This was separated from another meta-question, which might provide additional motivation and context for this question.

Motivation. EL&U currently has a lot of questions that deserve to be improved. The main content and meaning of these questions is appropriate for this site, but the questions are presented poorly and could possibly also benefit from added context or detail.

Since SE sites are part-wiki and the posts belong to the community, it would benefit the EL&U site and community if more of its members edited or suggested edits to posts that deserve to be edited. Such posts include posts whose core content has merit. Such edits include fixing disruptive spelling and grammar mistakes; adding links and references; and adding context, supporting evidence, or details to make a question more complete.

EL&U could encourage users to edit and suggest edits to posts that deserve editing by making the edit link more prominent. Currently, the only sign that I see that posts even can be edited is the small, low-contrast, text link at the bottom of a post. It is the smallest thing on the post, alongside flag, share, etc. Compare this to, e.g., the prominence of the voting buttons. Unless a user has read somewhere that editing is allowed and encouraged on SE sites, they are unlikely to know this. At least, the edit button does not give this impression.

I am providing this motivation purely to give context and my own personal reasons for why I would like to see the following proposal implemented. But the motivation is inessential to my proposal. Please vote on the proposal only and not on the motivation. My question is solely about whether or not people support the proposal.

Proposal. Increase the prominence of the link to edit (and suggest edits) a post. This could be done by increasing the color-contrast or size or by changing the placement of the link. For example, it could be highlighted by changing its background color or relocated to directly beneath the voting or favoriting buttons.

My first personal thought is to move it to below the voting buttons, but I have not debated this idea much yet.

Secondarily, I think that it would also be helpful to have a tooltip saying something like "Improvements are encouraged!".

Edit to include examples. I changed the html in an example page and took a picture of the results in my browser. These changes all required less than one line of code. The color choice is not optimal since I couldn't match exactly the site's color scheme by guessing quickly. These are just examples to give a general idea. I think these examples could all be tweaked to be better! I captured a large area of the page to give a better sense of the overall impact of the changes.

I added comments to this question for the purpose of voting on a particular change to make, if you support making a change.

By the bye, I also suggested edits to this question that have not yet been reviewed! :^)

Option Move: Relocate to be near voting buttons.

Option Make bigger: Increase font size.

Option Change color: Change color.

  • 5
    It's beautiful!
    – user11550
    Aug 27, 2012 at 5:37
  • 1
    @Mahnax: Haha. Oh, my. Perhaps I should make my own example graphic...
    – Rachel
    Aug 27, 2012 at 5:38
  • 1
    Upvote this comment if you support Option Move.
    – Rachel
    Aug 27, 2012 at 6:34
  • 2
    Upvote this comment if you support Option Make bigger.
    – Rachel
    Aug 27, 2012 at 6:34
  • 2
    Upvote this comment if you support Option Change color.
    – Rachel
    Aug 27, 2012 at 6:34
  • 16
    I think people who care about editing at all use the link as is, and people who don't wouldn't use it even if it were the only clickable thing on the entire page.
    – RegDwigнt
    Aug 27, 2012 at 8:54
  • @ЯegDwight: I think there are people like me who would start editing more once the idea is brought to their attention. Also, I am quite sure that I could find studies showing that making the link more prominent (perhaps moving it near voting buttons) would in fact make more people click on it. And clicking the link is the first step to editing. Looking for those studies sounds like a bit of work, and I don't have time just now, so maybe someone else who cares about encouraging edits could do a search.
    – Rachel
    Aug 27, 2012 at 9:13
  • 1
    The edit choice works fine as is. I haven't seen many additional edits yet today even with all the talk and advertisement and encouragement.
    – Mitch
    Aug 27, 2012 at 16:35
  • 1
    I don't think any of these will do much good; but I do think your posts will. Exhilarating to have you around. Aug 27, 2012 at 21:15
  • I don't really have an opinion on the question itself, I just want to note that in "option: move", I'd be very likely to totally miss the edit link, because that's not where I would look for it.
    – Marthaª
    Aug 28, 2012 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


I guess this question got spun off from the other one, so I'll migrate my answer as well :)

I don't object to encouraging folks to edit, per se, but the FAQ does so already and the "edit" button is pretty prominently visible. I'm not convinced that any more reminders would be worth the programming effort.

I also think that if you hang around the site for awhile and constantly see "Edited by (so and so)" next to posts, that makes the editing feature hard to overlook.


For what it's worth, after listening to you guys here and elsewhere and thinking more, my own personal solution is to encourage editing by word-of-mouth. (That is, the encouragement will be by word-of-mouth.) I will suggest it in comments on main and in answers and comments here when appropriate.

  • 1
    ...and also do it.
    – Mitch
    Aug 27, 2012 at 23:40
  • I agree with Mitch. Leading by example in main will do more good than proselytizing in meta. But it's been fun.
    – J.R.
    Aug 29, 2012 at 0:01
  • Lol, very true. @Mitch
    – user231780
    Aug 6, 2017 at 0:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .