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I suggest providing a summary of the purpose of a StackExchange site up-front (i.e., near the top of the page).

Probably as a "Rounded/Squared Question Mark" button to the left of the site's logo, which upon click will pop up a box containing the site's description. Implemented this way, it won't become a clutter, and yet allow for a long-and-detailed description.

This feature will, IMO, help newcomers quickly find out what a certain SE Site is about.

(In fact, I'm not a newcomer (have been using SE for quite some time), yet when I landed on an SE Site I had to spelunk quite a bit to find out what exactly the site was about, to determine whether my question should be asked in that site or on another.)

Edit: After reading the question 'suggested' as duplicate of this I have to disagree. That question was specifically about new user. But this question is about a newcomer to an SE subsite, not necessarily a new SE user.

As I have explained in my endnote of the original question, *I* am not a new SE user, yet when I happened on a subsite that I have never visited before, say this one, I honestly have no idea what the site was about (i.e., what questions are welcome and what are not). And I have been a not-new-user for quite some time I forgot how to find info about the site.

I scroll dooooown, see "About Us", clicked... and off I went to a page about "The StackOverflow Company", not about the SE subsite. Only after clicking "Tour" did I find information to what a subsite is about. And that led me to a new page (or opens a new tab depending if I forgot to hold Ctrl or not).

marked as duplicate by gnat, Glorfindel, Nathan Tuggy, Nathaniel, Ward Feb 14 '17 at 14:56

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 3
    you are eliminating 1 click of the current summary which is 2 clicks away, Help > Tour. there are also briefer summaries located here – Memor-X Feb 14 '17 at 3:55
  • We already have the Tour which I think does a great job of leading new users into the help center for each site. – PolyGeo Feb 14 '17 at 4:10
  • 1
    see also Usability issues for first-time Stack Exchange users - a micro-study (@PolyGeo tl;dr of this study is, Tour sucks in helping site newcomers) – gnat Feb 14 '17 at 9:05
  • @Memor-X yeah, sorry that I cannot memorize all URLs related to Stack Exchange. So I went there and... a bunch of icons. Oh, I have to click to make it a list and... ahh, a list of icons with short descriptions. Go there and joined and asked a question and... got told that "Hey you shouldn't ask that here but there or there"... – pepoluan Feb 15 '17 at 15:07
  • @PolyGeo the problem with the word "Tour" is that it assumes the user is totally new to SE. What about users, like me, who are not new to SE... just wanting to know what a subsite is exactly about before asking a new question? (Plus, the connotation of the word "Tour" -- guide for total newbies. That's why I don't click on that the first time, until I became desperate.) – pepoluan Feb 15 '17 at 15:09

You're right; newcomers to a site should see a short summary of what the site is about. Fortunately, they do: if you visit a site where you don't yet have an account, you see something like this:

summary and invitation

In addition, there's the "tour" link in the top bar, right next to "join this community".

  • Sometimes the single sentence is not specific enough. Resulting in wasted time as I ask a question that someone then say "Hey, you shouldn't ask that here... go to so and so instead." Then I have to re-ask the question there. Plus the downvotes. – pepoluan Feb 15 '17 at 15:04
  • That text is the description, which is what you asked for. it's the same description that appears on the list of all sites. If what you meant is that you want an expanded description -- a paragraph or two instead of a phrase or sentence -- then, first off, people would have to write those, and then you'd need to figure out where to display them. That's a different question than the one I answered. – Monica Cellio Feb 15 '17 at 15:39

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