The FAQ format started in print media, but one could argue it didn’t truly fulfill its potential until the World Wide Web came along. The advent of the internet has created online services and communities that FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions – can really help run smoothly. FAQs are a functional part of how we use products and services online, and they fill an important need of knowledge dissemination. The problem with the FAQ format is that it doesn’t do much to group questions into a visitor’s level of knowledge or familiarity with the service. This means that advanced users’ needs can get overwhelmed with simple questions, while novice users can get barraged with complex information beyond their level. In additon, FAQs often exist as long pages of text that provide no visual cues to help improve memory. This can mean that users have to return frequently because they forget information. In Twitter’s latest project with Visually, first shown today at the kickoff of Small Business Week in San Francisco, we’ve taken two big steps to solve these problems with the traditional FAQ format. First, we’ve organized the questions and answers based on a user’s experience levels. This helps in a few ways. Beginning users can get straight to the information they need without feeling overwhelmed. They can also see a clear path to becoming a guru. On the other hand, advanced users can feel proud that they are at the top of the knowledge ladder, and they can get directly to the answers they are looking for without being bombarded with stuff they already know. Second, in true Visually style, we’ve added visuals to every part of the FAQ. These images help the user remember the answer they read, and the animations that happen on hover add an attention to detail that brings polish and a bit of fun to the information. The FAQ format may be something we are all familiar with, but that doesn’t mean careful thought and a skilled team can’t improve upon it.
Want to learn about creating visual content that drives engagement? Download our white paper, Visuals That Stick, with actionable advice on impactful design from the Visually creative team.
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