I'm a core user on MusicFans, where we often get very low quality identification questions. We usually have to give the same comment over and over again, asking the querents to provide certain details.

It occurred to me that if there was a questionnaire that would pop up when people wanted to ask an identification question, we could auto-build much better questions, something like this one (that I edited and reformatted).

Is there any current functionality like this anywhere on SE? Could it be added as a feature? I could see a wide range of sites and question types where it could be very helpful.

  • 4
    I wonder if the new SO wizard could be repurposed for something like this: meta.stackoverflow.com/q/369682/4548692 – Catija Jun 28 '18 at 17:13
  • Related: A question “wizard”? – ale Jun 28 '18 at 18:57
  • Related: Add requirements for a tag (maybe a template?) – ale Jun 28 '18 at 18:57
  • See also: Revisiting question templates – ale Jun 28 '18 at 18:59
  • @catija - The SO wizard looks very much like what I'm envisioning, but it would need to be customizable for different sites / question types, and there would need to be some way of triggering it only for certain question types --or maybe different secondary questions appear depending on what you select as your question type. – Chris Sunami Jun 28 '18 at 19:47
  • Yep. :) That's all true... but having it exist at all is a first big step. Customization would be a much smaller hurdle, depending on how it's built. – Catija Jun 28 '18 at 19:50
  • @Catija - Do you want to make this an answer? It definitely addresses my question. – Chris Sunami Jun 29 '18 at 15:49

Up until the last week or so, what you're looking for hasn't existed. It's certainly been requested before... but that all changed with this post on Meta Stack Overflow:

“Ask a question” wizard prototype

For Stack Overflow, they're currently testing a new tool for the "Ask a question" page - a wizard. It helps step users through the process of asking a question depending on the type of question they have. It's still in early testing but it seems really promising.

My hope is that it's designed such that, once it's been poked and prodded at sufficiently, sites that feel it would be useful could request it be modified and optimized for their site in a similar fashion. I can imagine many sites that could benefit from such a wizard.

One of the features of the wizard is also helpful for preventing completely off topic questions from being asked - the discussion on the MSO post calls them "honeypots" (though they're not totally analogous), with the result being users getting diverted to other sites where the questions are on topic (if they exist).

For example, here's what you're shown when you select "I need a software recommendation":

Redirect to software recommendations from the Question Wizard on SO

The Software Recommendations community is here to help you with a software recommendation.

Tip: Stack Overflow is mainly for code questions, but Software Recommendations is a good place for questions like yours.

Anyway, this would probably be useful for your ID question help wizard, too... and if you have any off topic question types, it'd also catch some of them.

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