Like many developers I come across Stack Overflow pages with some frequency when performing research. I came across a question to which I had an answer and I decided to was time to try and contribute. Well, my answer was deleted, and then the question was deleted, and at no time did I get any information or feedback as to what was happening or why. This is poor user interface design. Though it may take some effort, it should be clear to users what is happening and why when they attempt to use a site. It only took one google query to find that my experience is hardly unique:
- The decline of Stack Overflow (2015 Jul) – This has a long list of similar articles at the end of the article.
- Why I refuse to use stackoverflow (2014 Sep-Dec) – This is missing from the above links and contains several stories.
- Why I no Longer Contribute to StackOverflow (2013 Dec) – This is in the above list but does a better job suggesting *why* Stack Overflow is problematic.
I wonder if most websites simply have a lifespan that plays itself out. This could be good as it would suggest that there is an evolutionary aspect to software. Stack Overflow successfully displaced the sites that came before it by doing what it does better, and something will come along and replace Stack Overflow and the sites occupying that niche now when a better design and implementation are presented. Maybe that next thing will work better for me. Or maybe this niche is just not something that I will interact with, and that’s fine too.