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Can you spot the irony in this screenshot: enter image description here

At least one of those given tags is required and none of them was even shown as suggested.

EDIT: here's a proposal for UI improvement, don't take it too literally:

enter image description here

(just to clarify: this is the form before submitting)

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    I think the current behavior is intentional. The point of suggested tags is to try and identify the topic of the question, while the required tags identify the nature of the question (as in, what type of post it is, not what it is about). Trying to program an automated system to identify the nature of the question (e.g. whether it appears to be a bug report) would result in quite a few false positives. Jul 16 at 20:23
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    I never suggested it should try to guess what the nature of the question is. Just lay out the tags of which I am required to choose at least one, so I am encouraged to click on one or more of them before submitting the question, rather than finding out by submitting and getting an error message. You could easily have two rows: "Suggested tags: [this] [that] [whatever]. <\n> Choose at least one: [bug] [feature-request] [whatever-else]" (don't take my suggested phrases literally)
    – matteo
    Jul 17 at 22:03

2 Answers 2

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This is probably intentional. Suggested tags aren't really to show the required tags, they are to show up according to the content in the question. But of course, no system is perfect in finding the right tags.

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Those are two different things.

The suggested tags feature works based on key words in the question body and title, and based on those key words it suggests tags. More details here.

The error message you posted is a validation error, one of many. It can also be question being too short, question having quality problems, etc. The fact the validation error and the suggested tags appear so close to each other is just design choice, and maybe worth posting feature request asking to change it.

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  • I know they are two different things, but they are related in terms of UX. One is a selection of tags (based dynamically on the contents of your question) that you may want to pick, one or more or none of them (besides typing your own); the other is a fixed set of tags of which you have to pick at least one, and... they are not there, and that is my point. Since I have to pick at least one of them, it would be reasonable to lay them in front of me beforehand (and next to the suggested ones would be a reasonable place).
    – matteo
    Jul 17 at 22:10
  • I know it's a validation error. Usually, a well-designed form gives you an intuitive sense of what's required, before you send it and get validation errors. For example, required fields usually have an asterisk next to them. A radio-button choice doesn't have an extra option that you can choose that is invalid. A textarea that has a character limit often shows the number of characters you have left as you type, etc. Here, no clue whatsoever is given in advance that you're required to pick one of those tags, until you send the form and get the validation error. [1/2]
    – matteo
    Jul 17 at 22:20
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    [2/2] And the fact that an algorithm went so far as to analyze my text and suggest tags based on topics, and at the same time didn't make the effort to offer me the possibility to click on tags that it knew in advance I had to pick from, feels particularly frustrating. It's just bad UX design.
    – matteo
    Jul 17 at 22:24
  • Even more ironic: if you click inside the Tags field you you do get a list of the very tags of which one is required (although there's no mention of that), each one with an extensive description. Which is good because you're encouraged to pick one of those. But I didn't even get to see that, because I got the list of suggested tags right below the field, and they were very good suggestions so I clicked a few of those and I never needed to click inside the Tags field. The bottom line is: the UI is a mess.
    – matteo
    Jul 17 at 22:40
  • Aaaaaaaaaand now I see it: the PLACEHOLDER in the Tags field actually says "Must include one of these: ....". But again, the placeholder went away as soon as I clicked one of the suggested tags, because.... it's a PLACEHOLDER. A placeholder should hold an example or explanation of the contents of the field, not a requirement, and never information that is not supposed to disappear as the user starts typing. Classic example of misusing a field's placeholder, like when people use it for the label.
    – matteo
    Jul 17 at 22:46
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    @matteo like I said, maybe worth posting feature request asking to change the current UX, you can put there what you wrote in the comments here. Jul 17 at 23:25

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