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New Post Notices have been launched network-wide. Please post all new feedback, bugs and feature requests to the new announcement post.


As has been previously announced, we have been working for some time on a full refresh for post notices. I am happy to announce that all initial development work and testing has been completed, and that the new notices are now live on Stack Overflow.

During our initial launch period these will be shown to 50% of users (with the other 50% viewing notices as they have been with no change). After evaluating the impact of the notices during this period and making any warranted changes, our goal is to release these network-wide, and to completely remove the old notices from the system.

For our purposes, a 'post notice' includes any status banner shown on questions or answers: deleted, merged, migrated, closed, locked, protected, bountied, as well as any information notices that can be applied to posts by moderators.

The visual change in styling and position relative to content should immediately be obvious. The current notices use legacy styling and for the most part appear below the post (question or answer) content. The experience on mobile and desktop is different as the old layout is not flexible enough to be used on both. The new notices will all appear above post content, will feature a refreshed look and feel (using the Stacks design framework), and will work identically on both desktop and mobile.

A primarily opinion-based close message: "Update the question so it can be answered with facts and citations. This will help others answer the question. You can edit the question. Closed 13 days ago by Donna." A new post notice, being shown to users with the close/reopen privilege on a post closed as being opinion-based

Beyond the look and feel changes, we have also rewritten the language for all of the different messages, with the goal of making them more friendly and results-driven, and taking into account the changing ways in which the notices have been used over the years. New messages language has been guided by our Content Style Guide, which itself is based on user insights and best practices. We hope that the language refresh will make it clearer to users what each respective notice is for, and if appropriate, to provide clearer instructions as to what they can do in order to improve the content that was flagged.

As Meg wrote in her blog post:

For people who ask questions today, if your question is closed, feedback that is directed toward you privately is shared publicly with anyone who views your question. Plus, the names of people who voted to close the question are highlighted publicly, too, setting them up for attack when they’re just trying to curate content according to the system.

Here’s what our holistic redesign of all post notices will prioritize:

  • Delivering improved, private feedback to post authors
  • Not putting users who curate content on the spot
  • Giving actionable, understandable information for the vast majority of public viewers

The change affects all post notices, including mod notices, post locks, migration notices, and every single type of close notice. Many of these feature different messages that will be shown to the post owner, users with close/reopen privilege, and everyone else, with each message designed to expose the information that will be most helpful to the viewer. Another goal is also to provide more instructions and options for post owners when it comes to taking steps to edit the content of closed questions in order to allow for them to be reopened.

A duplicate close message: "Some community members have associated this post with similar questions. Closed 2 hours ago by Frederico klez Culloca, Community." A duplicate closed notice being shown to the post owner.

This is a far-reaching project and is also touching other related content like the wording used in the close menu giving guidance on off-topic reasons and the instructions being shown at the top of the review queue. Additionally, the notification language, user workflow, and options being provided to post owners on questions where there are active close as duplicate flags has been modified to give post owners more leeway in preemptively accepting or rejecting potential duplicate posts.

This new set of features and improvements is the first of a series of related projects aimed at improving the user experience on question close workflows and review queues for all users. Our goal is to better facilitate feedback and content curation for all people who code, whether they are new to programming and Stack Overflow, are seasoned moderators and technology experts, or fit anywhere in between.

An old "On Hold" notice A new "On Hold" notice Old and new "On Hold" notices

General feedback is welcome on this post, as are and reports. We promise to read everything, and will do our best to engage with the community to address concerns that are raised.

FAQs

When will the changes roll out on SO?

The changes are live on SO right now

I still see the old notices and I would rather see the new ones

OR

I see the new notices and would rather keep the old notices

During our initial launch period the new post notices (and all related changes) are being shown to 50% of users. There is no easy way to switch between the group of users seeing old or new notices. If there are things about the new notices that you dislike, please let us know in a respectful and constructive way. We are happy to receive and take all feedback into consideration.

What are you looking for during the initial launch period?

The primary goal of the project is to improve the friendliness of the user experience when viewing post notices. This is a hard thing to measure. Some of the indicators that we will be using are the levels of engagement by users who see old vs new post notices and the rates of closed posts being reopened (specifically focusing on post edits and post reopen votes).

Can you please release a list of all the changes that were made to all notice language and functionality?

We are not going to do this right now:

  • There are sooo many changes that were made, that any attempt to document all of these in a clear way will probably still end up being confusing (and it will be challenging to keep this up to date as changes are made during the initial launch period).
  • We feel that in order to properly evaluate the changes to presentation, language and functionality, the changes need to be seen in the context of the site, by users who encounter them through normal site usage. Thus, we prefer to evaluate the success of changes by presenting them to users who will encounter and interact with them through organic site usage.

After Meg's blog post that first mentioned these changes, a post on MSE was made that solicited feedback on the preview given in the blog post. Were there any changes to this project that were made based on this feedback?

We read all of the feedback and found much of it to be very useful. Some of it was incorporated into this set of changes, and we hope to incorporate much more of it in a future project that builds on this one to address the underlying mechanics of the close->reopen workflows. Thanks for all the suggestions, and special shout out and thanks to Journeyman Geek for initiating and organizing the feedback post on MSE!

How long will the initial launch run for? When will this go live for everyone?

The initial launch is slated to tentatively run for 2-3 weeks. While we cannot commit to a final go-live date at this point, as there are many unknowns involved, we can say that we are interested in getting the final product out as soon as we can.

What is the average air speed of an unladen swallow?

What do you mean? An African or a European Swallow?

