Whenever I try to run a query with the Data Explorer, my process is:

  1. Type the parameters for the query.
  2. Click "Run query".
  3. Click the "I'm not a robot" checkbox that suddenly appears.
  4. Solve the captcha.
  5. Click "Run query" again.

Having to click "Run query" twice is annoying and confusing and seems unnecessary. It additionally involves visually progressing down the page and then back up again. Other sites that use captchas usually either:

  • Automatically continue with the requested action after solving the captcha.
  • Show the "I'm not a robot" checkbox and captcha at the beginning, before allowing the user to submit.

Can the SE Data Explorer captcha workflow be made more usable? Or is there some reason for its current design (for example, is it intentionally less usable to discourage people from using it)?

  • 3
    This was the best Tim Stone could in the limited time he had for the move to recaptcha 3.0 or whatever version it currently is on.
    – rene
    Feb 8 at 21:29
  • 2
    related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/305988/…
    – rene
    Feb 8 at 21:31
  • 1
    I imagine this stems from a workflow where the page doesn't actually know it needs to show you a Captcha until after it tries to submit the query.
    – zcoop98
    Feb 8 at 22:07
  • @zcoop98 Why wouldn't it know? Don't all anonymous queries require solving a captcha first? And even if it doesn't know, SEDE could automatically re-submit the query afterward.
    – jamesdlin
    Feb 8 at 22:10
  • @james Oh for sure– I'm not saying the workflow couldn't be better; I meant more than the page doesn't know, but the server it's submitting the query to probably does, which is one potential reason it might only trigger after your submission.
    – zcoop98
    Feb 8 at 22:16
  • 2
    Looks like that's actually exactly what's happening– when I submit a query as a logged-out user, the first response my browser gets back indicates that a captcha is required: image. The page should be smarter, auto-trigger the captcha by checking some things in its purview first (e.g. is the user logged in?), but the server is still what's asking ultimately, at least with how it's built right now.
    – zcoop98
    Feb 8 at 22:20
  • 2
    A worse case can happen: the user solves the captcha after clicking run, and, believing that that's all that's required, doesn't click the run button again. Then the captcha expires, requiring a full page reload to work right. Feb 8 at 23:25
  • adding to this, captchas seem to have gotten more aggressive recently, asking to solve more problems until is is satisfied. I know I can just sign in, but I just prefer doing my queries as a logged-out user.
    – starball
    Feb 9 at 0:41
  • 3
    To get this on SE's radar, a status-review tag needs be added to the question. A bounty draws attention from users, which is helpful when it needs more support or user input, but doesn't let the company know about the issue. Adding a status-review tag generates a ticket in SE's task system, which will be triaged into a feature request/bug sent to developers. Without a status-review tag, it should be assumed SE doesn't even know about the issue. To have a status-review tag added to the question, raise an "in need of moderator intervention" flag to request it be added.
    – Makyen
    Mar 8 at 20:11


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