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How to improve Scoring and Accepting questions

Today I had someone ask a very simple question on how to accept an answer! What was replaced with top case. He did score it, but for some reason the accepting part was confusing!

This is not the first time I’ve seen this and scoring is still a mystery for many.

While iFixit Robot sends emails to bring people back to their questions, we just assume they get it. Clearly they don’t!

I would say almost half of the questions I’ve answered over the years are still not accepted! And I know I’m not alone. So either I’m not offering good info or wrong which I accept is possible (I’m only human!) But is it that high?

I also worry about questions which are accepted just for the sake of closing it out. I’ve noted the better answer has a higher score is not the one accepted. While this is not a biggie as hopefully people will checkout why the higher scored answer is the better. It still brings to light someones efforts are not being acknowledged effectively.

So where does this leave us? How can we improve this?

First I would like to see if we can make the Score and Accept buttons into a GIF so the OP sees them with motion to bring their eyes to it when they are returning to their question. I’m just thinking just the rim of the button.

To add to this the size of the rim is made larger for the higher scored answer so the OP sees this is thought to be the better. That still doesn’t mean its correct! The OP can over-ride the suggested choice picking any other to accept.

Update

I thought an example might help see why this makes sense Why use micro-animations in your design?

While not exactly what I was thinking of it gives you an idea. Jump down to Rewards

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Hi Dan!

Just jumping in to say that it's been a busy week so far, and I haven't had a chance to read through this discussion! I want you to know that it's on my to-do list and that I'm not ignoring you all. In the meantime, feel free to keep the discussion going, and the community team and I will get back to you soon.

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@kristen - Nothing fancy, just a bit of eye candy on the button rims, that way they standout a bit more.

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@danj Question - I'm ready to accept your answer on my 2012 MBP battery question. Should I abstain until the end of the month or accept?

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@nick - It was your question so I would say you can score & accept it as you wish.

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@danj Didn't know if it would skew the metrics we're getting in a way of our test. I'll accept and upvote it in this case, since I've made my mind up about how to deal with that thing.

BTW the 839 cycle pack was flat and expanded in the same area... I'm not so sure how much I want this more then another system and a new charger so I don't need to worry about it again now. Off topic, but since I mentioned it I'll put it here. Too many question marks.

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I’m not too concerned about the bad answer closure - as long as the person voting proves they can pick the right one. I personally don’t go off of points, but implied experience and who posted it. If person A gets 5 points with a hackjob answer, that’s not something I would accept because it stinks of an amateur hour job at best. Usually those get chosen because people go off of points and what worked for them (not knowing points are NOT relative compared to experience), rather then an overall look. Likewise if you post a more solid answer then the next person who came up with a one line solution, you get it with me. This is why I usually pick between @mayer, @oldturkey03 and @danj a lot more often then others - I trust their answers more then most people’s nearly every time although I do see good answers from others from time to time, it’s not all that common.

The problem with points based acceptance is that you run into an issue where end users want an easy solution rather then a proper answer. The reason this is bad because a good answer is often given fewer votes then a well thought out one that’s either all there or revisable because it takes less time for someone to come up with a hackjob answer and for the OP to read said thing and not realize it’s terrible.

You are absolutely right about the issue of bad answers getting accepted. It’s one of the reasons I generally don’t go into Answers as often - I’m getting tired of the accept rate and amateur hour acceptance problem.

The easiest way to clear that up is to limit closure voting to people with ~500-1k reputation points. If someone can attain that, then it’s easier to trust their judgement.

As far as the accept rate, I’ve just accepted that it’s likely never going to improve and it will probably take 6 months to get it closed.

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@danj @jayeff @nick @arbaman @refectio @mayer @oscarsp @kyle @jogihara @sarahw @kristen @jeffsu and all of those that frequent iFixit Answers. How about making a determination if this is a real problem or a perceived problem? I would suggest that all of us will abstain from voting (upvote or downvotes) as well as from accepting answers, for a certain amount of time. I’d propose something like a month. For some of us that won’t be an issue anyway. After that, let’s tally the results and see how many answers have been voted on or accepted by the OP. I am certain that @kyle and his team can get that data and provide us with those numbers. Based on that, the iFixit Dev team could maybe develop and implement something more effective.

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Hi @oldturkey03 ,

No problems with me on this proposal

I think that the overall response rate by OPs to answers to their questions, is only middling at best (except when it doesn't work then they will let you know pdq).

I'm all for trying things to improve the forum perhaps there'll also be a solution to "cajole" ( milder version than "force") OPs to supply model numbers in the first instance. A reminder message before they're allowed to post perhaps ;-)

Cheers.

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@oldturkey03 - While I don't have a problem with your direction, I still think altering the buttons is a workable solution to make something more visible to the OP. It doesn't alter or impact anything else here.

@jayeff - Yes! That too is an issue. Some of this I suspect (at least in the Mac space) has to do with the drill down process which is a bit of a bear as its deep. One way would be if someone lands on a container point, have a pop-up message to help push them forward in some way.

We still get lots of questions on products that are just not present and/or have no logical placement of related devices. For a while I had made an effort to create product stubs so at least there was something. If I could I filled in what I could find about it. But after the latest change in how product stubs are dealt with I ended up keep making the same stub over and over as they just won't show up unless they have more in them than a product picture.

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I agree with @oldturkey03 - let's stop voting and closing answers for the rest of the month. We lose 8 days that way, but 22 days should be sufficient.

