Windows Live QnA is a community questions & answer site – hence the name QnA. It’s main rival being Yahoo! Answers.
QnA is similiar in a way to Y! Answers. On both sites, users can ask questions, answer questions, vote for the best answer, and just rummage through to find something interesting. Both sites allow users to get points and levels, but QnA is different. Here’s how it’s better:
- Cleaner layout – Y! Answers is very cluttered, and has ads. On QnA, there’s nothing like that. You can find exactly what you need.
- Bare bones – The site is really simple, go on there, ask a question, answer a question, or vote for a question. Not much else.
- Tags instead of Categories – Grouping a bunch of similiar questions, instead of identifying a single question ot it’s own is what Y! Answers does. On QnA, tags help characterize each question so it’s unique, but can be similiar to other questions too. That way, it’s easier to search for.
- Message Boards – So users can communicate about stuff going on at QnA
- Questions will always get a best answer – Instead of leaving questions to be voted for best answer, by just the person or somebody lucky to hit it, (sometimes there’s no best answer for even a year) questions on QnA get solved in one week. The community votes, and a best answer is chose. 4 day for the question to be opened for answering, 3 days for the community to pick what’s best, and it’s done. On Y! Answer, it’s like 4 days (or more if chosen) for people to answer, and 2-3 days to pick best answers. Although if nobody picks a best answer, or there’s a tie, it stands out and waits until somebody is lucky enough to pick a final one. Which could mean months, or even 1 year, until somebody picks. Sad really.
- No ads – No ads (graphical or text) making the page load up any slower. But since it’s still in beta, it might not always be that way.
- Only lose points for innappropriate questions – On Y! Answers, you lose points for asking a question, or deleting an answer.
But unfortunately, QnA still needs a whole lot of work to do, to make it better. It’s still way behind on many things that Y! Answers offer. And there haven’t been that many updates since the added spell checker. Here’s what they should improve on:
- Friends feature – If this is truly a community – where’s an option for my friends? I would like a dedicated section on my QnA profile for people I want to be friends with. It would be nice to be able to keep a section where I can keep tabs on my friends. Long overdue, we really need it QnA.
- Status box on every page – I would like to know how my status is, without having to go to my profile. It should be on the very top of the left pane (the pane that has the words: Home, Ask, Questions, Browse Tags, etc.). I can see my avatar, points, level, and the most important things that are going on. And maybe the status box can flash a bit when someone answers one of my questions, or comments my answer, little stuff like that to indicate something has happened that I might want to notice. Please, we need one.
- Extend QnA profile options – Your profile is really limited. You can’t really change it. I would love to see the option to add an "About Me" box to give my own brief description about myself. Please, no limited characters on text. I want to give myself a chance to explain myself. And like I said before, a Friends feature? Could we also have an option to make it private?
- Options with your questions – Once you ask a question, you’re really limited with what you can do with it. How about the options to delete it, add official details without using a comment, add to my Live Space, Live homepage, etc. Please, let us personalize our questions a bit more.
- Options with your answers – Could the text box you enter your answer with be better? Like instead of double spacing just to indicate a space between two groups of text, how about just do it like it looks that way. And could we have the option of editing or deleting our answers? Like if I want to fix a mistake I didn’t catch, I could fix it instead of commenting. And if I just don’t want my answer on there, I could delete it? We need that.
- Toolbar tools when entering text – There should be a toolbar when you’re entering questions/answers. Basic tools like Bold, Italics, Underline, SpellCheck, Hyperlink. They should all be at the top of the box, so it’s very easy to use. Instead of entering codes and whatnot.
- Search filter – A way to filter exactly what you’re searching for on QnA. ‘All’, ‘Open’, and ‘Voting’ aren’t enough. How about filter by amount of days, words-not-to-search, and other stuff.
- Superstar ranking – Can QnA just simply tell me how I rank on QnA? I hate to dig around on the Superstars section looking for myself. Put it in my profile area please.
- Options when question are in vote mode – Could I (the questioner) at least see how many votes have been recieved for each question? Or could my vote be worth at least 5 points, just to make sure, or I can’t I, the asker, be able to pick my best answer all on my own? Without depending on the community?
- Fix the homepage – The homepage is fine as it is, but it is a bit bland. Could the tags section improve a bit, and look like regular tags where the more popular ones are bigger and can be spaced around each other? Plus the tags look exactly the same every day, like nobody searches or adds anything else. Kind of weird. And the QnA team blog area could show a big Live Spaces icon to indicate to users that, that’s the blogging area of the team? And how about a bit of a curvature on the corners. Just for class. Make it look more nicer is what I’m saying.
That’s the best I can think of. Hopefully the QnA team is really working hard on updates, and will make the community proud. If you have something you want to add to my wishlist, go ahead and comment. I might even add it to my wishlist. Thanks for reading.