Continuing the discussion from True confessions: I really love badges:
There will be the need to somehow introduce new people into how our system works. This is in some parts MVP, but in most parts probably soon-after-MVP.
As a sidenote: I think we should (must) welcome all contributions by people, who are willing to be helpful and to learn (“badly written post”). If someone is not good in English, that’s fine. Let’s edit their post to improve spelling and grammar. This will help our site and their English skills, hopefully. That doesn’t mean, though, that we shouldn’t moderate/criticise people, who produce bad content and aren’t willing to learn (“bad post”).
Here are my ideas:
I am talking about help, specificially directed at new people. This is not about “help documents”/etc.
All help should be highly context-sensitive.
It is known, that users
neverrarely read long texts/explanations/help documents. However, when we provide context-sensitive, short messages, there is a chance of the users really reading through them.
The help should be – wizard-like – separated into smaller steps
The feed back should be given one-by-one and with verification, whether the step has really been completed.
Most help should be directly actionable.
For example: When someone’s post is closed, we shouldn’t tell them, that they need to read the help center, but we should give them hints, what they might change for a better reception.
Going from this, I’d imagine the following types of help tools:
- General introduction (AKA “Tour” on SE)
- Question assistant
- Answer assistant
- Edit guide
- Closed question -> get reopened assistant
All of these should be optional, but on by-default. This allows users experienced with the system to skip them (in general or in parts), whilst directing new users to it.