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More control over Help page


I've been writing help topics in the process of getting the new Electrical Engineering site ready for the public. I'm finding that organizing and presenting the various help pages could be better.

For context, here is what you get when clicking Help on EE:


The problem is that I have no control over the presentation in the left box. Also, I don't understand what "Uncategorized" is supposed to tell me. What would be categorized? How does one categorize things? How are the titles not categorizing the help content?

The links appear automatically for every help page that exists. They are ordered alphabetically. I added the numbers to get the order I want. There is no way to have a help page that doesn't show up in this top list.

I suggest that the Help box be editable like any other post. This would be the entire box, including the "Uncategorized" part.

Let me create links to what I want to point to, with the order and indentation I think presents best to users. You shouldn't do anything automatic. Let me fill it in.

Some advantage of this:

  1. The links in the Help box need not be the same as the document titles.
  2. Every document doesn't need to be linked from the Help box. Some documents may be too detailed to be relevant at the top level.
  3. I can control the order.
  4. I can use indentation to show hierarchy.
  5. Everything doesn't need to be a link. I realize space is precious, but a word here and there that's not clickable might be useful.
Why should this post be closed?


1 answer


This one is going to have to be [status-declined] as it is, but there's some other adjustments we can make that might solve the problems.

Making the main help page editable is more difficult than it might at first appear, and would be more prone to breaking; the current setup that simply lists posts automatically is more stable and much easier to maintain. Besides, help posts should be discoverable and linked - I'm struggling to think of a use case for a page that's not visible in the list. If you're writing guidance, users should be able to see it for themselves without having to have someone link them to it.


  1. We'll get categories fixed for help posts so that you can properly categorise posts.
  2. We'll add proper ordering so that you don't have to use a hack with titles.

We may also be able to add an editable section at the top of the help center, but I won't guarantee that one until I've had a proper look at it.

There'll also be some network-wide shared help topics going out soon that all sites will have a copy of. Community moderators are welcome to write their own if they want to, of course, just by editing the network-wide post.

1 comment

OK, I have no idea about the implementation side of things. The reason for not linking everything is that when documents are in a tree structure, some may be so far down as to be too much detail at the lop level. They would of course be linked from other help pages, just not at the top. Not a huge deal. If it's hard, I understand why it won't happen. Olin Lathrop about 1 month ago

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