Questions tagged [new-users]

New users are those users who may be new to the Stack Exchange Q&A format, and generally have a low reputation score, which starts from 1 at the time of registration.

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1792
votes
50answers
43k views

Could we please be a bit nicer to new users?

There is a distinct decline in the level of civility on all the sites here. Some of this is due to new users coming in and posting spam and other nonsense, but the off-topic and downvote buttons are ...
565
votes
13answers
17k views

Exit strategies for “chameleon questions”

I'm not sure if there's already an existing term for this, so I'm inventing my own. (tl;dr: I call them "chameleon questions" because they change every time you submit or edit an answer. If ...
321
votes
70answers
7k views

Should I be discouraged by Stack Overflow?

Let me start off by a little background. I am currently a 3rd year pursuing a BS in Computer Science at a small Christian school in San Diego. I have take a good chunk of the courses offered to me, ...
245
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34answers
15k views

Can we prevent some of the low-quality questions from entering our system?

Stack Overflow has been wildly successful. And maybe in some ways too successful. I am concerned that Stack Overflow is being inundated by a stream of low-quality questions from users who are ...
174
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2answers
2k views

Usability issues for first-time Stack Exchange users - a micro-study

I come from lands afar, also known as Hardware Recommendations Stack Exchange. Over there, we have a serious problem with first-time Stack Exchange users coming along and asking off-topic questions - ...
145
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6answers
1k views

Please enable low-rep users to easily breakout up and down votes on their own questions

I know once you get a certain amount of reputation, you can see the total up and down votes for questions. Well, my proposal is to always be able to see this on your own questions and answers. You can ...
138
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30answers
3k views

We're rolling out a new “Quick Start” guide to help new users learn the basics

Here's the first one, on Ask Different. We've been working hard on ways to help improve the experience of new users, and one of the best ways to do that is to help teach them the basics about how our ...
120
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15answers
7k views

What about the community is “toxic” to new users?

In Chapter #2 of The Loop, the following graph is being shown: The blog post states the following as explanation for what it defines as "unwelcoming": Unwelcoming community (10.6% of responses):...
117
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2answers
2k views

Pre-fill question-box with text for new users (A/B study proposal)

Problem statement Many new users are unaware of how to formulate a good question, particularly for the technical sites like Stack Overflow, Super User (OK, all of SE). This leads to many new ...
113
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19answers
3k views

How can we make First Posts review actually useful?

There's now a feature-request based on this discussion; see: Let's have an explicit triage system for questions from new users I'm about fed up with the First Posts review queue. Oh, it was a ...
107
votes
7answers
3k views

Are we creating divisions in our quest to make new users welcome?

One of the more frequent accusations that get leveled against long-time users of various sites is that we treat new user questions differently. That we downvote and close vote them maliciously, to "...
106
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6answers
4k views

Problem with users not accepting answers

I am facing a recurring problem on Stack Overflow that goes like this: Someone asks a question. I answer, and we chat until their problem is solved. Then they leave the site, forgetting to upvote ...
104
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5answers
3k views

How does a lurker gain reputation to receive privilege for commenting? [duplicate]

I have been reading Stack Exchange for years - mostly not logged in, and have never posted (this is my first). I'm simply not very talkative, and very good at googling. Recently a few occasions have ...
101
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11answers
2k views

I propose changing the term “closed” out for… something else [duplicate]

The problem One of the recurring questions on Meta is "why was this question closed?" In nearly every case, the question is posed by a newcomer to Stack Exchange who doesn't understand what ...
95
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50answers
18k views

Come Take a Look at our New Contributor Indicator!

This feature is now live across the network. We've been doing quite a bit of research into ways that we could help new users have better experiences that ultimately lead them to becoming increasingly ...
91
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22answers
4k views

Heuristics for detecting a bad answer?

