On question asking page, we are giving OP suggestion of how to ask. And link of faq.

enter image description here

We should also give links of in How to ask section-

  1. What kind of questions can I ask here?
  2. What kind of questions should I not ask here?

New users will get definitely help from this. We can stop many off-topic and non-constructive questions being asked. We give those links after asking question to users (i.e. which can you ask and which questions not) if they ask off-topic and non-constructive questions. So why not give those links on ask question page. At least for New users we should show this links in How to Ask area.

Please do not think in your perspective. Think in new users perspective. We can stop at least 5% questions from new users due to this links. And new users are growing in huge numbers on every SE site.

  • I don't disagree with your feature request, but I'm still curious: Where did you get the fact "We can stop at least 5% questions from new users due to this links"?
    – Rob W
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 21:49
  • @RobW: Artificial Intelligence...:) Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 3:48

4 Answers 4


I've proposed a few ideas about this in other posts. I'll repeat them.

  1. No one even sees that 'How To Ask" box. I know I didn't and still don't. Ever. English is read left to right. A 'sidebar' is by definition secondary information. Someone posting a question sees the question entry area and stops there. They also are certainly not going to click a link which takes them away from the tantalizing question area with its blinking cursing promising quick answers to their questions.

    Move the sidebar to the left of the question area and put more info in it.

  2. The title and tag areas have shadowed prompt text.

    Put prompt text in the question body area which would function as a sort of preflight check list.

enter image description here

  • +1 Good suggestion. Maybe #five could point out the links in the sidebar.
    – codewaggle
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 11:42
  • I don't like the prefill part, this will have usability/accessibility issues. Also some icon to denote "this link will open in a new tab/window" should be added.
    – Ryan B
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 21:57
  • @RyanB - where do you see usability/accessibility issues? Both the tag and title fields have this type of prompt text.
    – spring
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 22:14
  • @skinnyTOD I withdraw my comment, upon further expection, the question title blurb is just a <span> that disappears via JS
    – Ryan B
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 22:22

The faq begins with the sections about asking a question, but I think the wording of both links could be improved.

Instead of "read the faq", it could be something like:
"FAQ: What kind of questions can I ask here? and more..."

"asking help" isn't clear. The title of the page it leads to is "How to Ask". It might be better to change the link text to something like:
"How to ask a question so that you get good answers"

It might be helpful to add a link to the Community FAQ, though it would be more useful if we could link directly to the "Asking questions" section.

I'm going to check if there's been any discussion about adding links to the sections of the Community FAQ, if not I'll suggest it.

I opened a question, but it's not possible to add links to the section headers. Neither the name nor the id attributes can be used. If they're added, the server strips them when serving the page.


Personally, I'd argue for replacing

"Provide details. Share you research."


"Provide details. Include source code."

I see questions on a daily basis where one of the first comments is generally "show us your code".

  • 1
    Good point, maybe include all three statements ("Provide details. Share you research. Include source code.").
    – codewaggle
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 22:35
  • 1
    And only include required source code only... People are currently including modules and modules of source code which of no use. Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 4:58

It's very easy to not recognize sidebars due to banner blindness.

I would add an extra page to proceed before reaching the question form.

It should read something like this (copied from the relevant sections):

Before asking your question make sure it meets our guidelines

Ask about...

  • Specific programming problems
  • Software algorithms
  • Coding techniques
  • Software development tools

Don't ask about...

  • Questions you haven't tried to find an answer for (show your work!)
  • Product or service recommendations or comparisons
  • Requests for lists of things, polls, opinions, discussions, etc.
  • Anything not directly related to writing computer programs

Don't even think of asking questions like these:

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • you are asking an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”
  • your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?”

If you read and understood these terms click proceed to ask your question.

[Links to relevant pages goes here]

[Don't show this again checkbox goes here]

[large proceed button goes here]

Its easy to implement and wouldn't have accessibility issues I think, and always reminds people when rules change.

  • I think we already do this for new users. Not sure, don't want to create a new account just to test it. Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 12:40
  • @CodyGray I don't think we do it. When I registered on several sites by using the same openid, no such thing showed up for me.
    – Calmarius
    Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 17:41

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