European, of course

Approximately 11 meters per second (40 km/h; 24 - 25 miles per hour)

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    Ok folks. Considering this is a positive change and I think having the Q&A team comfortable with meta, I shalt be quite cross with the next person who removes the swallow joke. – Journeyman Geek Nov 2 '19 at 23:35
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    To close-voters: While this is currently implemented on SO only, this question clearly states that it's the intent to have this network-wide: "After evaluating the impact of the notices during this period and making any warranted changes, our goal is to release these network-wide, and to completely remove the old notices from the system." Thus, this is not an issue which only affects one specific site, the close reason selected by four people. It's clear that this question solicits feedback on the feature being used on all sites, even though the current examples are SO focused. – Makyen Nov 6 '19 at 18:52
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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. I've left a few essential comments in place for immediate reference – Journeyman Geek Nov 7 '19 at 22:58
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    Just coming in to say "yay" the Monty Python joke remains :P – Meg Risdal Nov 27 '19 at 8:07

74 Answers 74

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Clarify that duplicate questions are closed as well.

Duplicate questions are not just already having answers elsewhere already, they also have the "closed" status that means they're not accepting answers any more. The new post notice doesn't mention that anywhere, except in the view for close-voters and authors, and even then only in the last sentence. Similarly, it doesn't mention that it's still editable either.

The wording of the message "Some community members have associated your post with similar questions." suggests that it's a mere association, like a "see also these related questions".

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One of my questions is protected. This is what I see when I open it:

enter image description here

That is, I see the banner:

Highly active question. You have enough reputation to answer this question. The reputation requirement helps protect this question from spam and non-answer activity. Learn more.

  1. I don't think it makes much sense to indicate to me, the OP, that I have enough reputation to answer my own question. While it is important to notify a OP that they cannot answer it, I think that indicating that they can does not add value.

  2. Once you've seen this banner several times, it would be useful allowing to dismiss it or leave it on the footer. It takes important space when it is no longer relevant.

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    The banner should be shown only to those, who do NOT have such privileges ( and may be to author and moderators). For other users the information is irrelevant and should be hidden. – MiFreidgeim SO-stop being evil Dec 5 '19 at 20:57
  • The Highly Active Question banner is now only shown to users who either do not have enough rep to answer (10 earned rep), or who have enough rep to unprotect (15K earned rep). Users who are in between (and thus are able to answer, but can't do anything about the protected status) are no longer shown this banner. – Yaakov Ellis Dec 22 '19 at 12:39
  • @Yaakov thank you for the announcement, but I don't think this is marking as complete neither of the two of the points of my feature request. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Dec 22 '19 at 16:12
  • @ferdorqui would it be better if I mark it as declined? We are not going to turn it off for the poster who has enough rep to unprotect it. And we are not going to allow you to dismiss it permanently at this point. So in that sense it is declined. However, I feel that the main usability issue is (in my opinion) showing unactionable notices to people. And that is taken care of now. – Yaakov Ellis Dec 22 '19 at 16:26
  • Ok thanks @Yaakov – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Dec 27 '19 at 9:08
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When a post is closed due to both being "unclear" and "too broad" close votes, show a custom message that covers both. Eg "too broad" could be due to the post being "unclear" about what the detailed problem is.

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During our initial launch period the new post notices (and all related changes) are being shown to 50% of users. There is no easy way to switch between the group of users seeing old or new notices. If there are things about the new notices that you dislike, please let us know in a respectful and constructive way. We are happy to receive and take all feedback into consideration.

Over a dozen answers thus far have found an "old versus new" shortcoming, with one simply being grammatical or punctuation. Some users can rely on their socks (and multiple tabs) to make side by side comparisons, most users can not.

It's unfortunate that a small group of users (possibly > 10K, or at least the moderators) can't see both old and new (one above the other) with radio buttons beside each - that way if the new version is wrong in some way (not a suitable manner to present the older information) they can click the radio button next to the old version; indicating a failure of the newer version.

It's more difficult to say what you don't like about the new notices if you can't compare them directly with the older ones. Alternatively this question could show before and after examples for each instance.

If both old and new were intended to be identical I can see having "A / B" groups but when you're serving two different pills you end up providing the real thing to one group and a placebo to the other.

This could lead to one group commenting, flagging, reopening, etc. based on what they see while the other group must rely on information later found to be incomplete or deficient in some way.

It's unfortunate that "there is no easy way".

Generally one would use "A / B" to determine which group has a better result, or if there was no difference. Here you are asking group "B" to compare the new experience with how it used to be based on memory.

Group "A" ends up with no say in the matter and group "B" has nothing to compare to; while the moderators may not know which group the person is in, or if they do they still end up with additional deciphering and fluidly changing extra work. Much like flags dropped on edited posts, where different people see different versions of the same thing.

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    Rather than blind A/B groups, I think testing this would have been better served by trialing it as an optional beta feature. Maybe opting-in users randomly to begin with, but letting everyone turn it on and off for the duration of the trial. – yivi Oct 29 '19 at 14:49
  • Yes, some users seeing the new banner haven't seen that particular version of the old one (either would be new to them); or recently / frequently enough to know what is to be compared. Group "A" is completely blind and group "B" is double blind (if they have no socks). --- If Yaakov's only question was "will this result in better or worse flagging and comments along with correct reopens" then A/B could work, but a comparison is being asked for (to something that isn't available). – Rob Oct 29 '19 at 15:24
  • Apparently people are being moved between A and B groups rather than being stuck in a single group (and having no opinion); that doesn't resolve this answer/comment/observation but it does alter it, but I'm not bumping (yet, anyways). – Rob Nov 3 '19 at 6:16
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This is in regards to the OP being able to see who closed the question. Do we really want to do this? It gives people that might be upset that their question is closed a convenient outlet for misdirected hostility. If we want to be nice and welcoming we should apply that equally and hide this information from the OP unless they also have Close Vote privileges.

