lied_ohne_worte (lied_ohne_worte) wrote in suggestions,

More informative error messages when posting to a moderated community.

More informative error messages when posting to a moderated community.

Short, concise description of the idea
The possible error messages regarding a community's moderation queue should provide more information on the problem in question and how to solve it.

Full description of the idea
When a user tries to post to a moderated community, they may encounter two error messages: "Error updating journal: Client error: Moderation queue full." and "Error updating journal: Client error: Maximum queued posts for this community+poster combination reached."

The first message indicates that the moderation queue for the community is full, meaning that a moderator has to approve or reject at least one of the entries in the queue before a new one can be submitted. The second message means that the user trying to post has already submitted the maximum number of entries to the moderation queue, depending of the community's account level. This can happen especially quickly if a user does not understand moderated communities and keeps re-submitting an entry because it was not posted at their first try. Again, a moderator will need to approve or reject at least one of the user's entries before they can submit a new one.

While these error messages are documented in the FAQs at [], they tend to greatly confuse users, and there are numerous Support requests opened about them. Many users do not read the FAQs. Often, users assume that the error messages indicate a site malfunction, while in reality the site is functioning as it should.

Therefore, I'd suggest to make the error messages more descriptive. Specifically, it should be explained why exactly the user cannot submit new entries, and it should be noted that this problem can only be resolved by the community's moderators, whom the user might wish to contact. The wording could be chosen along the lines of the FAQ I linked, using the values appropriate to the particular community's account level.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Users receive more information on the problem they are having, and how they can solve it, which would improve site usability. They will be able to direct their request for help (as well as the frustration some of them experience) to the persons who can actually help them.
  • Fewer Support requests about a simple issue will be opened.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • As usual, someone will have to code this.
Tags: communities, community membership, community moderation, site copy, § no status
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