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TL;DR: If No Action Needed is your favourite choice when reviewing first posts and late answers, you need to focus more on the quality of your reviews.

In the last 30 days, 477 reviews of first posts and late answers have been performed on this site. In 330 cases (69 %), the reviewer selected No Action Needed. Remember that this choice means that the reviewer decided to do neither of the following:

  • Vote for the post.
  • Post a comment or upvote an existing comment.
  • Edit or suggest an edit.
  • Flag or vote to close or delete.

While I do not dispute that No Action Needed is an appropriate choice at times, this is too much! This button should serve as a last resort, not as the default. Originally, it did not even exist. For the vast majority of posts, one of the following applies:

  • You can improve the post by editing. Most new users do not know how to properly format a post, how to write a good title, or to appropriately tag a question. Improving these aspects is one these queues’ purposes.

  • If the post has any problems that only be fixed by the author or not at all, you can flag it, vote to close or delete, downvote, or leave a comment elaborating where the problem is. While not all of these choices are appropriate for all posts with problems, at least one of them should be. If there already is a comment explaining what is wrong, you can upvote it.

  • If there is nothing wrong with the post, you should probably upvote it. Don’t be afraid of introducing a bias for first posters. This is an intended effect of the queue to make new user feel welcome.

  • If you do not qualified to make a voting decision on the post (including a qualified non-vote, i.e., decide that it deserves neither an up- nor a downvote) and there is nothing blatantly wrong with the post, you should probably skip the review.

If you do not perform these reviews carefully, this means that new users do not receive the attention and guidance they deserve, or problematic posts may be undetected – I just deleted two clear spam posts that were reviewed with No Action Needed. Sure, reviewing thoroughly takes more time, but this time is well invested as our site thrives on quality and other users having a positive experience. Good first-post reviews may even reduce the total review load: The earlier a user receives guidance on improving their post, the more likely it is that they are still around and improve their post before it can cause more work in the “heavier” review queues.

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  • Vote for the post: there are plenty of areas of GD I'm completely unfamiliar with (like all the Adobe software). I don't know if a question is good or not.
  • Post a comment or upvote an existing comment: same thing, I don't feel qualified to comment on subjects I'm unfamiliar with.
  • Edit or suggest an edit: plenty of questions are formally "good enough".
  • Flag or vote to close or delete: this I do. However I'm surprised by the number of "Unclear what you are asking" votes I see attached to questions that have received an answer. Not "unclear" for everybody...

Also, if after spending several minutes figuring out if a question is legit you discover it was another curve ball of the review monitoring, your willingness to spend time of your next reviews diminishes somewhat.

You didn't mention the Skip button. Should we use it more?

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    there are plenty of areas of GD I'm completely unfamiliar with (like all the Adobe software). I don't know if a question is good or not. – If you cannot even do this, how would you properly review the post? In particular for Adobe software, I expect that there are plenty of people who can review such posts. I also skip all first-post and late-answer reviews on those unless there is something blatantly wrong with the post. – I edited my announcement to cover this. – Wrzlprmft Nov 9 '17 at 9:29
  • Not "unclear" for everybody... – On the other hand, you will always find people who answer such questions based on their assumptions, which in turn leads to answers being invalidated by updates to the question or answers being impossible to evaluate. Preventing this is why we close such questions. If people refrained from answering such questions, we could just leave them and let the roomba bot take care of them. That being said, if an allegedly unclear posts has answers, it is good to take a look at them. – Wrzlprmft Nov 9 '17 at 9:29
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    There are questions worth answering and "really good" questions worth upvoting (otherwise if we upvote everything, what is the purpose)? I've been in tech support forums for long enough to think I can identify the first kind even if it's not my domain of expertise. – xenoid Nov 9 '17 at 10:54
  • I'm not saying that no questions are really unclear. But I see questions marked unclear that have "accepted" answers... If the question is unclear, the good reaction is to ask for more info in a comment. IMHO it all boils down to choose if we want GD to be perfect or if we want it to look friendly enough to attract new people. – xenoid Nov 9 '17 at 10:58
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    otherwise if we upvote everything, what is the purpose – As a reviewer in said queues, you can upvote every post without problems in good conscience (also see the general FAQ). Encouraging new members – in particular if they manage to produce a useful first posts – is one of the purposes of these queues. – Wrzlprmft Nov 9 '17 at 14:09
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    But I see questions marked unclear that have "accepted" answers... – In that case the act of accepting may clarify the question as it tells us that the assumptions made by the answers are correct. In that case, the question can be edited accordingly. — If the question is unclear, the good reaction is to ask for more info in a comment. – Yes, but waiting for the asker to clarify is impractical (in that case, we can always reopen). Of course there are questions that would “only” benefit from clarifications but are answerable as they stand without causing the aforementioned problems. – Wrzlprmft Nov 9 '17 at 14:13

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