I think there's an actual issue and it isn't perceived, but I may be wrong and I'm okay with that.

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@danj "I still think altering the buttons is a workable solution" for what percentage of the OP's? What is your estimate on percentages of OP's that would be impacted by a change in the button appearance? I would predict that a change in appearance will not have any major impact. Even the most advanced answers to complex and intelligent questions do not get accepted by the OP. I cannot see that the current setup is to complicated to accept. The way I see it, people just do not have any reason to accept their answer.

Lets suspend voting from us for the rest of the month to see what results the iFixit team can come up with.

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The issue is seeing the given tree in spite of being in a forest.

Having a better visual clue is all I was talking about. As clearly in my example the OP was confused, and this is not the first time I've seen this.

Bringing ones eyes to it with some small motion I think will do wonders! This is not an overly difficult change.

Will it solve all of the issues of getting closure or even scoring NO it won't!

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I don't have any issues with "not voting/accepting" if everyone else goes along with it but I suspect that TPTB already have all of that info, they just need to exclude the votes and selections from the top 10 users/mods on any given period ;-).

This has been discussed ad naseum over the years and not much has ever changed. If you contribute here, you have to accept it for what it is. Most OP's will never come back to their question to comment, vote, select etc., unless, as @jayeff pointed out, they have follow-up questions or comments. They rarely vote and accept even less. Heck, as I’ve mentioned before, even many of the regular contributors to this forum don’t upvote good, quality answers by the other members…how can you expect panic’d OP’s who have no real connection to this forum (and who are probably asking on multiple forums) to do so.

When I first started out, I noticed an organic "Accept" rate of ~15%. That was with a bit of prodding the OP on my part. As for upvotes, looking back now, I have 10240 upvotes on 4299 Answers for an upvote rate of about 2.38 votes per answer. If I exclude my top-5 voters (bless their hearts!), my upvote rate falls to 0.68 and if I exclude the top-10 voters (who are all, or were, regular contributors), then my upvote rate is 0.54. At this point, even removing dozens more upvoters doesn't change the ratio much.

So there you have it; with good answers, you should expect no more than 10-20% Acceptance rate and if you remove the upvotes from the mods and regular contributors, you would get about 0.5 vote per answer. So if you want to reach 500 000 points au naturel…

  • You would need to provide 10 quality answers every day for 13 years!
  • You would need to provide 5 quality answers every day for 26 years!
  • Pfft…if all you can offer (for free should I add) is 5 quality answers every working day, then you will need 37 years! That’s slacker work if ever I saw it ;-).

However, the elephant in the room is the very fact that pretty much all of us commenting here have much larger point totals than even the “10 quality answers every day” rate would generate. That is all thanks to the tireless effort by @oldturkey03 and @mayer to consistently (as in almost every friggin day for the last 5 years) upvote and accept answers in the name of the OP to reward the efforts of the Forum’s most consistent contributors.

We answer because we want to, whatever that motivation may be. The points, upvotes, selections are distorted by many forces; OP’s don’t give a %#*@, lurkers vote for the weirdest answers and the Uncles have been rewarding us for years.

The point totals we see today will probably never be repeated in the future. Enjoy them while they last.

For me, I can’t thank Mayer and OT enough for making this forum what it is.

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Same issue in Yahoo Answers back in the day - nobody came back and the community had to step in. It's a decades old issue that iFixit inherited in a way too.

Yes, I know I'm showing my age by even saying that. :-P

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@refectio Minho, I agree both @mayer & @oldturkey03 have been very positive in their voting and accepting answers for many of us. I probably need to do more. It's difficult when your skills are mostly limited to one or two subject areas.

Sometimes I don't think iFixit knows how good the supporting community is not just for them but to all that visit here. I do worry on how to get more involved in answering questions more whole sale like some of us who have been doing it a long time.

I'm sure many of us have their reasons in supporting the effort. Some older members have ventured on to create YouTube sites that are heavily visited with very useful information on repairing and are very engaged in the 'Right to Repair' movement which I personally applaud!

The other day I was at a meeting to hand out fliers to get people engaged in a community project that effects us all (we got a great turnout!) Someone asked me what I did and I explained a bit of what I was doing now and their eyes lit up! They had an iPhone problem which we had helped them on! They where so excited to meet someone who offered their skills for nothing financially!

They couldn't believe people still do it. As well as the mission of repair and reuse we are trying to foster. Many of the pictures seen in articles on Mac orientated sits have iFixit as the source which is often how people find their way to us, which was the case here.

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@refectio thank you for your kind words. I am with you on the stats and totally agree. Let's see what stats develop if we exclude ourselves for a month. I am certain that nothing has changed. It is my prediction that no matter what changes are being made to the layout of Answers, OP's behaviors are not going to change. Human nature is what it is and we just need to get over it. All we can do is to remain surrogates for the OP and reward those that earn it.

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Hello

I like Dan's idea and it's simple. A brightness / flash could give the button visibility enough for people to see. I believe that many people do not see the button to accept an answer.

I will not vote during this month to get information and help with this problem.

It is difficult to find solutions to this without "forcing" the OP. adding mandatory or more specific fields. For this reason I would try visual methods as Dan says. I can't think of anything else that doesn't involve more "effort" for the OP.

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@oscarsp - Thanks! Good use of eye candy ;-}

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