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Recently I noted on meta.stackexchange.com asking for a better way to find information about each site's scope. Knowing what questions would or would not be appropriate for a specific site seems very important, and yet I was having a tough time finding such information for each site. It seemed that it was far too difficult to find this information. My request got very little traction (except for a few up-votes), so I'd like to ask a related question here.

After asking the question on meta.SE, MichaelT was good enough to point out that this information was available in the Help tour which is a standard part of every SE site. I'd looked at multiple sites' tours before and hadn't seen this, but when I went back I found the information MichaelT was referring to. I wondered why I hadn't taken in the information, and finally realized that its presentation was confusing and distracting.

For example, if you visit any SE site's tour page, you'll find three sections that have content cards that animate sliding in from the right. The cards are presented as content cut from the main site and used as examples for the information presented in the main body of the page. And indeed the first and third sections consist of example questions from the site, with items picked out by arrows. The whole appearance is professional, guiding visitors through the information.

The second section is styled identically to the first and third, and I'd always assumed its cards were also examples of the information presented in the main body of the page, and so missed them (I already knew how generic SE sites worked). But, it turns out that on every SE site that second section contains bullet points of information that occurs nowhere else in the site, and is critical to understanding the goals of the specific site. I'm guessing that many (or even most) power users who review a tour page would also missed that critical content.

I've added these insights to my original question, but have attracted no further attention. So, I'd like to ask here: is there a better way that Stack Exchange could present this critical information?

Edit: This was migrated from ux.stackexchange.com to meta.ux.stackexchange.com. I'd hoped to get design feedback rather than a meta-commentary on Stack Exchange; with the move, it's probably now a pretty close duplicate of my original question.

  • I didn't even know the tour provides site specific info. And I very much agree with you that the card to the right looks too much like sample content as oppose to real info. Looking forward to answers to this question. – nightning Oct 19 '15 at 23:21

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