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I have the impression that approximately 30-50% of new user questions on this forum are self-help, and readily closed.

Our documentation only mentions self-help questions being off-topic if you read it carefully. For example, the Tour page has it somewhere in the middle of a long page:

Don't ask about... "Self Help" questions which are personal in nature, seeking medical or professional advice

The How to Ask page only says:

Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you ...

And the Don't Ask page says nothing about self-help questions. This is presumably because the latter 2 pages are generic templates for all SE sites, not customized for our stack.

I'm sure that not all new users read the documentation so carefully. What can we do to reduce the number of self-help questions on the site?

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    Interesting question and certainly something to pursue. I guess it has to go through a request to SE Corp. – AliceD Oct 27 '20 at 8:04
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When asking a question, new users are prompted with a pop-up dialog box that currently looks like this:

enter image description here

This appears to be the generic dialog, but I see that other stacks have custom versions, which makes me think that we can too. My proposal is to mention what questions are off-topic there, including self-help.

The full list from the Tour page:

Don't ask about...

  • Pseudoscience or fiction
  • Questions that do not provide relevant references or clarify underlying assumptions
  • "Self Help" questions which are personal in nature, seeking medical or professional advice
  • Questions that are primarily opinion-based
  • Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer
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    I think it might be better to focus on just the self-help don't ask. The others are relevant, too, but I think it's more likely to be missed if there is too much information there. Also out of curiosity, which sites have a different pop up? – Bryan Krause Oct 27 '20 at 16:49
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    I'd suggest making a separate post as a proposal to change this specific text, with exactly the desired text in the question body. Leave it open for a little while for voting and suggestions for tweaks, get at least your fellow mods to vote on it, and once it seems like there's something like a meta consensus in favor (I know it's difficult around here with few active users) add the status-review tag to put it in the queue for staff to look at. – Bryan Krause Oct 30 '20 at 21:53
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    meta.stackexchange.com/questions/348642/… for reference. – Bryan Krause Oct 30 '20 at 21:53
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There is a big broblem SE wide in my view where not all hints, tips and pointers are on view when posting or reading via an android or iOS app. The same goes when viewing in a mobile browser.

One example is that MedicalSciences.SE has a big problem with this too and they have a big discliamer on the top right of the main Q&A page which I have asked in the past about having here

important-custom-content

This is viewable on a computer and visiting the MedicalSciences.SE site in a computer browser, but when viewed in my mobile phone browser I get the following:

mobile view of MedicalSciences.SE

With regard to the pop-up for new users, after thorough testing as you pointed out in the comments, the pop-up comes up when visiting in a mobile browser. There is however an issue with the StackExchange Apps. The pop-up does NOT show in either the iOS or Android apps.

The best course of action in my view is to post a request to meta.SE as suggested by @AliceD and continue as we are at the moment which is to vote close with a comment.

I have a standard comment I use for this situation which is:

Welcome to Psychology.SE! I am sorry, but for a number of reasons outlined in this meta post we can not, and will not, give advice or potential diagnoses for any specific individual. If you or anyone else has a question regarding personal mental health, advice from a doctor should be sought. For further information on how this site is supposed to work, what is on-topic or not, you can take the tour, visit the How to Ask page and Psychology & Neuroscience Meta.

there are shortcodes you can use to help so the markup used when posting the comment is:

Welcome to Psychology.SE! I am sorry, but [for a number of reasons outlined in this meta post](https://psychology.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/502/why-was-my-self-help-question-closed-as-off-topic) we can not, and will not, give advice or potential diagnoses for any specific individual. If you or anyone else has a question regarding personal mental health, advice from a doctor should be sought. For further information on how this site is supposed to work, what is on-topic or not, you can take the [tour], visit the [ask] page and [meta].

  • Is the same true for the pop-up dialog box? – Arnon Weinberg Nov 5 '20 at 17:39
  • I believe so @Arnonweinberg but I will need to check. I will attempt to find out tomorrow – Chris Rogers Nov 5 '20 at 17:42
  • The pop-up dialog box shows up for me on Android. – Arnon Weinberg Nov 5 '20 at 18:14
  • After thorough testing @ArnonWeinberg, as you pointed out, the pop-up comes up when visiting in a mobile browser. There is however an issue with the StackExchange Apps. The pop-up does NOT show in either the iOS or Android apps. – Chris Rogers Nov 6 '20 at 10:57
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    SE is no longer supporting either the iOS or Android apps. In my view, this is confusing to users and the apps should be made nonfunctional, but it seems SE has so far made a calculation that they'd prefer to suffer the problems that occur when people use deprecated tools rather than upset the people who prefer to use these tools anyways. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/348075/… – Bryan Krause Nov 9 '20 at 3:18
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    @BryanKrause Hmmm. I'm not impressed with that response as apps which are not maintained and updated tend to become unsafe security-wise from what I have read. That could be the reason why Google Play Store delisted the app as they review stagnant apps. They should be made unusable in my mind even though they are popular for features which are unavailable via the website. I think I might uninstall my copies seeing as they have not been maintained since 2017. – Chris Rogers Nov 9 '20 at 7:23

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