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From: Jennifer Sutton
Date: Mon, Dec 15 2014 2:00PM
Subject: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
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Greetings:

I'd like to open a discussion about the preferred format for a
Frequently Asked Questions page. If you've built one that you like,
please send a link (on or off list), and I'll compile responses.

Even better, if you've made one that you've tested with a range of
users, both with and without accessibility needs, fill us in on what
you found/why you made the decisions you did.

I have the chance to establish a design pattern for a number of FAQ
pages, so I'd welcome input to do it right.

For my part, but speaking here only as a screen reader user, I like
to have each question at a consistent heading (or subheading) level.
And/or I also like to be able to activate a link (or perhaps a tab),
and then have the answer exposed right below.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and examples.

Best,
Jennifer

From: Joey G.
Date: Mon, Dec 15 2014 2:52PM
Subject: Re: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
← Previous message | Next message →

...And/or I also like to be able to activate a link (or perhaps a tab), and
then have the answer exposed right below.

I want to learn how to do this. Can you point me to a tutorial on how to
implement this technique?

Joey

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jennifer Sutton
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 5:00 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page

Greetings:

I'd like to open a discussion about the preferred format for a Frequently
Asked Questions page. If you've built one that you like, please send a link
(on or off list), and I'll compile responses.

Even better, if you've made one that you've tested with a range of users,
both with and without accessibility needs, fill us in on what you found/why
you made the decisions you did.

I have the chance to establish a design pattern for a number of FAQ pages,
so I'd welcome input to do it right.

For my part, but speaking here only as a screen reader user, I like to have
each question at a consistent heading (or subheading) level.
And/or I also like to be able to activate a link (or perhaps a tab), and
then have the answer exposed right below.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and examples.

Best,
Jennifer

messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Tue, Dec 16 2014 6:37AM
Subject: Re: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
← Previous message | Next message →

(I use display/expand and hide/collapse interchangeably).

I like a format where each question is in its own list item and is an
expandable link.
When you activate the question the answer appears inline to the
question. Then you have the ability to hide it again.
I like this because:
- You will know how many questions are available right off the bat
(again scree reader centric thought).
- you do not have to read through unnecessary answers.
As a luxury, I would like to have a button that enables me to expand
or collapse all questions.



On 12/15/14, Joey G. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> ...And/or I also like to be able to activate a link (or perhaps a tab), and
> then have the answer exposed right below.
>
> I want to learn how to do this. Can you point me to a tutorial on how to
> implement this technique?
>
> Joey
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jennifer Sutton
> Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 5:00 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: [WebAIM] preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
>
> Greetings:
>
> I'd like to open a discussion about the preferred format for a Frequently
> Asked Questions page. If you've built one that you like, please send a link
> (on or off list), and I'll compile responses.
>
> Even better, if you've made one that you've tested with a range of users,
> both with and without accessibility needs, fill us in on what you found/why
> you made the decisions you did.
>
> I have the chance to establish a design pattern for a number of FAQ pages,
> so I'd welcome input to do it right.
>
> For my part, but speaking here only as a screen reader user, I like to have
> each question at a consistent heading (or subheading) level.
> And/or I also like to be able to activate a link (or perhaps a tab), and
> then have the answer exposed right below.
>
> Thanks in advance for your thoughts and examples.
>
> Best,
> Jennifer
>
> > > messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> > > >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Jennifer Sutton
Date: Thu, Dec 18 2014 12:55PM
Subject: Re: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
← Previous message | Next message →

Thanks to those who responded, both on and off list. I'm a bit
surprised at how few responses I've gotten.

So I'd like to send out yet one more call for sample FAQ pages that
people like/have been tested, etc.

Despite Cliff's comments (which come from an unachievable ideal goal,
in most cases, in my experience), I actually *like* FAQs and do use
them. When they're done right, they can save me one heckuva lot of
time reading a bunch of prose and poking around a site.

Sometimes, as shocking as this may seem to some, *I* go straight to
that page, especially when I'm on a technology-based site, and I'm
trying to solve what I think could be a common problem. One example
that comes to mind is on phone carriers' sites which tend to be
filled with marketing jargon and sales pitch pages, rather than
specific step-by-step guidance.

As a fyi, I haven't specified what kind of site I'm focusing on here,
primarily to avoid the very philosophical debate Cliff raises.

Again, as I said originally, I have a chance to set up a good design
pattern for FAQS, and I'd welcome any additional ideas people have to
help me "get it right."

Thanks.
Best,
Jennifer

From: Greg Gamble
Date: Fri, Dec 19 2014 11:03AM
Subject: Re: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
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I like a bulleted list of questions, grouped by type ... for instance, filling out a form. What do I need before filling it out? What should I not do afterward? It should show basic Information to get me going in the right direction.
I also like it if the grouped questions are hidden, accordion style, so the page is easier to read.

