Should there be a tag for perceived difficulty of the riddles?

I find a lot of the puzzles to be difficult (I guess I'm just not wired that way) and can have a really tough time sorting through the questions for the ones that would be good. In this question the OP suggested a rating system, but I had an idea that may prove more effective.

I don't know if this would be possible, but I saw some vague mention that graduated sites get a new UI. Would it be possible to add in a "puzzle rating" similar to upvote and downvote?

For instance, if a question was perceived as difficult by a user, they would uptick the difficulty rating to show other users if this would be a good question for them. The same could be down for downticks for easier questions, and would give an accurate view of what the community thinks is a hard question.

Is this a possibility for the new UI or the site?

I find Puzzling.SE is unique to SE in the way that none of the questions are to give answers for general knowledge, but rather to give a bit of fun to the community. I feel this would go a long way towards that goal.

ETA: I'd like to address one of the concerns with a community judged difficulty system. This seemed like a weak argument to adding this feature, and I'll break it down by each question that was asked.

A "community-judged difficulty" system has a number of problems as well. What happens before a difficulty has been decided on?

Simple. Thee's two options, either a standard difficulty rating (10 or whatever is decided on) or simply unrated. Does a restaurant have to be rated on a site for it to be good? No, but it helps to know what you're getting into. Regardless, someone is going to have to just TRY (and review) that restaurant for it to ever get its first review. The same principle applies.

How do you decide the difficulty? How do the votes work; is it just "hard" or "easy"?

Not adding "hard" or "easy" to label the questions is a start. Rather than that, ask the puzzle rating (or whatever we call it). Everyone can try the 1000 upticked puzzle, and if they find it easy they can try higher and higher ticked questions. If not, just do the opposite.

Or if it's 5 stars, how does that work? If the people rating it haven't solved the puzzle, how are they supposed to judge its difficulty?

Let's be honest, you KNOW when a question is difficult for you. If you haven't solved it in a reasonable (to you) amount of time, or finally get it and have the tendency to have a serious sense of accomplishment, then that question was hard for you. Upticked. If not? It's a two way street.

And when they have solved the puzzle, again, the answer seems really obvious so it must be "1 star," right?

Depends on the process it took you to get there. It's not "was it difficult when I knew the answer?". It's "was it difficult to get the answer?".

The poster was correct in saying that the entire rating would be subjective. Isn't the ENTIRE POINT of the ???.SE community that it be COMMUNITY judged? Subjective or not, this is a community driven website, so let's give an outlet for the community to rate a question.

  • $\begingroup$ I think it's tough to do. In previous discussions, it seems that everyone's opinion of difficulty varies. (See this and this, too). I think I see what you're asking for, though. A spot on the puzzle where people can vote on puzzle difficulty? $\endgroup$ May 3, 2016 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ I would be worried about people using this feature right away, prior to even understanding a puzzle, though, and everything getting marked as difficult. $\endgroup$ May 3, 2016 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Khale_Kitha That's what I'd be looking for, and if they do, then you have people who see the question later on downvoting it. There'd also be a meanpoint for an "average" difficulty puzzle, as they would be point based. A question that got people who don't understand to upvote *as well as the people who DO understand the puzzle would be labelled difficult. $\endgroup$
    – Anoplexian
    May 3, 2016 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want my good puzzle downvoted, just because someone else had a different opinion on how easy it was. The downvote system should be kept for displaying quality of puzzles. $\endgroup$ May 3, 2016 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Khale_Kitha Downticked* Downvote was the wrong word to use. Maybe a right vote (< vs. >) would eliminate some confusion. $\endgroup$
    – Anoplexian
    May 3, 2016 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ Without passing judgement on the merit of the idea itself, this is very unlikely to get implemented, as graduation is almost entirely cosmetic and this suggestion would require core, server-side changes to the stack exchange platform itself. Best case would be for someone to produce a script of some kind, stick it on stackapps and hope for "unofficial" community adoption. $\endgroup$
    – Alconja
    May 3, 2016 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ I think it is a great idea ! It could be interesting for solvers to know if they are trying something very difficult, but also for puzzle makers because it gives feedbacks on the difficulty. Sometimes puzzle are solved in a few minutes but it does not mean it is an easy puzzle, just that some people are very very good in solving puzzles. It has to be different from the actual vote system that represents quality and not difficulty $\endgroup$
    – Fabich
    May 4, 2016 at 9:45


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