January 22, 2007

How to write a good FAQ

Filed under: — Natasha @ 11:04 am
Question mark

I’ve been cleaning up some of my own FAQ pages as well as other people’s and it got me thinking about how to write a FAQ that actually answers questions users have.

The advantages of having a proper FAQ are many: less e-mails with time-consuming questions, happier users and a good idea of issues facing your products and services as well as your site.

A FAQ is about answering questions as succintly as possible.
A not so good FAQ doesn’t answer actual questions, but has rhetorical questions the company would love to be asked by users. This frustrates users and gives them the impression you couldn’t care less. Put yourself in the user’s place by visiting another site’s FAQ and see how quickly you can find your answer.

A FAQ should also be concise and not contain marketing language.
Again, people just want answers so they can get on with their work, not a sales pitch.

Sounds terribly obvious? It’s not! All those e-mails with questions about your products, services and site are free advice pointing out what you need to change, if you can read between the lines.

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