Many sites don’t really require instructions. But as companies move more of their business out to the Web, we often expect the customer to do more “self-servicing”.

We now require that well-designed site must be self-aware and self-evident. Such guidance can be provided through good visual design, well-written intros, context-sensitive popups and engaging, appropriate mini-presentations.

Frequently Asked Questions show that you understand the situation. “I anticipate your question. Here’s the answer.”

Quick, easy answers

The ideal content of an FAQ section is a list of the problems that users most frequently face – in other words, they are usability issues that haven’t yet been addressed yet in the design.

FAQ’s as Problems

New visitors to a site often go to the FAQ’s section as a shortcut introduction.

Including FAQ’s prominently as a regular part of site design can be helpful.

Practical Techniques

In addition to a dedicated index page of FAQ’s as a menubar link on the site, a context-appropriate FAQ link should appear on any page where it’s relevant. It opens the FAQ popup window and links directly to the appropriate answer anchor.

I like to present the FAQ answers in a separate window popup, so that you can

  • invoke this valuable page of help information from anywhere on the site and
  • still not lose your context.

  • If you find you’ve got a bunch of FAQ’s focusing on a particular topic, then you may want to create a mini-presentation video Tutorial.

Surprising Solution :

Leverage your Call Center

  • The call center itself is a live, real repository for your ongoing usability & satisfaction issues.

In theBadOldeDays (when “ux” had little profile and budgets were – literally – nonexistent) it was necessary to come up with solutions which could be implemented from existing resources.  Like your Call Center.


Knowledge Management Is Key to Your Customer Self-Service Strategy



© The Communication Studio LLC