FAQ's work, you just need to know where users are having problems, and address them. Also, If you can track what questions are being accessed then you can get some insight on where people are having issues on the site.
They are also good for answering questions on what the site can't or doesn't do, and then guide a user to someplace where they can get what they're looking for.

Here is one we created that seems to work well: https://gedverify.org/faq.aspx


Greg

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jennifer Sutton
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 11:55 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page

Thanks to those who responded, both on and off list. I'm a bit surprised at how few responses I've gotten.

So I'd like to send out yet one more call for sample FAQ pages that people like/have been tested, etc.

Despite Cliff's comments (which come from an unachievable ideal goal, in most cases, in my experience), I actually *like* FAQs and do use them. When they're done right, they can save me one heckuva lot of time reading a bunch of prose and poking around a site.

Sometimes, as shocking as this may seem to some, *I* go straight to that page, especially when I'm on a technology-based site, and I'm trying to solve what I think could be a common problem. One example that comes to mind is on phone carriers' sites which tend to be filled with marketing jargon and sales pitch pages, rather than specific step-by-step guidance.

As a fyi, I haven't specified what kind of site I'm focusing on here, primarily to avoid the very philosophical debate Cliff raises.

Again, as I said originally, I have a chance to set up a good design pattern for FAQS, and I'd welcome any additional ideas people have to help me "get it right."

Thanks.
Best,
Jennifer

From: JAKE JOEHL
Date: Sat, Dec 20 2014 1:18PM
Subject: Re: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi all. Sorry for the late response, I’ve been having email issues with this account. I think it’s about time to upgrade to OS X Yosemite. Hopefully this makes it onto the list. But anyway, I don’t really have a particular preference for an FAQ format, just as long as it is accessible. But I like how Dreamwidth has their FAQ. What they do is list out all the categories with a same-page link to each one, and then on the same page they have separate headings for each FAQ category. Within each separate category there is a link that says “View All,” which when clicked lists all the questions and answers for that particular category. Please see http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faq .
Jake
Please visit me at http://jazzyjj.dreamwidth.org .



On Dec 18, 2014, at 1:55 PM, Jennifer Sutton < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

Thanks to those who responded, both on and off list. I'm a bit surprised at how few responses I've gotten.

So I'd like to send out yet one more call for sample FAQ pages that people like/have been tested, etc.

Despite Cliff's comments (which come from an unachievable ideal goal, in most cases, in my experience), I actually *like* FAQs and do use them. When they're done right, they can save me one heckuva lot of time reading a bunch of prose and poking around a site.

Sometimes, as shocking as this may seem to some, *I* go straight to that page, especially when I'm on a technology-based site, and I'm trying to solve what I think could be a common problem. One example that comes to mind is on phone carriers' sites which tend to be filled with marketing jargon and sales pitch pages, rather than specific step-by-step guidance.

As a fyi, I haven't specified what kind of site I'm focusing on here, primarily to avoid the very philosophical debate Cliff raises.

Again, as I said originally, I have a chance to set up a good design pattern for FAQS, and I'd welcome any additional ideas people have to help me "get it right."

Thanks.
Best,
Jennifer

From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Sun, Dec 21 2014 8:00PM
Subject: Re: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
← Previous message | Next message →

Agreed.
To sum up:
1. Provide a heading for each category of FAQ (for clear layout and
ease of navigation).
If page contains a reasonable amount of FAQs, I would say 20 or less,
this is not necessary, unless there is a very clear division within
categories of topics.

2. Provide a link or button to expand/collapse all FAQs in that
category (optionally offer a link/button for all the FAQs on the
page).

3. Each FAQ is a focusable element (link or button) that, when
expanded, shows the answer, accordion style.

(Optionally)
4. Each category of FAQs is an unordered list, with each question in
its own list item, thus providing quick overview of how many FAQs are
availlable in each section.

Again, this is a screen reader centric perspective and I do not have
one page that embodies all these ideas.
I have one coming through audit that is close, but it is not yet
available to the public.
Cheers
-B
P.s. Of course I agree with Cliff on what the ideal world should be,
but in that world I would also not be blind and would not have to
worry about accessibility, plus I would be making a million dollars a
year.
While Cliff´s goal is slightly more attainable, we still have to deal
with the fact that some websites will have to post FAQs to try and
filter out customer queries, especially websites dealing with complex
issues or highly specialized products, such as cars or expensive
luxury items.


