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Every Stack Exchange site has the same six buttons along the top banner:

  • Questions
  • Tags
  • Users
  • Badges
  • Unanswered
  • Ask Question

I've been a regular on SE some time now, and I've seen countless instances where a new user was exhorted to visit the Help Center, to learn more about site norms, what is on-topic, how to ask a question, etc. I've left some of those comments myself.

As I was doing this for the umpteenth time today, I started wondering: Why isn't a link to the Help Center more prominently displayed? In order for newcomers to find it, they would need to click on an odd-looking chat bubble icon.

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(I realize that a link to the Help Center also shows up once a user clicks the Ask Question button, but, by then, I think most newer users are focused on their question, and not so interested in interrupting their train of thought to go tour the Help Center.)

I also realize this would not be a panacea – we will always have users who will ask questions first, and then learn more about the site later. Still, I wonder if we aren't putting more work on ourselves than necessary by making the Help Center so well-hidden in the first place, particularly since we'd like everyone to read all the material there that explains what makes this place so unique.

Would a seventh button across the top of all the sites be an improvement? I'd like to find a way to make a link to the Help Center a bit more prominent and easier to find.

marked as duplicate by PolyGeo, ShaWiz feature-request Dec 6 '17 at 23:30

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  • Yup. I like that idea. And this is a perceptive analysis. (Although I would rephrase the question title a little to make it less critical, which I've done myself - forgive me - feel free to roll back if you don't like the change.) – Bathsheba Dec 6 '17 at 20:38
  • Agreed, it was definitely better with the older menu designs. May be it deserves even a ? button to be added to the existing 4. – user0042 Dec 6 '17 at 20:41
  • 5
    When you don't have access to review queues, a help icon is shown there instead (try loading a page in an incognito window). – animuson Dec 6 '17 at 20:42
  • @animuson - Ah. That is better. It's been a long time since I've explored sites where I don't have much rep. Mea culpa. Though I still wonder if a Help button would be better than a ? icon. – J.R. Dec 6 '17 at 20:48
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    @animuson still, turns out great many high rep users fail to know that, and still need the help center, so in my opinion this is (yet another) downside of the new top bar, something good that was taken away from users. – ShaWiz Dec 6 '17 at 23:32

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