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There seems to be an increase in the number of people asking low quality or off-topic questions. When comments are made to get additional info or to get them to tell us what they have already tried, some people get aggravated.

When I registered for another self-help type of site, I was forced to review their policy and FAQ before I could post. I registered with Superuser a long time ago, so I don't recall the registration process.

Is it possible to force new users to review the Help Center before they can ask a question?

  • Unfortunately, the current design of the help centre is such that is is infeasible to force someone to go through the whole thing. In any case, forcing someone to read instructions (how would you even verify that?), as good as that may sound to established users, is a great way to drive, well, almost everyone away. You might want to consult User Experience on that. – Bob Mar 25 '14 at 14:02
  • Thanks, Bob. Maybe using the word "force" was a poor choice. I certainly don't want to drive anyone away. Rather put the tools, very obviously, in their hands (figuratively speaking) so they can get the best results for their time spent on the site. From some of the questions asked, it would appear they never even saw the Help Center, nor know what is acceptable to ask. – CharlieRB Mar 25 '14 at 14:10
  • Well, the about page may be a worthwhile substitute, and IIRC it's quite prominently displayed at the top of the page when you aren't logged in. But it's difficult to find a way to make it more obvious without getting in the way - again, User Experience may be a good place to ask. – Bob Mar 25 '14 at 14:15
  • Yes, and perhaps make high-rep users do the same?! I know of some high-rep users who don't know how to use the site – gparyani Mar 31 '14 at 17:36
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No, you can't force people to do those things.

People already get a ton of information when they're posting on the site for the first time. Let me refresh your memory:

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Trying to force someone to read anything, will have the same result that you get when you show them an EULA before letting them install a piece of software.

  • 3
    Great variant in Blizzard games IIRC: Force users to scroll all the way down before enabling OK. I'm sure that gets users to actually read the T&C... /irony – Daniel Beck Mar 25 '14 at 18:24
  • The argument is indisputable - you can take a horse to information but you can't make him read it. However, you could make new users at least go to the help page by giving them a couple of reputation points rather than the informed badge and then making posting a question require that many points. – Chenmunka Mar 25 '14 at 19:12

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