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Recently, the site has been starting to attract quite a few more views and users, which is very encouraging. However, I don't think the site is doing a great job at attracting some of our core audience: consumers and users of home automation.

The example questions for our site were largely a mix of home automation/IoT questions and development/industrial IoT questions. I don't think our current site description makes it clear that either of those groups are welcome, which is perhaps a lost opportunity to help connect great questions with answers.

Above the fold

The guidance we give to users who first come to our site is this:

Internet of Things Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of everyday objects embedded with electronics to be sensed, monitored, and controlled remotely. Join them; it only takes a minute:

[Sign up]

I'm not convinced that really helps either group decide whether they should be asking here:

  • For home automation enthusiasts, their topic of interest is mentioned nowhere in the site description, and 'everyday objects embedded with electronics' doesn't really help. Many people wouldn't think 'IoT' (which sounds like a buzzword) when they're looking for a home automation site.

  • For developers of IoT devices, the text doesn't mention that they're welcome (it sounds more like a consumer-only site)

The same problem also makes this site less discoverable in the site searcher:

Site searcher — 'home automation' not listed

We can do better! Let's discuss how we can streamline the new user experience and make the site easier to discover and understand.

Got an idea for a tag line? Please share it below, or any ideas on whether we should keep something similar to our current description, or change it. The tag line should be more like tag usage guidance — not a bulletproof definition, but explanation for who should use this site.

If you have any other ideas about the new user experience, please also share them below in an answer so we can discuss them and help the site reach a larger audience.

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    As part of the focus group (new/potential users), this question seems really on point. I skipped past the site a few times because the name seemed too generic and not suggestive of the content. From the title alone the Home Improvement group seemed at least as appropriate for home automation. – whitneyland Jul 16 '17 at 22:13
  • @Lee Thank you for posting that; it's really helpful to know that this is actually a problem and not something I'm imagining. Any input on a tagline that would be better (either through voting on the ones below or posting your own) would be particularly useful from your perspective, so do feel free to do that if you want. – Aurora0001 Jul 17 '17 at 15:16
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I'd like to capture something which identifies the ultimate goal of IoT (making things work better by being connected). Talking about the devices here seems to limit us a little bit into thinking about existing implementations (which are not even scratching the surface).

Internet of Things is a Q&A site for users and developers of the next generation of interconnected sensor, data and control networks

If we update the help-centre text:

The Internet of Things is an umbrella term for automation systems consisting of sensors, data processing and different types of control mechanisms. These applications range from smart cities (parking, traffic management, public transport), farming and buildings (with home-automation and security being the current consumer-facing aspects of the technology).

This site is about both developing these network-connected smart 'things' and using the consumer products that build on this technology

I think so long as home-automation is clearly mentioned, we can reasonably de-emphasise the consumer aspect without making home-automation type questions seem off-topic, and that may encourage more developer level questions (which I think will help the site grow).

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    As of now the help center text has been changed :) – Helmar Jan 4 '18 at 13:47
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Recently we all are seeing more and more hobbyists and new developers landing here. Can we update the

Internet of Things Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users, hobbyists and developers of everyday objects embedded with electronics to be sensed, monitored, and controlled remotely. Join them; it only takes a minute:

More suggestions from others please that would indicate to hobbyists and developers that they are equally welcome here.

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I agree, our slogan should be updated. Unfortunately, right now, I'm just in a state of appreciating the problem and I don't have a good solution.


I did however talk to a member of the community team who advises against any slogan longer than ~150 characters. If only to not break the layout of https://stackexchange.com/sites, which my pre-edit version that made our current version longer totally broke.

Whoever wants our quite nice definition of the Internet of Things somewhere visible, there is a place in the help center we haven't used yet:

Showing one place in the help center that is editable.

There are some SEs who use that space, from Latin's one-liner to French's French help center version. That could be a good place to put our definition of the Internet of Things and help us enormously to keep the tag line short.

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Internet of Things is a Q&A site for people building, configuring or deploying connected home or industrial automation systems.

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As I mentioned in my question, I think the attempt to define IoT so precisely is pointless—anyone who already knows about IoT doesn't need it, and anyone who doesn't is likely to end more confused than they started.

Instead, let's just say who this site targets, so that those who are interested and knowledgeable in our subject can find us without an incredibly verbose tagline:

Internet of Things is a Q&A site for users and developers of interconnected "smart" devices for uses such as home automation or industry.

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  • Needs “such as” before “in home automation or industry”. And I don't see this as a marked improvement on the current one. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 5 '17 at 21:26
  • @Gilles Good point. Done. Do you feel this isn't an improvement because the current one is okay, or just that the current one isn't great and mine isn't any better? Trying to get a feel for whether there actually is a big problem that needs solving, or whether there isn't. – Aurora0001 Jul 6 '17 at 15:09
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    I think yours is an improvement. But it still doesn't help all that much to define the topic of the site. Mind you, I'm not sure what the topic of the site really is. It seems to be settling into a site for end-users only, even though that isn't the official intent. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 6 '17 at 22:14

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