Re: FAQs in User Guides

Subject: Re: FAQs in User Guides
From: "Chuck Martin" <twriter -at- mindspring -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 16:39:36 -0800

"Elliott C. Evans" <eeyore+ -at- cmu -dot- edu> wrote in message news:84620 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> Chuck Martin wrote:
> > I just encountered a question that I have never had asked before, nor
> > it dealt with here or elsewhere: Should a FAQ page be a part of a User
> [...]
> > I'm inclined a bit toward the "no" side, thinking that the FAQs should
> > answered in the manual contect, and of course be well indexed so they
> > can be easily found. Thoughts?
> Perhaps, if you know that certain sections of the manual answer questions
> are more frequently asked, a second "index" would be helpful. It should
> be shorter than a full page, simply contain FAQs and page references.
> How do I set the time? Answer on page 7.
> How do I record a TV program? Answer on page 10.
Now that is certainly an intriguing concept--and it probably replaces a good
portion of what technical support does ("How do I set the time?" "In your
manual, on page 7, it shows you how to...")

Of course, all this is predicated on the assumption that users will actually
open the User Guide (even an electronic version). :)

Thanks to all who have replied so far. Your input has been quite helpful. I
love this list....

"[Programmers] cannot successfully be asked to design for users
because...inevitably, they will make judgments based on the
difficulty of coding and not on the user's real needs."
- Alan Cooper
"About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design"

Chuck Martin
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

Develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver! (STC Discount.)
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