For the last few weeks, we have been trialing a script that replies to template HTML-CSS “Ask for Help” posts that appear to not have been edited to include more information (e.g. a question to answer):
This topic is to discuss whether we continue with the script in place as is, change the message, add the script to other categories, or remove it.
Has the script been useful? Has it provoked Campers to edit their posts with more information?
Parent Issue: Create a multi-step "Ask for Help" form for all challenges · Issue #52223 · freeCodeCamp/freeCodeCamp · GitHub
I say net positive: It takes the burden from the mods (who are, not to forget, volunteers) to copy past the same reply over and over.
One thing I noticed: Sometimes new users forget to delete the default text and add their question underneath, which triggers the automated response.
Maybe change the script to measure the length of the reply, to avoid confusing new students?
Thanks for the feedback.
One thing to note: If a Camper edits their post within the first few minutes of making the post, it does not show as having been edited. So, in some cases (I have watched), Campers have edited the post and left the default text.
Without specifically asking each Camper, it is difficult to know how often this happens, though.
True, without numbers it’s hard to tell if makes the UX is really that bad.
If people start complaining that they get message though they posted a questions in droves, you can still solve the problem at the input level with updated instructions etc.
@anon42932716 made a helpful observation that I want to expand on a bit and say that I think it’d be worthwhile to do a small update so that when the Help button is clicked, there is a modal editor window that pops up that asks them to describe their problem (using the same editor as any post) and won’t continue to the post until they replace the default text. This would solve any issues of posts being created with that default text.
From what I’ve seen, it does seem to be a net positive. It has encouraged some campers to go back and edit their posts and include some background information.