feel strongly about over a larger set of issues which a wider majority feel less strongly about. Here's an extreme example: 100 users could give 1 vote each to 300 issues, giving 100 votes to each of the 300 issues, but 34 users could give 3 votes each to just one issue, giving it 102 votes, and prioritising it above the other 300 issues. – Sam Hasler Jul 1 '09 at 9:24
  • @Sam The solution to that is to only allow people to assign one vote to an issue rather than more than one. While multiple votes gives an indication of how much people care about a subject, a single vote per issue would show how many people care... Better solution. Allow multiple votes but also track the number of users who voted things up, so you both see that the 34 really care about this issue, but the 100 care about other stuff. – baudtack Jul 1 '09 at 23:15


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