Writing FAQs for E-Commerce Web Sites

Subject: Writing FAQs for E-Commerce Web Sites
From: Holly Dunagan <hdunagan -at- minn -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 19:05:32 -0500

Do any list members have experience in writing FAQs or help for e-commerce web sites? I am starting a project working with advertising to discuss on-line instructions even though the web site wont be live until next January. I am wondering how to put something together that will actually be useful.

* Do on-line shoppers expect clear step-by-step help on an e-commerce site?
* Do they expect the copy will be mostly promotional over functional?
* Is there a good rule-of-thumb for the length of answers to FAQ questions?
* Can the FAQs meet the needs of shoppers who are really new to computers and internet, or must the FAQs focus on the specific application to be effective?
* As a writer, should I be focused on "closing the sale" or on clarifying software?

My initial thoughts are to serve as a usability Subject Matter Expert for the advertising department while letting them lead the project. I'd be interested in exchanging ideas with anyone working on similar projects.

Holly Dunagan
hdunagan -at- minn -dot- net
Information Architect





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