This will make the close voters lives easier as they will be a lot less likely to be targeted by revenge votes or rude/abusive comments. If the OP wants someone to badger, they can leave a generic comment or go to meta.

  • Unless I'm misreading, it seems like this new version makes that information less visible than before. Or are you suggesting that they go further and remove that information altogether? – divibisan Oct 29 '19 at 16:22
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    @divibisan I'm suggesting that they make it more restrictive and only show the close voters to the OP if they can cast close votes themselves. Right now people with cv-privs and the OP can see the close voters. To me I don't see a reason why a <3K rep user needs that information. There is nothing gained by giving it to them and it opens the potential for targeting of those people. – NathanOliver Oct 29 '19 at 16:25
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    If the closure was done by a single user (i.e. dup-hammer or moderator), there is something gained by showing that username. In that case, in a comment on the question, anyone can @ping the user who closed. In some cases, that's valuable. In other cases, it's detrimental. If the benefit outweighs the detriment is debatable. However, it is something that's enabled by showing the user who unilaterally closed the question. I agree it's not useful to show a list of multiple close-voters. I've several times seen OPs trying to ping those close-voters from comments, which, of course, doesn't work. – Makyen Oct 29 '19 at 17:17
  • Couldn't they see that under the old system anyway? – Chipster Oct 29 '19 at 18:06
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    @Chipster They could. Now the SO seems to be okay with limiting the information, I'm asking for a little more limiting to happen. – NathanOliver Oct 29 '19 at 18:07
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You guys are looking into updating the close reasons? Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.

I cannot tell you how many different ways I have asked for this in the past.

The close reasons are tightly coupled with the topicality of the sites, so it is certainly a tough subject to approach. They are also closely related to welcoming, and so any improvement there will be a drastic increase in community health.

The main issue with the current set of close reasons is that they didn't scale well. While they worked well enough at first, the sheer volume of question types that have been generated did not match the existing set of close reasons.

There needs to be more close reasons.

Simply tweaking the wording will make some small progress, but expanding the list will have a much greater impact. Close reasons with multiple sentences are not only confusing to many users, but also leave the door open to interpretation which causes strife in the community.

If there are to be multiple sentences in a close reason, then only the first should define the closure; the rest could still be used for help material, but should not be used for clarification.

Limit close reasons to one closure type.

Allowing close reasons to cast a net whereby they close multiple types of questions at once creates unease and friction. New users are unsure what exact aspect they violated, and veterans will argue over which aspect of the net was invalid for use.

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    Since this was downvoted, I am curios, I assume it would be because someone thinks it is a bad idea to limit closure reasons to one type or expand the list. I would rather be that I was personally downvoted ;) since that would not be reflective on the content, but I am sure that isn't the case. Just in case, in comments below, I would like to see an anonymous poll if you don't mind taking part (downvoters or upvoters). There will be 4 comments available to vote on to express agreement or disagreement with the main two aspects shown here. – Travis J Oct 29 '19 at 17:46
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    I would like to see more close reasons. – Travis J Oct 29 '19 at 17:46
  • I do not want to see more close reasons. – Travis J Oct 29 '19 at 17:46
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    I would like to limit close reasons to one closure type. – Travis J Oct 29 '19 at 17:47
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    I do not mind closure reasons covering more than one type. – Travis J Oct 29 '19 at 17:47
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    I'm confused by the options – OrangeDog Oct 29 '19 at 18:04
  • @StopHarmingMonica - Sorry, I thought they were straightforward. What aspect should I clarify? – Travis J Oct 29 '19 at 18:14
  • This only concerns the new post notices and the close reason names. They're currently not looking into adding new close reasons. – user474678 Nov 1 '19 at 11:07
  • @JL2210 - That's not entirely accurate, although it is true this post only addresses the current set and text. – Travis J Nov 1 '19 at 16:34
  • Multiple close reasons can be confusing, but sometimes questions are all over the place that it is very hard to choose most appropriate one. It is hard to say what is the best, showing only one close reason when it may not be the best one or showing multiple ones where at least some would make sense to the OP. – Resistance Is Futile Dec 3 '19 at 19:38
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    I am definitely for having more granular close reasons that would ease closure process and make it more clear why the question is actually closed. – Resistance Is Futile Dec 3 '19 at 19:39
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    @ResistanceIsFutile The intent behind showing close reason(s) to the OP is to let them know why the post was closed and what they would need to do to make it on-topic, so it can be reopened. A significant problem with showing the OP only one close reason is that there may be several reasons why the question was closed, each requiring additional editing to resolve. In such cases, showing only one reason to the OP is a very poor experience for the users that try to edit their question to get it reopened. They'll resolve one problem, but have no idea there are N other issues needing attention. – Makyen Dec 3 '19 at 20:09
  • Rather than creating a poll in comments you should create a new question and reference it from here – MiFreidgeim SO-stop being evil Dec 5 '19 at 20:50
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(As pointed out in the comments, the CW note was added through a mod notice)

  1. Missing "Locked" post notice for the question.
  2. Community Wiki notice appears to apply to just the question, when the question isn't a Community Wiki.
  3. Community Wiki notice is intended to apply just to the answers, although using the term "Community Wiki" is confusing.

