I am requesting that historical lock, closed, and on hold notices be moved to the top of questions, just below the title.


There are a lot of locked questions on Stack Overflow, and I assume other Stack Exchange sites as well, where the question text is long enough that the lock notice is not visible without scrolling down:

Python progression path - From apprentice to guru
Hidden Features of C#?
Practical non-image based CAPTCHA approaches?

(I used a 15in screen at 1600x900 resolution for selecting these examples, but the scrolling required to see the notice is only part of the problem.)

The notice is easy to miss when scrolling through the question and down to the answers. Even on larger screens where the notice is visible without scrolling, a lot of text can make it easy to miss. Given the emphasis the Stack Exchange Network puts on how to ask questions, I think we should make the various "don't ask questions like this" notices more prominent. Shorter posts could also benefit from making it difficult to read the question without first seeing the notice.

I believe that simply moving the notices to the top of the question, just below the title, would make them much more prominent and nearly impossible to miss, because it would force the reader's eyes to pass over the notice before reading any of the question.

I think that this would help improve the network by making users aware of a questions's below-standard state before reading it, which would especially help new users not familiar with Stack Exchange's interface and question quality expectations.


The idea that a reader should be told "don't do this" before reading a bad example of usage has precedence. For example, a lot of software documentation projects have deprecation warnings in their manuals before the actual content is presented:

onNewPicture from Android
Python's Deprecated String Functions
PHP's call_user_method

Although software development is the only area in which I can find examples of this at the moment, I believe it's a general enough concept that it is applicable to the whole Stack Exchange network: give readers a warning before they see counterexamples of how a system or resource should be used.

Similar Questions

Historical notice locked posts should look different

This MSO post proposes changing the entire look of historically locked posts. I don't think that is necessary, and (I presume) would require more code modification on behalf of the Stack Exchange developers than my proposal. Additionally, the linked request only refers to historically locked posts. I would like to see closed and on hold notices moved as well, for the same purpose.