A lot of bad answers are slipping through the cracks on Stack Overflow. You can see some examples at Thanks a lot for this post ... and other first time user curiosities I've been paging through ...
91
votes
6answers
2k views

Let's have an explicit triage system for questions from new users

This is a follow-up feature-request based on: How can we make First Posts review actually useful? - big thanks to everyone who participated there, I've tried to incorporate the feedback into the ...
87
votes
8answers
2k views

Shouldn't a reputation points-less newbie at least be able to upvote a good answer to his/her own questions?

I'm new to Stack Overflow and haven't any reputation points. I just got my first question answered, and I tried to upvote the answer, but I get a popup that says I don't have enough reputation ...
86
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3answers
1k views

A way for “new users” to ask about their post specifically

We currently require that new users have 5+ reputation to participate in meta support discussions (bugs, feedback, governance, etc). This is primarily because the use case for meta is not ...
82
votes
8answers
1k views

What happens to new users?

I've been looking at what happens when new users post their first questions on Stack Overflow... Not really done yet, but I figured I'd toss what I have up here in case anyone else has useful ...
81
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7answers
1k views

What is a meta for?

A guest at my house over the weekend stood puzzled next to my driveway. "What is that for?" she asked, pointing to a framework of 2x4s and hardware cloth perched on an old tire amid piles of ...
80
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14answers
4k views

We need to be a little less hostile

I've noticed a distressing tendency for questions that seem basic or overly short to be immediately closed and downvoted into oblivion. Case in point: How can I tell if a DOM object is out of the ...
79
votes
1answer
447 views

Why is upvoting being recommended here?

I've just noticed that the full text you get on the First Posts review queue includes: When in doubt, upvote the question and leave a comment to help the user out, or click Skip if you are not sure ...
74
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9answers
3k views

What are the most effective ways to guide new users?

New users' first contributions to a site, by their nature, often require improvement. There are different methods of dealing with this, and I am looking for evidence that would help understand which ...
72
votes
3answers
796 views

Add a note about downvoting on Meta

There is a lot of irritation and whining from newbies when their suggestions get downvoted because they don't understand that votes have a different meaning here. This is unnecessary, and I'm ...
71
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4answers
1k views

Change default username from “Unknown” to “User{number}”

I just saw a user named: .yahoo.co.jpaqwsykcj3aulh3h1k0cy6nzs3isj Could new users be named according to their user-number, or something other than "Unknown"? Perhaps User1234567 instead? It would be ...
68
votes
10answers
1k views

Reminding new users of accept/upvote “duty”?

I often see new users posting questions and getting answers. But instead of getting an upvote or accept for the answer, they just add a comment that the answer helped them. I understand that you need ...
64
votes
2answers
706 views

Encouraging users to create an account (and keep it). Did it actually work?

Based on this post: Encouraging users to create an account (and keep it), and the fact that you need to create an account to ask questions on SO, now, after some time passed, did it really help? Are ...
62
votes
2answers
609 views

Please re-consider enabling low-rep users to see individual up/down votes on their own posts

This post is a request to re-consider the question "Please enable low-rep users to easily breakout up and down votes on their own questions", which was declined in 2010. This is not a duplicate post. ...
60
votes
8answers
2k views

How does a new user begin using Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange?

As a new user, I find it impossible to contribute to the community or to even begin contributing. I know why the reputation system is in place and I respect it, but at the same time it is too hard on ...
59
votes
5answers
2k views

Warn new users when they ask a question after a previous question is closed, downvoted, or deleted

Another "miséricorde": http://meta.superuser.com/questions/6736/can-you-please-review-my-ban Consider this comment (emphasis added): I think its okay, please dont take any efforts for me. I ...
57
votes
12answers
2k views

How does “proof of effort” make a question better?

It seems like many questions by new users are downvoted immediately. Sometimes there is a comment to the tune of "lacks research", "we're not here to do your homework", or "show us some effort". Now ...
57
votes
2answers
7k views

Is there a limit on how many questions I can ask? [duplicate]

Is there a limit on how many questions I can ask per day? Per hour? Per other time unit? Related Questions: Limitation on submitting a question, is it an explicit request to create a new account? ...
54
votes
9answers
1k views

Allow anyone to comment but hide low-rep users' comments until reviewed

I've seen so many should-be-a-comment "edits" or "answers" in the review queues by new users, and it's pretty obvious that to them this was the only way to somehow interact with a ...
54
votes
5answers
1k views

Negative comments drive new users away, how can we fix this?