For locked questions which are not closed and have a "Community Wiki" notice (search; specific example), the question post notice erroneously indicates that the question itself is a Community Wiki instead of indicating that it's actually locked:

A question with post notice that it's a community wiki when it's not

The CW notice is supposed to indicate the answers are intended to be edited, not the question.

The CW notice is intended to let users know that the answers can be edited, not that the question can be edited. There are several issues with the new implementation.

  • The notice isn't a post notice, it's a page notice. For consistency, it needs to not be inside the question content. It should be placed at the top of the page, above the question title, or some other location to indicate it applies to the entire page, not just to the question.

    • The prior placement of the notice below the question content and spanning the entire width of the vote area and Q&A content area made it more clear that the notice applied to the answers, rather than the question.
  • Calling locked questions "community wiki" is confusing. If not being called "locked" (which is what it is), then this state should be called something other than "community wiki". For posts on Stack Exchange, "community wiki" has a very specific meaning: the specific answer or question is a community wiki on which the author (or moderator) has explicitly invited much wider participation in editing the content, which includes allowing users with much lower reputation, 100 on non-beta sites, free editing of those posts.
    Using "community wiki" for something significantly different than the existing definition makes it unclear what the term means.

  • Locked questions are, well, locked. They can't be edited. Calling the "post" (i.e. the question) a community wiki is the opposite of the question's actual state (i.e. locked).

While the effect of locking a question might be somewhat like having the question and answers turned into a community wiki, the actual effect is significantly different.

  • The post's timeline indicates that the wiki answer note was added by a moderator. – Cris Luengo Oct 31 '19 at 19:53
  • @CrisLuengo Thanks for pointing that out. I failed to check the timeline. I'll need to look at some other questions, and probably rewrite some of what I said in this answer. From a brief look at this, I'd say the actual bug is the lack of a "Locked" notice for the question and that the positioning and wording of the "Community Wiki" notice may be an RFE, as the CW notice was probably there prior to the change in post notices. Although, I'd say that positioning the post notices at the top of the question content and clearly in the question, not the page, makes it more confusing what's intended. – Makyen Oct 31 '19 at 21:08
  • This would be a lot easier if it was possible to manually switch between showing the old notices vs. showing the new post notices. I think that part of the issue here is that the old notices used to span the entire width of the display area (i.e. including the left area where the votes are), rather than be confined to within the post content. The CW notice probably made much more since when it was after the question content and spanned the width of the entire Q&A content. – Makyen Oct 31 '19 at 21:12
  • On the other hand, I didn't find a note in the timeline that indicated that the question is locked. But obviously the question is locked. Did the lock and wiki labels get swapped, also in the timeline? – Cris Luengo Nov 1 '19 at 1:05
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? (And maybe it was always like this?)

I don't see how you can "provide detailed answers" if the question is "not currently accepting answers". If a question is closed, don't show the first ("insufficient explanation") banner—or maybe only show it to people who have an answer on the post:

Want to improve this post? Provide detailed answers to this question, including citations and an explanation of why your answer is correct. Answers without enough detail may be edited or deleted.

Closed. This question needs to be more focused. It is not currently accepting answers. Learn more.

(Screenshot; example question: Why is the Android emulator so slow? How can we speed up the Android emulator?)

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    So... There is a post notice - "insufficient explanation" - that does double duty: on an answer, it means "your answer doesn't explain anything - fix it!"... But on a question, it means "don't post an answer unless you include an explanation in it". IOW, it's always referring to answers, either in the present (on answer) or future (on question). But, by adding the "Want to improve this post?" prefix, we've made it... somewhat unsuitable for questions. What it used to look like – Shog9 Oct 31 '19 at 23:39
  • This is a case where a post was protected and then closed. The intersection of the protect notice (added by a mod) and then close notice leads to this confusion. A mod could unprotect it and it would go away. You can call it by design or wontfix, but it is an edge case that we aren't going to address at this time. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 5 '19 at 13:35
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The new post notices still point to the current help center articles. This reads confusing as different terminology is used there.

Is a rewrite for the help center also scheduled when this rolls out any further?

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    Indeed, there is a rewrite of the help center article that is just about done. Unfortunately, we dont have an easy way to include help center articles in our sampling, so we will be keeping the current version up until this is fully released to all users – Yaakov Ellis Oct 29 '19 at 12:29
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    Fair enough, thanks for your reply @YaakovEllis – Luuklag Oct 29 '19 at 12:31
  • @YaakovEllis should I add a [status-planned] here? – Luuklag Oct 29 '19 at 13:16
  • @Luuklag I would. – TylerH Oct 29 '19 at 16:32
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I was looking at different closed questions, and came across this one: "Thinking in AngularJS" if I have a jQuery background?

Closed question linked above

It was closed as "Needs more focus" (which appears to be a legacy close reason which is the new name for the "Too broad" close reason). There are however no names and timestamp of those who closed this post and when. That information is available in the post timeline.

