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This site needs a more prominent "Mark As Answer" function

asked 2018-03-17 12:17:02 +0200

paul1149 gravatar image

updated 2018-03-17 13:14:13 +0200

David gravatar image

The number of questions that are not marked solved here is very high, IME. And the reason is, I believe, that the Mark As Answer function is an nondescript check mark in a circle. The number of questioners here with 1-1-1 karma is high, indicating that many of them are unfamiliar with this site's intricacies. They simply don't know how to, or even that they can or should, mark a good answer as such. Most of the "Answers", it seems, have been marked so after the fact by regular members.

And so, the feedback is low, and that is not a good thing. Consequently a lot of the regulars here include a tag line instructing the questioners how to mark an answer. But that adds clutter and should not be necessary.

The answer is quite simple. The answer function needs a more prominent display, including accompanying text explaining how to mark an Answer.

I first thought to raise this issue at the bugs site, but there is no Website category that I could see, so here it is.

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Seconded. I shall do this with my questions

ptoye gravatar imageptoye ( 2018-03-17 12:42:04 +0200 )edit

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. In general the "voting culture" here is pretty poor. Perhaps that's to be expected in an "isolated" Q&A site, but the lack of feedback hampers quality assurance on content (IMO). In the absence of a "Meta" site, there is at least a "meta" tag, and I've added it to your helpful post.

David gravatar imageDavid ( 2018-03-17 13:13:54 +0200 )edit

"...including accompanying text explaining how to mark an Answer." On my system (but not on all systems, I'm told), mouse over the check mark shows "mark this answer as correct (click again to undo)."

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2018-03-17 16:43:03 +0200 )edit

@David - I agree, it affects the quality of the interactions here, and also the motivation to answer questions. This is no small matter, in my view.

@Jim_K - you're right. Strange, I tried that the other day, same machine and browser, and got nothing. But IAC, I don't think it's enough advertising.

paul1149 gravatar imagepaul1149 ( 2018-03-17 17:12:47 +0200 )edit

Perhaps the site could allow "community acceptance" via an algorithm. If an answer receives X number of upvotes by users or SUM(karma of all upvoters) > Y, the answer is automatically marked as the correct one, even if the original asker is long gone and never coming back to accept an answer because all they wanted was a quick solution, and they don't care about the community (which to be honest is a normal human behavior, nothing malevolent or rude).

PhLo gravatar imagePhLo ( 2018-11-22 15:28:22 +0200 )edit

4 Answers

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answered 2018-03-17 13:36:21 +0200

Ratslinger gravatar image

Hello @paul1149,

Historically I have seen only 50 -55% response of ANY kind to answers given on this site and even less for marking answers as accepted regardless if asking for an answer to be marked. Making the Mark as Answer more prominent may help a bit but it seems there are much bigger issues with the site causing some of the low response figures.

Currently a large problem is the lack of email notifications. This has been missing now for close to 5 months. TDF has been made aware of the problem around 2 months ago, confirmed the problem in early February and has been looking into it for weeks now. It appears this particular problem has recurred multiple times over the past 15 months without resolution.

People posting here, especially first timers, are expecting notification when an answer has been posted to their question. Since none is received, IMO they may start looking for an answer elsewhere. If they even check the site without signing in and see no answer marked, that doesn't mean there isn't a comment waiting to be answered and again they may look elsewhere.

Even with that, there are a number of other things which could be done to improve response. For example the How to use the Ask site could be more prominent and badly in need of updating. It is difficult to find answers already given on the site. Discussions (as I've seen asked to be done by TDF) are not conducive. And a great deal more.

If you are looking for a place to post your request, try Nabble. This is probably as good a place to start as any.

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Hi @Ratslinger. I would agree that the site is too hard to navigate. IIUC, one must traverse three pages to be sure he's up to date - the comments page, the Following page, and the general timeline page. Since I've been doing so on a daily basis, the email notifies aren't important to me, but I think you are correct that they are very important to those who come here only infrequently.

paul1149 gravatar imagepaul1149 ( 2018-03-17 17:18:06 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-03-17 19:10:39 +0200

Liberty Belle gravatar image

I haven't been here for very long, so take my perspective for whatever it's worth.

I agree that it's not super-obvious how to mark an answer as correct or why this would be important.

That being said, I'm not sure how much people would bother, even if it were more obvious. In the short time I've spent here, I've noticed many questions that people could answer for themselves if they just took a little time reading the documentation and help files to do so. Or even doing an online search. I suspect many users of free software only think of it as "free beer".

The only two questions I have asked have turned out to be bugs (which I then reported). Maybe I'm wrong, but it didn't seem to me that marking responses confirming that these were indeed bugs as having answered the questions was the correct thing to do. Because, as unfixed bugs, the questions/problems remain.

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It's a complex piece of software, and sometimes muddling through the documentation can be daunting, but I'm sure you're correct, a lot of people simply won't be bothered acknowledging an answer.