We've talked about how we should act towards new users a lot in the past. I'd like to discuss some of these questions again. But more important than that, I hope this question will help us learn more ...
53
votes
7answers
2k views

Thanks a lot for this post … and other first time user curiosities

I have been looking at the endless stream of first answers users post on the Stack Overflow. As it stands over 500 answers are posted a day on Stack Overflow, that are the first answer by users. ...
53
votes
4answers
1k views

Warn new users earlier that they cannot post links or images

First impressions are important, and one specific restriction SE places on new users can easily lead to a very bad first impression (see here for a recent example). If you add more than two links or ...
52
votes
3answers
193 views

Inform new users about the option to edit their own post when adding a comment

When reviewing close votes, I regularly encounter questions with the following history: New users ask a question which is unclear because it is lacking relevant information. People add comments, ...
51
votes
4answers
2k views

What can we do to encourage (or discourage) a second question?

This question is mostly an excuse for sharing some research I've been doing. It essentially replicates the data Shog gathered a few years ago. I think the results suggest some systemic and social ...
50
votes
11answers
1k views

Allow new users to flag comments on their own posts

Something that has always bothered us about the new user experience was the amount of guidance we've got out there telling folks to flag rude or abusive comments, but not allowing new users to do it, ...
49
votes
3answers
1k views

Can we implement temporary automatic comment ban on 'x' number of validated rude comment flags?

There's been problems with abusive comments since the site started. What's with all the rude comments recently? We still haven't managed to conquer the issue. Negative comments drive new users ...
46
votes
4answers
1k views

What can we do for new users who want to ask a question that's already been asked, but hasn't yet got an acceptable answer? [duplicate]

I've mentioned this several times, but only in answers to other questions or comments. What can we do to help new users who come to the site with a problem but find a question already exists, but it ...
45
votes
3answers
2k views

Encouraging users to create an account (and keep it)

I know SO's policy is "you don't have to register to ask questions," but there are so many new members and so many hit-and-runs... The majority of the questions I see now are coming from new ...
44
votes
17answers
3k views

What's the single biggest barrier to entry on Stack Overflow?

Looking at the discussion here so far, a lot of it has understandably been focused on regular users; not necessarily high rep users, but people who have essentially "committed" to the site in some way,...
44
votes
11answers
1k views

New Review Queue: First Posts

We're grinding through the old /review queues, moving them into the new Community Review Dashboard format. Recently, Emmett's been slaving over a hot compiler to bring you: the First Posts queue: ...
44
votes
2answers
320 views

Minor change in the “ask it on meta” recommendation on the right of the “ask question” page to avoid confusion

The current text (for SO) on the right of the new question page states: How to Ask Is your question about programming? We prefer questions that can be answered, not just discussed. ...
43
votes
2answers
1k views

Removing a downvote adds reputation that wasn't there

This question was downvoted, and the downvote removed, and the user now has 3 rep, even though there are no reputation generating events on the user's page.
43
votes
1answer
294 views

I'd like to propose that users with high reputation be able to chat with users with low reputation

Right now if I try to start a chat page with a user with a reputation of 1, it spits out the common: User X on has Y reputation, not yet enough to chat I certainly understand that the user should ...
43
votes
1answer
604 views

Reward <3k reputation users for finding duplicates

I suggest rewarding a silver badge to users with <3k reputation for correctly finding and flagging duplicate questions. The community would benefit having most part of its users engaged to keep ...
43
votes
1answer
329 views

Review trap shows post that was bad, after it has been edited

So I was going through the First Posts review queue, and got trapped by a "honey pot" post after voting up an answer. Oops, this is embarrassing! Or so I thought, until further inspection: This ...

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