Edit: on mobile I see this view:

enter image description here

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    This is maybe covered/caused by the same thing as this answer. – user394554 Oct 29 '19 at 13:45
  • In this case the question was only closed as "Need more focus", not multiple reasons. – Luuklag Oct 29 '19 at 13:47
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    Re: "... editing this post" - In addition it prompts users to edit the post in order to improve it, however it is locked and so cannot be edited. – user394554 Oct 29 '19 at 13:50
  • @NickA I can live with that. The historical lock is the exception here, in normal cases editing would be the correct mode of action. Would be good to add though. – Luuklag Oct 29 '19 at 13:53
  • This is by design. The view shown to the post author or to users with close/reopen privileges are shown this info. We are hiding it for all other users as it is not relevant for them. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 4 '19 at 10:00
  • @Luuklag I did a little more digging: because the post is locked (aside from being closed), you are not able to reopen it, so you dont get to see the text that is relevant for users with the ability to reopen this question. If the lock was removed, you would see it. I can see it because I have mod privileges. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 4 '19 at 12:06
  • Thanks for clarifying @YaakovEllis. Perhaps we then can go the extra mile, and just NOT show the closed notice, as it isn't relevant due to the historical lock. I'll see if that suggestion is around here, or add another answer for that. – Luuklag Nov 4 '19 at 12:22
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    @Luuklag you can add another answer, but I can tell you right now that it will be declined or deferred. We are not changing anything with this release regarding "what" is being shown (including multiple notice scenarios). Just changing what/where/how. So although the idea may have merit, it is out of scope for this round. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 4 '19 at 12:46
9

When a post is locked, it's not obvious that it's locked, or that you can't interact with the question, except by editing. Take this SO question

The new bar no longer says the word "locked" and it de-emphasizes that you cannot answer it.

Locked?

The bottom still says

comments disabled on deleted / locked posts / reviews

The problem I have here is that we're no longer using consistent terminology. This is going to confuse new users who are going to wonder where they were told it was locked.

Note: While this is similar to this request, I'm focused solely on consistent terminology here, not the other issues raised.

  • The wording is intentional. Hopefully will be less confusing once this is fully launched. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 25 '19 at 12:50
9

Both the "This post is hidden" and "Locked" notices are missing on questions deleted as spam or rude/abusive (example question):

deleted question missing both the locked and hidden notices

The notices are, however, not missing from answers (example answer):

deleted answer with both locked and hidden

  • 1
    I am looking at these questions and am seeing the hidden/locked notices – Yaakov Ellis Nov 10 '19 at 12:25
  • @YaakovEllis It looks like there's a difference between what you see and what I do. I just double-checked. I see neither the hidden or locked notices on the question I linked as the example (new screenshot). I do see them on the answer I linked. I testing in a profile with all userscripts turned off, just to be sure it wasn't something the userscripts I use were affecting. – Makyen Nov 10 '19 at 16:48
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    Ok, I see it now. Thanks, looking into it. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 11 '19 at 20:12
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    This should be fixed now. @makyen can you please confirm? – Yaakov Ellis Nov 18 '19 at 17:35
  • @YaakovEllis Thanks for working on it. Unfortunately, it's not fixed for me. I still see the same as the screen-captures in this answer. – Makyen Nov 18 '19 at 18:18
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    can you check again please? I think that it should be fixed now – Yaakov Ellis Nov 25 '19 at 21:55
  • @YaakovEllis Great! That worked. Thanks for working on it. – Makyen Nov 25 '19 at 22:50
  • @YaakovEllis I'm not sure if it changed after I looked at it yesterday, or if I didn't notice. The question now has the correct post notices, but when the question is deleted as spam, the post body no longer has the text "This question was marked as spam or rude or abusive and is therefore not shown - you can see the revision history for details." Personally, I use a userscript which provides a link to the history, but it's probably intended that the above text exist and provide the history link. – Makyen Nov 27 '19 at 3:42
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    In the case where the post body is completely removed due to spam, we previously had inserted the text that you referred to. This is changing now - in this case we will be showing the relevant post notices instead (the inline text is redundant with the notices, and as it is inline text, the notices are preferable as they are clearly delineated from the post body) – Yaakov Ellis Nov 27 '19 at 7:42
  • @YaakovEllis The inline text is not redundant with the current new post notices. The new post notices don't explain why the content is actually hidden, not just deleted, because the new "hidden" notice looks effectively identical to the "hidden" notice that exists on every deleted post. Importantly, the new post notices don't contain a link to the revision history, which that text contained. I use that link, up to a few 10's of times every day, while working with SmokeDetector. I can compensate for this with a userscript, but userscripts are not something other people choose to use. – Makyen Nov 27 '19 at 7:56
  • 1
    Thanks for the feedback. We'll consider compensating for this in some way. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 27 '19 at 8:00
  • @YaakovEllis Please do. The link to the revision history is something I know other people use on a regular basis (i.e. many times per day). I'd note that I did find it confusing that the post didn't have content when the post notice was just the same as I see on every other deleted post. – Makyen Nov 27 '19 at 8:51
  • The inline spam notice has been restored for the 10K+ rep users who can see it (in addition to the new post notices) – Yaakov Ellis Dec 4 '19 at 6:45
  • @YaakovEllis Looks good. Thanks for restoring that text and link. – Makyen Dec 4 '19 at 11:48
8

Closing a question doesn't just affect the question's author. It also affects anyone who wishes to answer the question or edit it to make it openable. I can foresee a lot of "I don't see why this question needs to be more focused" types of comments from users who would like a question to be open and are not able to see the detailed reason why a question was closed.

  • 1
    And this didn't happen before? – user474678 Nov 1 '19 at 11:09
  • 1
    @user474678, is new version suppose to be better, not worse? – MiFreidgeim SO-stop being evil Dec 5 '19 at 21:12
8

On questions which were previously called protected questions I can now see two notice messages. e.g. Why shouldn't I use mysql_* functions in PHP? enter image description here

Why do I see both notices?
Why do I see them when I only view the question? It is the first thing I see when I open the question. Now assuming I am a low reputation user whose question was closed as duplicate of canonical post and is redirected to a protected question, the most prominent information I see is asking me to provide a detailed answer! The real content of the Q&A is pushed down as if it was less important.