I agree that answers that are not solutions probably should not get marked as Answers, because that would give the false impression the problem is solved. In those cases, the Up arrow will allow acknowledging a helpful answer that falls short of being a solution.

paul1149 gravatar imagepaul1149 ( 2018-03-17 19:16:45 +0200 )edit

I don't think many people are doing much muddling about in the documentation, or even clicking the Help menu button available within LO itself and searching for an answer. But as long as there are plenty of people on this forum ready and willing to give them answers without even gently pointing out the way to self-help, why should they? Just don't expect people coming here for free beer to give you anything in return.

Liberty Belle gravatar imageLiberty Belle ( 2018-03-17 19:28:33 +0200 )edit

@Liberty Belle I can agree with some of your points. Many questions are answered in docs or even on this site already. Marking an answer as correct may provide those looking for an answer to look at these first since it was confirmed as correct answer.

One other note you may not be aware of. When you marked my answer, you did not mark it as correct. What you did was to upvote answer (good answer). You can also upvote & downvote questions & answers. Clicking the check mark indicates correct.

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2018-03-17 19:29:01 +0200 )edit

I know I didn't mark your answer as correct. It's an unresolved issue. While you helped me, which I gave you an upvote for, you didn't answer the question (since you can't--it's a bug).

And I do not think that people who can't be bothered to learn a piece of software or seek answers to their own questions will use the search box on this site to see if a question similar to theirs has already been answered!

Liberty Belle gravatar imageLiberty Belle ( 2018-03-17 19:31:51 +0200 )edit

Your question was answered correctly - that there's a bug. The answer didn't solve your problem, but it still correctly states what's the problem here. If you accept the answers to your questions, those questions will stand out and be found more easily by other people with the same question who took the trouble to search this board.

floris v gravatar imagefloris v ( 2018-03-17 20:25:19 +0200 )edit

Ratslinger's answer should be accepted because it is a good one. Don't think of it as "solved" but rather "helpful' or "accurate." For example, if the question is "can X be done?" and the correct answer is "no" then it should be marked as correct.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2018-03-19 14:47:21 +0200 )edit

OK, so I went ahead and marked the responses confirming my issues as bugs as the correct answers to these questions.

Liberty Belle gravatar imageLiberty Belle ( 2018-03-24 21:04:50 +0200 )edit

On another note, I answered a question and the asker responded by saying that resolved it. I then responded by asking him to mark the question as answered, and gave what I thought were explicit instructions for how to do so, but he never did. Two people upvoted my answer (no idea if he did), but he did not mark my answer as the answer

Liberty Belle gravatar imageLiberty Belle ( 2018-03-24 21:07:04 +0200 )edit

@Liberty Belle Welcome to the world of Ask! Saw you comment. That's about all you can do.

My only reason for asking the answer be checked is so others may know an answer was given to their question. Whether it is upvoted or not isn't important. Karma doesn't mean much once you get beyond a certain point.

As for my comment in response to you, it was only a mention of the difference between Upvote & correct answer. No offense intended, but many don't understand either or care. :)

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2018-03-24 21:43:48 +0200 )edit

@Ratslinger I didn't take offense. To me, it was merely a question of whether that was the correct action to take in this case or not.

Now I'm really left wondering whether the questioner I linked to upvoted because he didn't understand my instructions or never returned to take any action at all. In other words, misunderstanding or lethargy? Who knows? But it goes to the subject of this whole discussion.

Liberty Belle gravatar imageLiberty Belle ( 2018-03-24 22:18:44 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-11-27 19:36:22 +0200

EasyTrieve gravatar image

updated 2018-11-27 19:38:18 +0200

Guys, these postings here are mostly all in vein I think. No one is listening.

Rather, your comments and suggestions should be directed to the guy who created this website software that we use, here:

Please move your suggestions there.

But prepare yourself: I think you'll find that site even more unfriendly than this one. And you'll be starting over with just one karma point.

I'm still awaiting moderation over a week later for my first post there asking for another issue here to be fixed.

I think there may come a time to fork the work there and take it over so we can better adjust it to our needs.

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answered 2018-03-17 14:23:59 +0200

Yes, being new to this site, I had to be told by a member to check my question answered also. And for 20 years using computers I should of know. And being only interested in calc, having for 20 years used formulas and only record macros, was overwhelmed by the insight that members had, as to relating a lot to Basic. I had no clue to their word meanings at times. So I believe there may be many who only know and are just learning cells, there formulas, not even knowing Basic is there, and waiting for an answer as to something they can put in a cell. And at times, after having their answer, do not plan to come back. So those with insight to such should check it for them, if left uncheck for a give time. And often the question could be better worded by active members. My thought is, those mostly active here, are those who have job's and needing to know, unlike me, who just enjoy doing such. With that, I may be one of those who has, sort of made a mess with some of my post! But this site has helped me MUCH. I think there should be a box to check to let others know that the one asking the question, knows nothing of Basic, or no more than just recording a macro. Again thank you all who have answered so many good questions here to read. It has helped me much.

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Yes. Good community depends on good interactions, and online we are dependent on the software to a large extent for that to happen. The people and talent are here; I believe the software to a significant extent is hampering them.

paul1149 gravatar imagepaul1149 ( 2018-03-17 17:21:30 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2018-03-17 12:17:02 +0200

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Last updated: Nov 27 '18