We have a community where people come for help and advice on our product. We have many new, transient users. In order to help them ask good questions, we have templates in several of the categories. Here’s one:
I.E. the user puts the entirety of the question in the title & hits ‘submit’ with no further context or background information.
It’s tempting to say such low quality posts should be ignored - problem solved! But these are very often brand new users and rather than penalizing them for not knowing the social rules (maybe they think they’re being efficient rather than cryptic?) I’d like to create a “pit of success” environment where they’re naturally led to giving enough information that people can help them.
Obviously this particular post template isn’t doing it. So…
Are we doing it wrong?
Is there a way to not count the template text in the min-chars-to-post test?
That post template seems more formatted to provide guidance on what to share. That’s one way to approach it for sure.
Another way would be to create basically a form using the post template. Maybe something like this:
## Describe your issue in detail
## What version of the software are you using?
## What steps have you taken to resolve this issue already?
Something like this may be a little clearer for newer members to follow.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to the member (either privately or in the topic at hand) to politely ask for more information or to follow the template as to more easily answer their request.
Ultimately, if users continue to avoid using the template, they either don’t care or don’t know. Not knowing is easily fixed (and can lead to improvements to make on your side); not caring is a bit more difficult
From a feature standpoint we should definitely disallow users from submitting a topic (or reply) when the template has not been modified at all. Editing the title only should not allow users to get a pass. Can you add to your list @techapj? This code path should only get hit when posting in a category that has topic templates.
Thanks @Bas, but some users actually use the template like a questionnaire (as intended).
@justin could you point me to a forum where that other template format is successful? I’d like to check it out myself & be able to point my teammates to it.
And BTW, I do ask for more information - it has to be done for anyone to be able to help them - but it hadn’t occurred to me to tell them to follow the template. I guess I assumed I would come off like a jerk if I did. I’ll have to think about wording…