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Josh61's idea caused me to have my own idea for how we (try to) stop new users posting low quality questions: compulsory multiple choice quiz!

It's very easy for anyone to ignore the guidance on the right hand side when posting your first question, just as it's easy to ignore a video. But if there is a compulsory multiple choice quiz, then they have to read it. (Or, at least, it being the only thing on their screen, and requiring input, there's a much higher chance of them reading it.)

My implementation concept is this: when a new user (maybe someone with 10 or less rep?) clicks "Post Your Question" they get taken to a page which says (bullet points represent radio buttons):

Have you provided as much detail as possible?

  • Yes
  • No

Have you included any research (e.g. what a dictionary or thesaurus has said) in your question?

  • Yes
  • No

(If they have selected a tag which has additional requirements, there would be additional questions. e.g. if they select [single-word-requests] there would be an additional question of "Have you provided an example phrase?")

If they click "Yes" to all, it proceeds to post the question. If they click "No" to any, they get a screen showing extended guidance on that subject, and a "Edit Your Question" button.

Yes there will be people who click "edit your question", do no editing, and just select "Yes" to all to make their question get posted. But, hopefully, it would improve a significant proportion of first time questions by making sure that people have read the guidance.

  • 4
    A simpler (and therefore likely less effective) precursor to a full confirmation system like this proposes would be to just add a placeholder text to the question box (I feel like I'm sharing this everywhere now, but it still hasn't had any official response) – curiousdannii Aug 12 '16 at 10:53
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    @curiousdannii - I like your idea. Simpler than mine, and should fix the fact that "How to ask" is off to the side and easily ignored. Seeing as your idea has got good support, if SE Devs haven't noticed it yet, maybe posting it as a generic on meta.SE would help? Linking back to your meta.ELU as an example. I've also added a supportive answer (maybe SE Devs don't read unanswered meta posts???) – AndyT Aug 12 '16 at 10:59
  • You're not the first to say to post it on MSE, so I will when I have the time. :) – curiousdannii Aug 12 '16 at 12:36
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    Are the rude reminder comments not working? – deadrat Aug 13 '16 at 5:28
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I like the spirit of your idea, but I don't know how effective it would be.

It's not hard to imagine users checking ‘Yes’ to the first question, even if their questions are very scant on details. (It just seems like the "right" box to check, whether it's true or not.) The second question might provide a nudge in the right direction.

If something like this were implemented, it might be nice to include the consequences of what could happen if this guidance isn't followed – maybe something that reads like this:

Warning: Questions that fail to provide sufficient context or demonstrate prior research may be downvoted or closed.

  • I agree with assuming users would just click through the questions, selecting what was "right". Have many times have you selected 0 on a personal evaluation survey for job applications? – Drew Aug 22 '16 at 18:33
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Not sure whether this will be effective, but in case it goes through, I would like to suggest to not use radio button with "Yes" and "No", since what you want is just "Yes". You can instead just use a list of check box, because it is a check list, like this:

Example of check list from codingame.com

The figure above comes from codingame.com, a website for programming challenges, where users can contribute challenges. This box (overlaid on the whole page) is shown when a user clicks on "Approve this contribution".

We see that this gives the users some opportunity to realize that they have not done something in accordance to the guidelines (if any), because this feels like accepting terms and conditions, which (at least for me) should give more impact to the users instead of multiple-choice questions with obvious answers.

Also, the "Accept" button is disabled until you check everything in the list. True that this doesn't prevent people who just mindlessly clicking all the check list, but I do believe this is better than multiple-choice questions.

Disclaimer: I'm not associated with codingame.com, just thought that the way they encourage users' actions against a check list is good

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