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Why not put the tags entry at the top in the “Ask Question” interface?

So in the docs, users are not supposed to type the tool name in the title and rather put it in the tags. If this is the case, why not move tags up below the title. This would help with

  1. newbs are more likely not to put the tool name in the title since it would be in the tag
  2. in the section "questions that may already have your answer" tags would be used sooner rather than later to narrow results as users type in order

ie. users type title, description, then tags, but it could be better to type title, tags then description.


I am not sure this would solve the problem, but it sure sounds like a reasonable thing to try.

Clearly something is broken since a very large amount of titles still contain tags in one form or another. You would think people would be intelligent enough to go back remove them when they reach the tag field and realize how redundant their title is.

  • 1
    I think a certain percentage of users would self-realize redundancy (not all but a good portion). – Dean Hiller Nov 15 '12 at 15:00
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    Laura's been doing some usability testing with new users recently, and tags stood out as being one of the more confusing aspects for folks unfamiliar with the sites. We'll be looking at ways to improve this. – Shog9 Nov 15 '12 at 16:35

If you want to write a book, you start with the story, you create/remove characters in the process. While it is true that some writers will start with a big list of characters before they even type a letter, I can grantee that this list will look very different compared to the first draft after the story is done.

It is not natural to ask the writers for a complete list of the characters when they are still deciding which ones they will include, there are lots of things that can happen in the process of writing the story.

What will happen is that they will give you an incomplete list with only few of the main characters and then promise that they will give you an updated list, but many of them will be lazy to update the list.

It will be much easier to make the character list after the story is finished, this way it will be very unlikely we will ever need to make changes.

in case it is not obvious: book = question, story = question body, writers = OPs, characters = tags

  • eh, I think that is a very bad analogy. in my option title=title, tags = subtitle, description= body. tags is way more important than just characters....together they make up the subtitle really. – Dean Hiller Nov 16 '12 at 18:45
  • @DeanHiller either way, the title and subtitle are very prone to change, thus many prefer to write them last – ajax333221 Nov 16 '12 at 19:00
  • I could agree with title and tags being last as in title in subtitle being last I guess.....in fact, it might help people write a better title as I find myself writing a title, writing the body, then discovering a better title from my question. – Dean Hiller Jul 5 '13 at 17:30

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