Why can't this first message be shown where the answer button is. The answering functionality is on the very bottom of the page, where after carefully reading through all the answers I have already forgotten about the useful notice I read at the top. That is a poor UX. Can we move this information to the bottom as well? Strangely enough when I log out, I can see this information on the bottom where the answer box would normally be located as well as on top of the question.

Another point, which was also raised in SOCVR, is in regards to the reputation needed to answer. The second message tells me how much reputation I have got, and that I can answer the question. No offense, but this message makes no sense to me. I know my reputation! I know I can answer it, because I have the answer box at the bottom. At which point does this message become ridiculous? What about Jon Skeet? "Since you have 1,140,486 reputation, you can answer this question."

The site just says "Since you are Jon Skeet, you can answer this question" - Machavity

  • Could you please link to a question that shows this? – Yaakov Ellis Oct 29 '19 at 17:46
  • @YaakovEllis Added link to the post. – Dharman Oct 29 '19 at 17:47
  • 1
    The Want to improve this post is showing because a Mod put an "Insufficient Explanation" on this post. If this is removed by a mod, then the post notice will go away. A user without enough rep will not see the second one. – Yaakov Ellis Oct 29 '19 at 18:09
  • We are going for consistent positioning across the board. The previous iteration of post notices were all over the place. It may take some getting used to, but we are trying to move away from having some of them at the top and some at the bottom. – Yaakov Ellis Oct 29 '19 at 18:10
  • @YaakovEllis Ok, I think this is new to me, but in such case why is the message sometimes at the top & bottom, and sometimes only at the top? – Dharman Oct 29 '19 at 18:11
  • Yes, the rep number can be a bit much. We went back and forth on it. It is not enough to say how much rep is needed, since it is for earned rep and does not include the association bonus. We could consider rounding the number (ie show 1,140K for Jon Skeet) – Yaakov Ellis Oct 29 '19 at 18:13
  • The message should only be at the top of the question (in the case of a question notice) or at the top of the answer (in the case of an answer post notice). If you see otherwise, please link to it and let me know. – Yaakov Ellis Oct 29 '19 at 18:14
  • @YaakovEllis As I said in my post I can see it when I am not logged in. See here imgur.com/a/UjuEoYI – Dharman Oct 29 '19 at 18:20
  • 1
    Update: we no longer show your rep number – Yaakov Ellis Nov 6 '19 at 8:28
  • 1
    @YaakovEllis, The banner should be shown only to those, who do NOT have such privileges. For the author and those with lock privilege it should be shown as “locked for users with not sufficient reputation”. For other users the information is irrelevant and should be hidden. – MiFreidgeim SO-stop being evil Dec 5 '19 at 21:26
  • 2
    @MiFreidgeimSO-stopbeingevil the banner is now hidden for users who cannot unprotect posts. – Yaakov Ellis Dec 22 '19 at 12:44
8

The new text "Some community members have associated this/your post with similar questions." sounds a bit funny when the OP himself voted to close or agreed with the closure. Please special-case this for self-closure or closures by the Community user.

An example by myself would be Ways of setting/getting a textNode's value, although that's quite old and I'm not sure by which process I closed it. (And also I'm only seeing the "private feedback"). I couldn't find any other example to verify the latest behaviour.

  • 3
    Text is now special-cased when viewed by OP. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 5 '19 at 12:32
8

The current migration notice looks like this:

image

This doesn't mean the question can necessarily be answered. It could be a duplicate.

I think it should be:

image

  • The language has been fixed up here, thanks for the suggestion – Yaakov Ellis Nov 24 '19 at 19:47
8

This question is marked as a duplicate of a question which is closed.

The post notice reads:

This question already has answers here:

Closed 7 years ago.

Screenshot:

screenshot of post  notice

Not sure if this is due to the way duplicates used to be edited into the post, or because the duplicate itself was closed, but it was pretty confusing to see.

  • Yeah, we know about this. Can be bydesign or declined. The issue (discussed elsewhere) is that for really old duplicates we used to inline the duplicate post links. Subsequently we record them in their own db table. But for posts preceding this the inline links exist. And for [reasons] we are unable to extract the duplicate links and delete the inlining from 100% of them. So these will look like your screenshots - the post notice just says that there is a duplicate, but the links are part of the question text. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 25 '19 at 11:25
  • ...unless they have been already edited out, which did happen with a lot of questions. – Dharman Nov 25 '19 at 12:50
  • 1
    @YaakovEllis, if the record in table is missing/empty, you should have different message, or hide the first sentence. – MiFreidgeim SO-stop being evil Dec 5 '19 at 21:34
8

Update to functionality: MigratedFrom notices are now hidden after 60 days from migration (you can still see the migration history in the post timeline). This does not apply to the MiratedTo and MigrationRejection notices, which will continue to be shown as normal.

The notice indicating that a question was migrated from somewhere else should be removed after a fixed period of time.

migrated notice

After seven years, there is no need to highlight prominently that the question originated on a different site.

See Hide notice for migrated questions after 30 days and Remove migration notices from destination post.

7

Typo/grammar/boolean logic:

It's seeking recommendations for books, tools, software libraries, and more. This question is likely to lead to opinion-based answers.

I don't think I've ever seen a question asking for books, tools, software libraries and more. I want it all and I want it now?

