Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – we are developing an effective FAQ section
As you know, of course, the FAQ (Frequently asked questions) are frequently asked questions that are collected and highlighted on a separate page. Thanks to it, the user will be able to find the answer to his question without asking the forum or support service (support). The ideal FAQ page helps to deal with the site without any third-party support, unfortunately, in most cases this does not happen. The success of the FAQ depends on how well this page is designed and what is placed on it. In this article, written on the basis of the publication Designing Effective FAQ Pages, I want to make out some aspects and basics of a proper, working section in frequently asked questions.
Before going directly to an effective FAQ, let’s look at some errors that can be found on this issue.
In the FAQ should be submitted questions that actually concern visitors.
Suppose you have just launched a new site and are fighting to add a page with frequently asked questions. What for? You, in fact, do not even have visitors, how do you know what questions will be asked most often? It is not necessary to invent questions yourself, the FAQ should be formed on the basis of actually received questions, that is, thanks to the feedback. Only in this case the section will be really useful for the visitor. Regularly update the FAQ with new questions / answers.The FAQ section should be named so that everyone understands.
There is a generally accepted notation with a frequently asked questions section – FAQ (Frequently asked questions). It has been used for a very long time and most users (even in RuNet) understand what is being said. Therefore you should not invent something of your own. If you decide to call the section “Q & A” (questions and answers), not every visitor will guess what lies behind this mysterious abbreviation.
Do the FAQ section only where it is needed.
Some sites do not need an FAQ section, however, it is for some reason present on them. Often, users themselves find the information they need on the site without any additional hints. There is no need to worry about this – this means that the structure of the project is very well developed. And vice versa, if you can get the same information on many pages, then most likely the site architecture is not thought out in the best way. You should not do the FAQ section just for the sake of it.
WE DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE SECTION FAQ
With the errors figured out, let’s move on to creating a page of the most popular questions. A good FAQ page can significantly ease the load on the site’s support service, so you need to pay due attention to it.
Say no to the FAQ section.
I summarize the errors discussed above, learn to get rid of unnecessary “unnecessary” design elements and the web site as a whole. The FAQ section should complement the main content of the site, and not duplicate it, if there is no help from this page – just remove it. To understand how much the frequently asked questions are in demand, you need to listen to the site visitors, view the support call, add a question form, etc.
It is not necessary to wait until you begin to receive questions. If you have a new site, you can (as an option) arrange a survey of visitors / customers and identify a range of issues that require further clarification. For this you can, for example, publish a call in the section, such as “Did not find the answer to the question, please contact us” or make a special announced period during which users could ask questions by phone or email. The method of “collecting questions” is very effective, because the users themselves are involved in the development of the FAQ page.
Place links to the FAQ in the site structure where the user is used to seeing them.
For the FAQ section, there are usual “entry points” – in the main navigation menu, or separately – in the upper right corner of the site or in the “basement” (you can combine several placement options). The link should be noticeable and (as we found out earlier) should be called correctly. Sometimes a link to the frequently asked questions page can be specially highlighted with a font or an appropriate icon.
FAQ must be legible.
The question / answer section is mostly textual, and the text, in turn, should be designed to be comfortable to read. Or at least. You should immediately distinguish between questions and answers so that you don’t have to read the texts for additional times.