Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – developing an effective FAQ section
As you, of course, know, Frequently asked questions (FAQ) are frequently asked questions that are collected and highlighted on a separate page. Thanks to her, the user will be able to find the answer to his question without resorting to the forum or support service (support). An ideal FAQ page helps to understand the site without any third-party support, unfortunately, in most cases this does not happen. The success of the FAQ depends on how competently designed this page is and what is placed on it. In this article, based on the publication of the Designing Effective FAQ Pages, I want to understand some aspects and the basics of the correct, working section in frequently asked questions.
Before proceeding directly to an effective FAQ, let’s look at some of the errors that can be found on this issue.
The FAQ should include questions that really concern visitors.
Suppose you just launched a new site and battle you add a page with frequent questions there. What for? But you, in fact, don’t even have visitors, how do you know what questions will be asked most often? You should not come up with questions yourself, the FAQ should be formed on the basis of real-life questions, that is, thanks to feedback. Only in this case the section will be really useful for the visitor. Supplement the FAQ regularly with new questions / answers.
The FAQ section should be named so that everyone understands.
There is a commonly used designation for a section with frequently asked questions – FAQ (Frequently asked questions). It has been used for a very long time and most users (even in RuNet) understand what is at stake. Therefore, do not invent something of your own. If you decide to call the “Q&A” section (questions and answers), not every visitor will guess what lies behind this mysterious abbreviation.
Do the FAQ only where you need it.
Some sites do not need a FAQ section, however, for some reason it is present on them. Often, users themselves find the information they need on the site without any additional hints. Do not 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.
DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE SECTION FAQ
We’ve sorted out the errors, 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 support service, so you need to pay due attention to it.
Say no to the FAQ section
I summarize the above errors, learn to get rid of unnecessary “unnecessary” design elements and the website as a whole. The FAQ section should supplement the main content of the site, and not duplicate it, if there is no help from this page – just remove it. To understand how frequently asked questions are in demand, you need to listen to the site visitors, view the support call, add a form for questions, etc.
It is not necessary to wait until questions begin to come to you. 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 additional clarification. For this, you can, for example, publish a call in the section, such as “If you have not found 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 users themselves participate 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 the 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 visible and (as we explained earlier) correctly called. Sometimes a link to a frequently asked questions page can be specially highlighted in font or corresponding icon.
Show maximum knowledge in the usability of sites and do not force the visitor to look for this section.
FAQ must be legible
The question / answer section is mostly textual, and the text, in turn, should be designed so that it is convenient to read. Or at least. you should immediately distinguish questions from answers so as not to read the texts an additional time. For this, different typographic techniques are used, for example, text can be selected due to contrasting font colors or indents:
Group related questions / answers into categories
Thus, you will greatly facilitate the visitor the process of searching and navigating through the section, if there are a lot of questions.