Due to the special nature of Meta and the high rate of "lost souls", should we try out the Ask a Question Wizard here on Meta Stack Exchange too?
In case anyone doesn't know yet, there is finally an Ask Question Wizard. It guides new users towards writing better questions.
I think that such a question wizard would be useful on Meta Stack Exchange too, for three main reasons:
- Meta is different from other network sites. There are four types of questions on Meta, each represented by the different required tags: bug, feature-request, discussion and support. Especially bug reports can often be split into a certain structure (what's wrong, how to reproduce, why I think it's wrong, examples). The same holds true for feature requests. Such a structure is ideal for a question wizard.
- Quite a few users get lost on Meta and ask off-topic questions here. While the Meta community is well prepared to deal with these posts quickly, they lead to an less-than-ideal first impression by the new users and they distract the community from more important issues.
- Site-specific questions are often off-topic. This might not be always clear for new users since nowhere is it hinted at in the help pages (and there are a lot of old, not-yet-closed SO-specific questions from a prior era of this site) and can lead to unnecessary drama. If we add an honeypot into the wizard to catch this case (and ideally redirect them to the proper meta site), we could prevent this.
As Sonic said, there's an advice page new users need to read and confirm. However this doesn't really prove effective right now and we might need to try stronger tools (e.g. question wizard).
Therefore I think that we should test the Ask Question Wizard here on Meta too.
Implementation details (help welcome)
I think the wizard should have six main entry points:
- I want to discuss a specific post or action from any Stack Exchange site. (-> honeypot, redirects to the appropriate per-site meta)
- I have a question regarding the use of Stack Exchange sites (-> support mode)
- I think I found a bug while using the Stack Exchange sites (-> bug mode)
- I have an idea for improving the Stack Exchange sites (-> feature request mode)
- I have a discussion I want to start about Stack Exchange communities or their rules (-> discussion mode)
- I have some other (e.g. programming) question (-> honeypot, redirects to https://stackexchange.com/sites)
Coming from these choices, the user would either be redirected to a landing page explaining, why this is not the right community and offering some alternative choices or they would follow the guided assistant.
For 1. the user might be asked on which site the post/action is. Maybe the system could show the three sites where the user was recently active/has the highest reputation on.
support mode would ask the user for these details:
- what do you want to achieve?
- what have you tried?
- what is your current problem?
bug mode would ask the user for these details:
- bug description
- how to reproduce the problem
- why do you think that this is wrong?
- (possibly) examples
feature request mode would ask the user for these details:
- what is your goal?
- how do you think could this be achieved?
- why will the community benefit from this change?
- (possibly) details
discussion mode would ask the user for these details:
- which rule do you want to propose/clarify
- (optionally) examples/why is this rule required?
Note: the above implementation details probably require some revision. Feel free to edit/suggest improvements for both wording and details.