Web pages featuring Frequently Asked Questions are not uncommon. These pages can be a great tool for many reasons, but only if they are carefully curated to reflect content focused on the targeted audience. Check out the tips below.
When To Use An FAQ Page
Most FAQ pages are designed to improve the experience of the targeted audience by providing answers to commonly asked questions. FAQ pages should be simple, clearly organized, and above all, helpful.
Use Only if Absolutely Necessary
If questions are commonly asked, evaluate your web content for effectiveness and clarity before adding a page of FAQs. By incorporating the answers to commonly asked questions into your content, the site you present to users develops over time into a well-rounded, rich user experience.
If an FAQ page is needed, be careful to avoid the page becoming a 'junk drawer' of random questions. FAQ pages should have a focused purpose, and be developed after considering if details can be incorporated into content.
When creating an FAQ page, a secondary location where content must be kept updated has also been created.
Organization is Key
Questions should be categorized from a user perspective. How would a student categorize a particular question? How would a parent refer to an issue? Breaking FAQs down into common categories allows users to easily find the answers they are searching for.
Be aware of acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon that users may not be familiar with. Avoid confusing terms and provide answers in simple, user-focused language.
How Often is Frequent?
Before adding content to your FAQ page, ask yourself... "How often do I get asked this question?" Look beyond the content that you simply want people to know, and dive into the data to determine what your department's most asked questions really are. Staying user-centric is key when creating an effective FAQ page.
Sometimes a simple text-only answer works just fine. Often, providing an example image, screenshot, or infographic can add value to the page and the user experience.
Enough is Enough
Don't overwhelm users with FAQs. If a question remains at the top of your FAQ data, perhaps it's time to integrate it into the content. FAQs should be part of your annual web audit to determine frequency and accuracy.