The "Ask Question" a primary call to action is treated as a menu item. I actually couldn't even visually locate this button. I had to open stackoverflow, view where the button was and then compare here.

This is a significant usability issue when a developer who has used StackExchange for half a decade can't see a call to action on the site, how does one expect a novice to successfully use the site?

  • 5
    Damn, we've been found out.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Apr 28, 2014 at 15:00
  • 1
    On a serious note, we do expect people to search first. We have no shortage of novices asking questions, but we do close exceptionally many questions as duplicates.
    – RegDwigнt
    Apr 28, 2014 at 15:07
  • @RegDwigнt In the past where I've wanted to ask a question that would've duped another question whether here or on SO, I've found the results from typing in the ask question title far more relevant than the search box. I wonder if that is worth a meta.SO ticket. Apr 29, 2014 at 17:23
  • @Chris that is very likely indeed, as the two searches use different algorithms. Actually, the "Ask question" form takes tags into account, so once you have entered any (meaningful) tags, you are guaranteed to get much better suggestions still. Too bad, from the UI standpoint, that you typically enter the tags last, after you went to the trouble of writing up a whole post.
    – RegDwigнt
    Apr 29, 2014 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


Based on my quick survey of a handful of sites, it seems that SO, SF, and SU (the original trilogy of sites) have the same layout, with the "ask" button on the far right. The others that I've looked at: ELU, Cooking, UX, WebApps, Unix, stats, Writers (beta), Linguistics, and Android, all put the Ask button right near the menu items, while Gaming, Sci-Fi, and Skeptics put it far away from the menu button. However some of the "keeping it close by" sites do visually distinguish the Ask button by putting a border on it, or adding a small amount of horizontal spacing, or something.

Example: UX: keeps it close but makes it visually distinct

enter image description here

Since that site is about usability, they must be doing it right, so we could just copy their approach :)

Or, we could just do this:

enter image description here

or this (c/o Andrew Leach)


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