• an experienced user posts a question that suggests they may be unaware of a site's Tour content (which can be customized per-site at its beginning); and
  • the user's public profile shows that they have not taken the Tour i.e. the Informed badge is not present;

is it reasonable to make a comment on that question noting that the user has not taken the Tour (along with a brief description of the issue for which the question needs improvement)?

2 Answers 2


IMHO, telling an experienced user to read the Tour is not necessary and is unlikely to be helpful. As this answer says, the Tour is designed for new users, not users who have been around for a while:

Yes, users from other sites can also read it, but it's mainly to tell completely new users how the Stack Exchange model works. It tells them:

  • how to vote
  • what tags are
  • what badges are
  • how answers are shown
  • a brief section on what should be asked/what shouldn't

I say brief, because what you want is on the /help/on-topic part of every site. You can access that with the url http://site.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic, or just go to the help center (eg. MSE) with the URL http://site.stackexchange.com/help.

[Emphasis in original]

Because of this, I can imagine that some experienced users would be offended at being pointed to the Tour, as it might seem to imply they don't know how Stack Exchange works, rather than merely that their question is off-topic. As seen above, the majority of the information in the Tour explains how Stack Exchange works in general, with a couple small sections relating to that site in particular.

Instead, I would just directly address the issue with the question. If it's off-topic, then link to /help/on-topic and/or a relevant Meta post explaining exactly what is wrong. The Help Center can also be customized per-site, and the site's Meta will be a good place to find many site-specific guidelines.


When an experienced user (on or from any Stack Exchange site), asks a question on a particular Stack Exchange site, I think it is reasonable to assume that they are familiar with about 90% of the Tour for that site because only a small part of the Tour supports per-site customization.

Consequently, suggesting users review the Tour as part of learning about the site and its protocols is something that I normally reserve for users with much less than a reputation of 101 i.e. usually only those with a reputation at or near 1.

However, when an experienced user is asking questions or making comments that contradict any guidelines in the Tour that the community has deemed important enough to place in that very limited screen real estate, I think it is reasonable to alert them to where we have tried to provide that information for them to read and note when they join the site.

A common comment I might make after coming across a question from an experienced user that contains multiple questions is:

As per the Tour there should be only one question asked per question.

This message has not been softened by writing several flowery sentences or looking up the Meta discussion about why that is the case, because doing so takes much more of my volunteered time. In any event, I am making that comment to an experienced user, so I think it is reasonable to assume that they will be familiar with the protocols of focused Q&A like "no chit chat" and realize that I am focussing on the question content and not their feelings. My perception is that this is understood by most of them, who then view the Tour and/or usually ask one question per question from then on.

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