Similar to Can we create a "template question", but not exactly the same.

While I do like the idea of having some sort of default "guided question" feature (where the user could switch to the traditional free-form box), it seems the community doesn't agree.

Instead, what about a new page on the Help Center? We have a "How to ask" section, but it really only gives general points on how to ask. I've personally found this a little confusing when asking on a new site. This new page could look like a question, but instead be an actual template.

Something like:


  • Short summary of question (not the entirety).


  • What is the original problem?
  • What are you trying to do?
  • What have you done so far?
  • What solutions (if any) have you tried?
  • What version of Ubuntu are you using?
  • What are your system specs (relevant is better, but giving them all is more helpful than giving none)?
  • Where did you obtain what you are working with? How?
  • Are screenshots helpful? Provide them if so.

I think this might actually be of more help than what the Help Center has right now. I personally find specifics to be much more helpful, and I don't think they cause harm if they don't end up helping. A template question would allow users to have a general base for their questions instead of having to look at highly voted questions (which can be confusing to adapt), or the SE-wide general rules the Help Center has right now.

  • 3
    Now all you need to do is get them to read the help section ;)
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 9:11
  • @MarkKirby well I point them there anyway. If there's a really clear template for a question, we won't have to guide new users through what they need to include every single time. Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 23:22
  • 2
    Last point - screenshots makes sense sometimes. A camera picture makes sense for grub and kernel load. Most times copy & paste screen output into question and then source code block it (rotten grammar) with {} makes it more readable and enables scrolling. Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 18:34
  • 1
    @Zacharee1: It could even in fact force the user to look at the section before posting their first question, or if a lot of their questions are closed under certain close reasons or downvoted.
    – user364819
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 13:19
  • I like this idea. Sometimes getting enough information to even understand the question is like pulling teeth....
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


I really, really like this idea. I hope we can get some more support on this. I would like to see it move forward. Maybe we can have both? A guided question template would really thin out a lot of the newbie(askubuntu-wise) questions where clarification is needed due to lack of hardware specs, installed dependencies, version, etc...the list really can go on. That, I think is why so much information is left out of the questions. When stumped on something already, it can be hard to remember everything, as you have already gone over it a few times, yourself. I'm all for a guided question template. Your idea, however, we can do easier and sooner. How do we go about getting this ball rolling? Should we scour the site for an already existing perfect question and break down it's format into your template? We can always adjust the template and format of the question as we go. A sort of evolution.

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