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Before Stack Exchange redesigned the top header bar (mostly for the better, IMO), there was a prominent link to the Help Center. Now, after the redesign, there is no easily discoverable link to any help pages.

Yes, the link to "Help" is under the SE icon in the upper right. But there's no text before clicking it, no hover-over text, nothing to indicate that the Help Center pages are in any of the top bar icons.

In short, from a new user experience, there is zero discoverability. For new users who come across the site, there is one less reason for them to possibly read the Help Center before asking a patently off-topic question, or already-asked-a-thousand-times, etc.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like just the presence of an immediate "Help Center" link prominently at the top of the page stopped all off-topic questions before. However, when pointing out to new users to refer to the Help Center in the past, I believe 100% that there was a small amount of "well crap, the link was right there. I should have checked it out. I deserve that" for at least some of the new OT posters. However, now, if I were a new user, I'd feel much more along the lines of "how the hell was I supposed to find that little hidden 'Help' link?!" (justifiably so, IMO).

Question

Is there enough leeway or room in our subheader design or template to add a direct, textual link to "Help Center", like we used to have in the past? Is that possible? I think it would really help when we point new users in that direction.

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  • The existence of 'Chat' is equally obscure to new users. – Michael C Nov 20 '17 at 9:12
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The bar is altered based on reputation. If you view the site in incognito mode or while logged out, you will notice that a question mark icon is featured prominently on the top bar and links to the help page as well as having a site introduction header that provides some basic introduction.

Once you have higher reputation, they figure the help icon is no longer needed and it is instead replaced with the review queue icon.

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  • TIL. good to know. That pretty much answers my concern. – scottbb Nov 20 '17 at 15:16

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