I’ve been privately pontificating about what UI features would make a better experience for a Stack Exchange-like site, comparing it with some well known and some obscure online collaboration systems. I just discovered Codidact, and even though what I’ve been working on is far from complete I think you could find it interesting and maybe even useful.
It’s done with Kialo, which is one of the aforementioned obscure online collaboration systems. Here’s the link. I’ve described Kialo as having made every design decision opposite from Stack Exchange, but both are still basically being about discussion focused on a single question. That makes it a very interesting reference for comparison.
The purpose of using Kialo was to try it out in the real world, which means you’re welcome to jump in on the discussion (and vote!). If you’ve never used Kialo, go ahead and watch the video that tells you what it’s all about. I had to shoehorn it a bit to fit the Kialo format, but overall I think Kialo is pretty good for discussing pros and cons.
One other tool I’d like to point out is Wikum. It’s discussed briefly in that Kialo link. I think adapting the notion of a summary node would be great to solve the conflict between getting to answers quickly and being able to preserve useful discussion. At the point where you’d move a discussion to chat in Stack Exchange, you’d just create a summary node for the discussion, which would have a short writeup of the most important points and a way for people to drill down for more detail if they are interested.