Re: FAQs

Subject: Re: FAQs
From: "Diane Boos" <dianeboos -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 13:11:43 -0700

Barry Campbell wrote:
If something is a FAQ, that means one or more of the following is true:

-- It isn't covered or explained adequately in the documentation, or
-- People aren't finding it in the documentation, or
-- People aren't reading the documentation, period.

My point of view is that a FAQ should be a living document, and is a
great place to capture quick answers to problems that you're going to
fix/information you're going to make easier to find in the next
revision of the documentation. The answer(s) to a *really* frequently
asked question probably belongs in your Quick Start guide and your
online help (at a minimum.)

Increasingly companies are directing you to web sites for their documentation or the answers to your questions. Many times, you don't have traditional documentation. All you have access to is what is online or id in help. So when end users are directed to FAQs, how many find the answers? How many search like I did and give up?

To me it could be more than a question about "documentation" but effectiveness of an accepted technique. How many technical writers and managers assume that FAQ are effective because it's an accepted communication technique? So do we know or do we have any stats relating to FAQ and thier effectiveness?

Frankly, speaking from my current very frustated viewpoint, I doubt I'll every use another FAQ site.

WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!.
Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: FAQs
Next by Author: RE: Search Engine Rankings
Previous by Thread: RE: FAQs
Next by Thread: Re: FAQs

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads