FEATURE REQUEST PROPOSAL
This topic seems very important and I am a bit concerned about it losing momentum.
In that spirit, may I propose some action in the name of decisiveness: just one small tweak toward the goal, that might get us out of inertia mode: Despite past failures with this idea, what does the group think about us putting up a Feature Request to have links to our “Help Center” and “Asking Help” pages placed in additional strategically high profile locales all over A&C. As my Mom has always told me, in situations like this, “It can’t hurt to ask, right?”
This goes to Pt 1 of my first answer above:
People who find their way to SE for the first time are not reviewing the guidelines on what questions to ask and how to ask well, before posting their question, because the links to that information, as far as I can see, are only found after one makes the decision to ask a question. (The only path that I have found to “Visit the Help Center” and “Asking Help” is through the “Ask a Question” button. Please correct me if there is another way!) By the time someone has worked up the nerve to decide to click “Ask a Question”, they already have a head of steam, are mentally busy formulating their words, and are not in a frame of mind to slow down and study the landscape of the “Ask a Question” form. They probably won't even regard the “How to Ask” box with much interest, if they even notice it.
The singular and buried placement of this information is very perplexing - there is plenty of real estate for a link about question appropriateness and quality at the left margin of every page of SE. Information this important to the functioning of a forum should be highly visible and accessible everywhere.
While we are at it we could make the verbiage on the links more enticing than “Help Center” and “Asking Help”. (“Asking Help” is a bit vague grammatically anyway, if you think about it - what goes through people’s minds when they see this link, and the words “Asking Help” sift to the surface? Do they wonder, “Is this a link for asking for help?” Not feeling in need of help, they are on to the next thing before any chance at realizing how important that page is to what they are about to do...)
Furthermore it might be a good time to take a look at the wording of both pages, to see if any changes could be made that might improve the consistency of expectations between newcomers and established members on question appropriateness and quality. (Pt. 2 of my other answer.) Or at least, having new links sprinkled about could be a motivator toward considering thinking about deciding to contemplate doing so, which are the proper steps to take after all, if you are, or even remotely resemble, a committee.
I have thought about making this a new question here on Meta, but I don’t know how the machine works: if I did that, with a “feature request” tag, would the question automatically be escalated before we had a chance to discuss it as a group decision?
Thanks for considering.