Certainly! I tend verbose, so… no TLDR’s on this one. You asked for specificity…
What I saw
After perusing discuss.atom.io for a while, I decided to register and propose some features that had occurred to me over the last couple of days of playing with the product.
I made my first post without incident, but ran into trouble making my second post. This one was a little more detailed: it linked to a gist, contained an image of the desired effect, and then referenced cross-sub-domain documentation (atom.io rather than discuss.atom.io), alongside several relevant git repos.
As I was composing it, I tried to drag and drop the screenshot I’d taken, to receive a dismissible yellow ‘alert’ popover/tooptip informing me that I couldn’t that as a new user. The overlay appeared right above the editor, overlapping the blue overlay popover how to write good posts.
Leaving placeholder text where I wanted to put the image when I became an old user, I finished the composition and hit ‘Create Topic’, only to receive a similar popover informing me I had too many links (I think it mentioned I was limited to two only). Kinda naively I ‘un-markdownified’ most of my links, and got the same result. Finally, I removed the ‘http://’ from them and submitted my post feeling a little frustrated.
What I’d rather see
Primarily, when told I can’t do something, even though I understand there needs be limitations, I’d like to understand those limitations. Targeted, contextualized warning messages letting me know what I did wrong is great, but I’d love to see them contain a link to a canonical page documenting what it means that I’m a new user, when that will go away, and what I can’t do as one. Similar to what @leedohm linked me to above, but with the link provided as a part of the error message, and possibly handcrafted around any site-specific settings.
That would have cut my three failed attempts to post down to one, reducing my barrier to entry and the general churn of navigating the new user restrictions without a map.
Furthermore, I’d have been able to read that the restrictions were contingent on my time spent perusing the site, and happily continued to do so to earn my wings the way I’d already been doing for a few hours, sidestepping any frustration altogether. Instead, I felt sufficiently undermined and frustrated to come make a post here, seeking information that could have been presented to me.
From an actual site-admin standpoint, I’d also whitelist atom.io, gist.com, and github.com, given the option. Although those gists can be risque.
Finally, since I assumed that new-usership was a factor of site reputation rather than time, more similar to Stack Overflow, I was frustrated that the tools necessary to gain reputation by crafting high-quality posts were withheld from me until I acquired a reputation. This catch-22 was a misunderstanding on my part, but could have been cleared up easily with a little more right-when-I-needed-it direction on how to become a trusted user.
Perhaps on authenticated, real-world-identity sites, especially ones like this one, I feel as if the restrictions themselves should be lighter. On the other hand, I imagine what horrors you’ve witnessed in the call of duty and shudder. It’s a hard tradeoff, but as long as it’s configurable by the per-site Discourse instance, new-usership isn’t reputation driven, and restrictions are clear, I’m comfortable letting the eyes more scarred than mine make those calls.
I’m quite excited to be using Discourse! I’ve been subscribed to the Boing Boing BBS digest for some time, which always baffles me because I never read the stuff. Then I notice it’s sent from firstname.lastname@example.org and remember I only subscribed because I was interested in seeing your product.
On the whole, I have to say I’m delighted. This has been my only issue with it so far, and only frustrating in the Daoist sort of way where the rest of my experience has been so smooth it stuck out in comparison. I hope this helps! Keep setting the bar high!