Design

community March 24, 2011

Redesigned Tags Page

In the spirit of our recent redesign of the users page, we felt it was time to enhance the tags page, too. As you can see, the tags page now shows a bit more information about each tag, namely: The first three lines of the tag wiki excerpt for the tag. The number of questions…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community March 1, 2011

Redesigned Users Page

After 2.5 years of being almost unchanged, we decided it was high time the Users page got a redesign. The old user page was fine, in a late 2008 sort of way, but it ultimately became a bit monotonous — every time you viewed it, you’d see more or less the same list of top…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community February 5, 2011

Suggested Edits and Edit Review

The Stack Exchange engine draws inspiration from a number of sources. We continue to be great admirers of Wikipedia, but we’ve always missed out on one crucial aspect of their system: we never allowed anonymous users to edit content. No, that required earning privileges through participation — specifically, the retag privilege at 500 reputation and…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community January 17, 2011

Real Questions Have Answers

In Good Subjective, Bad Subjective, we made a pretty solid first stab at defining a constructive subjective question, one that I’ve been happy with so far. Constructive subjective questions: inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”. tend to have long, not short, answers. have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone. invite sharing experiences over opinions.…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community January 14, 2011

Improved Flagging

We’ve had a Craigslist-inspired post flagging system in place since the middle of 2009. But we haven’t improved it much since then, and given the recent influx of traffic, we are struggling to keep up while educating question askers and educating answerers. There’s no way even the most avid community moderator could possibly keep tabs…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community January 11, 2011

Tag Favorites and Tag Subscriptions

There is now a small, informative tooltip that appears when you hover your mouse on a tag. The primary goal is to make it easier to follow a particular tag: Click subscribe to receive a daily email summary of new questions in this tag. Click again to unsubscribe. Of course, every email we send will…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community January 8, 2011

How to Say Thanks in an Answer

After successfully implementing assistance for new askers, we’d like to do the same thing for new answerers. So we’ve been analyzing characteristics of answers by new users to determine what makes an answer fundamentally good or bad. One strong predictor of a poor quality answer may surprise you: the presence of the words thank or…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community January 5, 2011

The Wikipedia of Long Tail Programming Questions

Have you ever noticed how certain questions come up again and again on Stack Overflow sites? Oh look, my PC is freezing. Should I use SELECT *? Oh, and, how can I host a server from home? Really, people, do you want to be answering these same questions ten years from now? How about when…
Avatar for Joel Spolsky
Co-founder & Former Chairman of the Board
community November 29, 2010

The Pee-Wee Herman Rule

I recently had a long discussion on gaming meta regarding “Help me remember this game” questions. I’ll spare you all the gory details; my general conclusion was this: If we get an excellent user who asks a good, thoughtful [game] identification question and sticks around in our community to participate, then it’s worth allowing it…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community November 23, 2010

Q&A is Hard, Let’s Go Shopping!

Over the last 2.5 years, we’ve identified a few problematic classes of questions that tend to get asked on our sites. Many of these are documented in our standard set of close reasons: exact duplicate, off-topic, subjective and argumentative, not a real question, and too localized. However, as we launched the great Super User experiment,…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)