Do we need a help button on the composer?


(Kris) #1

A help button could be useful either way


Composer menu: on narrow pages, items disappear off the right side including all important OPTIONS item
Advice on best resource to teach novices to use the wiki feature
(Jeff Atwood) #2

We had this button on Stack Overflow and the analytics / data showed that almost nobody used it. That does not mean it should not exist, of course, but the general rule is that the type of people you would want to use this button, pretty much never do.


(Sam Saffron) #3

Stack Overflow seems way more aggressive these days for brand new users and audience for Discourse is way wider so this kind of approach may be applicable

I think there is definite value in giving some extra tips for tl0/tl1 that are getting accustomed and also for more advanced users that are looking for secret magic.

I guess what I want a little is a help mode that goes away after a bit


(cpradio) #4

To be fair, there is a plugin that sort of permits this already and I don’t think a lot of people use it…

Granted, it isn’t right aligned, but it gives people a way to add customize help for the format bar should they deem that a necessity.


(cpradio) #5

Also, this was written before the new outlet (that Canned Replies uses) to display help text at. So it could be improved to use that same location instead of a modal now (if someone has the time PR welcome).

Right-aligning the button might require a new outlet or a new option to the toolbar component (PR welcome for that too).

But those would be the only necessary improvements to make it meet the UI mock ups above.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

None of that is new; I worked with Ben to add that in 2010/2011. See proof here…


(Sam Saffron) #7

Yeah it fealt eerily familiar. I guess I think there is merit for a help mode that kicks out once you posted a bit

But sure this can be plugin territory, agree that for seasoned users a help button is largely noise


(Jeff Wong) #8

For what it’s worth, I appreciate the comfort of being able to find some kind of formatting help, even if it’s rarely used.

It’s good for bootstrapping new users unfamiliar with markdown (like communities coming from more bb related forms, or with wysiwyg editors), and a nice reminder for when I just can’t figure out how how to do something simple like code formatting, and have been deep in JIRA or Sharepoint or something with vastly different formatting options.


(Jeff Atwood) #9

This is nice as well