Should be changed to:

It's seeking recommendations for books, tools, software libraries or other off-site resources. This question is likely to lead to opinion-based answers.

Or you could have kept the text as it was...

Because the main reason why we don't allow these questions is not the risk of opinion-based answers - "where can I find MSDN" is a very specific question with only one possible correct answer. Rather, it is the risk of building a site where some answers are nothing but dead links.

  • 1
    Has been changed to: "It's seeking recommendations for books, software libraries, or other off-site resources. This question is likely to lead to opinion-based answers." – Yaakov Ellis Nov 3 '19 at 12:44
7

bug

This is possibly a bug where an answer deleted on April 2019 is shown as deleted 26 months ago.

Question - How to assert that some String contains at least one value from the List <String>?

Link to answer - https://stackoverflow.com/a/55550091/4405757

enter image description here

  • 4
    Thanks, this has been mentioned in a number of places, I'll be looking into it. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 3 '19 at 12:09
  • 3
    @YaakovEllis your responsiveness is awesome, thanks. – Shadow9 Nov 3 '19 at 12:29
  • 1
    Relative post close times are now being shown accurately – Yaakov Ellis Nov 5 '19 at 13:02
  • @YaakovEllis Great. Thanks – user7 Nov 5 '19 at 14:55
7

Update: after fix, the public banner now looks like this: fixed image


The public duplicate banner looks like this:

This question has an answer here: "Closed 1 hour ago"

source

Shouldn't the timestamp be below the duplicate link in a <sub>, like:

This question already has an answer here:

How to access the correct this inside a callback?

Closed 1 hour ago

That way, the sentence would make more sense.

  • 4
    Yes, I also feel it's a bug. As an aside: luckily the SE developers know better than to abuse <sub> for formatting :-) – Arjan Nov 9 '19 at 14:00
  • This has been fixed – Yaakov Ellis Nov 11 '19 at 19:55
  • 1
    Great, thank you :) – Jonas Wilms Nov 11 '19 at 19:57
7

I just noticed on this question in the protected banner there are two asterisks. Is this a bug related to markdown bold highlighting?

enter image description here

  • This has been fixed. Thanks for the report. – Yaakov Ellis Nov 25 '19 at 11:25
7
  1. On this post 1: "Grep 'binary file matches'. How to get normal grep output? [duplicate]" I am seeing this notice

Banner on question "post 1"

  1. This post 2: How to grep a text file which contains some binary data? (is linked to in the notice)

So post 1 is closed as duplicate? Post 2 is not a duplicate and not closed. Post 1 refers to post 2. All good here.

What is not good:

  • The text "Closed 2 years ago" can be read to refer to post 2 (the post that is being linked to). Actually, at first glance, I assumed this.
  • There is not a clear enough indication which should be the preferred question. As a reader I am referred to another question (with answers). Yes, but post 1 has answers too. So, I might ignore the notice, upvote the question and upvote one of the answers. It doesn't help to reduce the duplicates.
  • I came via Google. Why am I even seeing post 1 and not post 2?
  • Why are closed questions even still visible? I never understood that.
  • Why can I still upvote this question? It is closed as duplicate.
  • The information "Closed as duplicate" should be integrated into the text "Closed 2 years ago". The information [duplicate] is in the title but that is visually too far away from the information in blue.
  • What is the action that is expected of me to be helpful?
  • Where is the information about the close reasons (in general)?
  • What is the process for closing / deleting / marking as duplicate etc.?

I am sure this information is documented somewhere. It is difficult to find. Until this day the close reasons are not entirely clear to me. Duplicate is obvious. "Too broad" etc. is - at least for me - not yet obvious enough.

To really be helpful in this rollout I would like to see a before / after slideshow or something. Right now, it is just confusing. I can't easily assess the change if I don't know what was changed. Maybe the upvoting of post 1 is currently only possible because I am in this testgroup and data is being collected what my actions are. Maybe I am in the group who sees the "old" behavior.

What are you trying to achieve?

  • reduce the amount of duplicate (and other "unwanted") questions?
  • actually have the "unwanted" questions closed or deleted and no longer visible? Or at least not upvotable?

What I like about this change:

  • Listing the other questions with number of answers
  • The blue banner (can't exactly say why)

What I would like to see:

general:

  • A nice symbol and / or individual color coding for the main close reasons.
  • Very clear explanations for close / delete / downvote reasons and a link to this, e.g. as in "I downvoted because" project. "Unclear" or "too broad" is very vague for me and can be due to a number of reasons. I would rather sacrifice "niceness" for clarity but they are not mutually exclusive and you can do both.

For "real" duplicates that have gone through a process and been identified as duplicates (which is the case here):

  • removal of the duplicate (and redirect to preferred question)

For edge cases, (where there are good answers on both etc.)

  • clear indication which is the canonical post
  • when I search, I do not want to see the duplicate. I want to see the preferred question (e.g. redirect)
  • eventually, merging of the 2 questions and removal of the duplicates

I would also like to point out: for many people on meta, mods, staff etc. the workflow / procedure for closing / deleting etc. and also the reasons for closing / deleting / flagging etc. seems to be clear. For me it is not (entirely). I read the help center (a while ago), I regularly use SO, and occasionally read on meta. I want to be helpful, but I am afraid the essence of SO is not yet flowing through my veins.

  • Re: bullet #3 - we only redirect when you're not logged in and there are no answers on the duplicate; this avoids the problem where you're either trying to see the duplicate explicitly, or you don't care and there are useful answer(s) to it that you might want to read before clicking through. BTW: thanks for the detailed feedback! – Shog9 Nov 29 '19 at 16:31
  • Raise it as a separate question/discussion. You have many points, and discuss them in comments is not convenient. – MiFreidgeim SO-stop being evil Dec 5 '19 at 21:41
  • I agree. There are probably too many aspects lumped into one answer. I'd have to check though, if questions already exist and maybe filter for viability. Is there one particular point you think is worth pursuing? – Sybille Peters Dec 6 '19 at 5:53
7

In the old box for alerts, the background colour ws set to a light yellow. This meant that the contrast, especially for blue-coloured hyperlinks, was good and clear. Maybe it's just me, but I feel that the current light-blue colour scheme makes it harder to read hyperlinks, which is particularly significant in the case where the hyperlink contains an entire question title (because e.g. it is the link to a duplicate question). This creates unnecessary strain on my eyes, IMO.

My suggestion is to change the colour back to yellow. Either that, or adjust the background colour such that it is lighter and the colour of the hyperlinks are darker, although it seems the blue was chosen specifically to fit the colour scheme elsewhere (such as in tag backgrounds), so there could be a standardisation issue there. Changing to yellow seems the best decision to me.

Example image from a question on Math SE:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Yeah, that's not the clearest-looking text. I bet it looks even worse to people with certain forms of colour-blindness. – F1Krazy Dec 6 '19 at 13:16
7

"Highly active question" links to inaccurate help page (protect questions vs. answer protected questions)

enter image description here

This is mostly fixed with TheBlackCat's "Since you have more than Y reputation, you can answer the question. ..." proposal which is marked as status-completed, so I'll address only the "Learn more" part: It links to the Protect questions help section about protecting questions, not answering protected questions, which states that 15k rep is required:

enter image description here

This was confusing to me, since it gave me the impression that answering was a moderator privilege. With "Since you have more than Y reputation, ...", this is less relevant, but for anyone who actually clicks "Learn more", I suggest one of the following things:

since it's not immediately clear that this isn't a moderator privilege.

(Originally reported here, then moved to this thread.)

  • The Protect Questions help section has been updated to make note of this – Yaakov Ellis Dec 8 '19 at 13:23
6

When I come to a question, I'm interested in the question itself. Out of habit, my eyes automatically position themselves to be where the post's body will be, however, now I'm greeted with:

or

Suggestion: Move all notices beneath the post.

Afterthought: If you must keep the notices in the post then try the following: If the post is closed and the person viewing the post is the OP of the question then show it in the post's body, otherwise show it beneath the post.

  • I think moving the notices to the top was a deliberate decision. Especially for duplicates, many users where confused by the two separate boxes (one containing the links, and one saying that it's closed and has answers somewhere else). However, as a feature request maybe the "post notices" could become "topic notices", and would be placed between the heading and the post instead of inside the post? This should fix your issue of "trained eyes" as well. – Bergi Oct 30 '19 at 15:14
  • 1
    Thanks for your feedback Script47. As @Bergi said, the decision to move all notices to the top was deliberate. We know that there are some downsides to this (some of which may be related to getting used to something new). We think that having consistent positioning for all users for all notices will outweigh these. – Yaakov Ellis Oct 31 '19 at 12:15
6

I just revisited one of my first ever answers here, which I deleted long time ago. On mobile version there is no banner no textual information that the post is deleted.

enter image description here

On desktop version there is a blue banner saying:

This post is hidden. This post was deleted 6 years ago by the post author. Learn more.

  • Can you please leave a link to the question? – Yaakov Ellis Nov 5 '19 at 13:36
  • @YaakovEllis Added the link to the deleted answer. – Dharman Nov 5 '19 at 13:41
  • 1
    deleted answers now show the appropriate notice when viewed on mobile – Yaakov Ellis Nov 6 '19 at 8:20
6

This is related to the previous bug report:
https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/337282

On old questions which were closed as "exact duplicate", such as this one, we can see almost empty banner:

enter image description here

I understand that the idea is to display both banners for the time being, but I think the contents of the new banner should be adjusted.

6

On this question I can see the same text twice.

enter image description here

To be pedantic, I can actually see the same message 3 times. "Update the question so it's on-topic for Stack Overflow." and "Edit the question so it is on-topic for Stack Overflow." have the same meaning.

5

It's already been mentioned that "Viewable by the post author and users with the close/reopen votes privilege" is unclear, but what I am actually curious about:

How many different views are there on the new post notices?

Apparently users without the privilege to vote on the closure do see a somewhat different messages, but what does the author see? The message currently seems to suggest that the author gets the same view as the close voters, but that would be quite unhelpful imo.

As a power user, the information I'm primarily interested in is

  • the question is closed
  • for what reason (and what duplicate are linked)
  • chosen by whom
  • how long ago

Please make the layout so that all these bits are readily recognisable, and not distracted by more prominent (bolded) features or linebreaks.

As an author of a closed post, I need the same information but much more explanation and actionable items on that:

  • What does it mean for a question to be closed/put on hold? (no answers for now, needs editing)
  • What is wrong with my question (and why does that make it hard to answer/a bad fit for SO)?
  • Who is responsible for the close decision (the community, not an automated process or moderator staff)
  • What can I do to improve, and how does the further process look like?

Please share some screenshots of the experience an author gets as well.

Update: I can share a message from one of my closed questions:

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.

Also it appears that in the duplicate-question message, the sentence is change from "this post" to "your post", but otherwise it looks the same.

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