On 12/20/14, JAKE JOEHL < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Hi all. Sorry for the late response, I've been having email issues with this
> account. I think it's about time to upgrade to OS X Yosemite. Hopefully this
> makes it onto the list. But anyway, I don't really have a particular
> preference for an FAQ format, just as long as it is accessible. But I like
> how Dreamwidth has their FAQ. What they do is list out all the categories
> with a same-page link to each one, and then on the same page they have
> separate headings for each FAQ category. Within each separate category there
> is a link that says "View All," which when clicked lists all the questions
> and answers for that particular category. Please see
> http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faq .
> Jake
> Please visit me at http://jazzyjj.dreamwidth.org .
>
>
>
> On Dec 18, 2014, at 1:55 PM, Jennifer Sutton < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> Thanks to those who responded, both on and off list. I'm a bit surprised at
> how few responses I've gotten.
>
> So I'd like to send out yet one more call for sample FAQ pages that people
> like/have been tested, etc.
>
> Despite Cliff's comments (which come from an unachievable ideal goal, in
> most cases, in my experience), I actually *like* FAQs and do use them. When
> they're done right, they can save me one heckuva lot of time reading a bunch
> of prose and poking around a site.
>
> Sometimes, as shocking as this may seem to some, *I* go straight to that
> page, especially when I'm on a technology-based site, and I'm trying to
> solve what I think could be a common problem. One example that comes to mind
> is on phone carriers' sites which tend to be filled with marketing jargon
> and sales pitch pages, rather than specific step-by-step guidance.
>
> As a fyi, I haven't specified what kind of site I'm focusing on here,
> primarily to avoid the very philosophical debate Cliff raises.
>
> Again, as I said originally, I have a chance to set up a good design pattern
> for FAQS, and I'd welcome any additional ideas people have to help me "get
> it right."
>
> Thanks.
> Best,
> Jennifer
>
> > > >
> > > >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Lynn Holdsworth
Date: Mon, Dec 22 2014 6:46AM
Subject: Re: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
← Previous message | Next message →

This sounds good Birkir. The only thing I would say is:

> 3. Each FAQ is a focusable element (link or button)...

I'd use a button here, since it's making a change to the current page
rather than taking the user to a new one. I'd also use ARIA and/or an
icon with alt text to flag up whether the question is expanded or
collapsed.

KR, Lynn

On 22/12/2014, Birkir R. Gunnarsson < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Agreed.
> To sum up:
> 1. Provide a heading for each category of FAQ (for clear layout and
> ease of navigation).
> If page contains a reasonable amount of FAQs, I would say 20 or less,
> this is not necessary, unless there is a very clear division within
> categories of topics.
>
> 2. Provide a link or button to expand/collapse all FAQs in that
> category (optionally offer a link/button for all the FAQs on the
> page).
>
> 3. Each FAQ is a focusable element (link or button) that, when
> expanded, shows the answer, accordion style.
>
> (Optionally)
> 4. Each category of FAQs is an unordered list, with each question in
> its own list item, thus providing quick overview of how many FAQs are
> availlable in each section.
>
> Again, this is a screen reader centric perspective and I do not have
> one page that embodies all these ideas.
> I have one coming through audit that is close, but it is not yet
> available to the public.
> Cheers
> -B
> P.s. Of course I agree with Cliff on what the ideal world should be,
> but in that world I would also not be blind and would not have to
> worry about accessibility, plus I would be making a million dollars a
> year.
> While Cliff´s goal is slightly more attainable, we still have to deal
> with the fact that some websites will have to post FAQs to try and
> filter out customer queries, especially websites dealing with complex
> issues or highly specialized products, such as cars or expensive
> luxury items.
>
>
> On 12/20/14, JAKE JOEHL < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>> Hi all. Sorry for the late response, I've been having email issues with
>> this
>> account. I think it's about time to upgrade to OS X Yosemite. Hopefully
>> this
>> makes it onto the list. But anyway, I don't really have a particular
>> preference for an FAQ format, just as long as it is accessible. But I
>> like
>> how Dreamwidth has their FAQ. What they do is list out all the categories
>> with a same-page link to each one, and then on the same page they have
>> separate headings for each FAQ category. Within each separate category
>> there
>> is a link that says "View All," which when clicked lists all the
>> questions
>> and answers for that particular category. Please see
>> http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faq .
>> Jake
>> Please visit me at http://jazzyjj.dreamwidth.org .
>>
>>
>>
>> On Dec 18, 2014, at 1:55 PM, Jennifer Sutton < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>>
>> Thanks to those who responded, both on and off list. I'm a bit surprised
>> at
>> how few responses I've gotten.
>>
>> So I'd like to send out yet one more call for sample FAQ pages that
>> people
>> like/have been tested, etc.
>>
>> Despite Cliff's comments (which come from an unachievable ideal goal, in
>> most cases, in my experience), I actually *like* FAQs and do use them.
>> When
>> they're done right, they can save me one heckuva lot of time reading a
>> bunch
>> of prose and poking around a site.
>>
>> Sometimes, as shocking as this may seem to some, *I* go straight to that
>> page, especially when I'm on a technology-based site, and I'm trying to
>> solve what I think could be a common problem. One example that comes to
>> mind
>> is on phone carriers' sites which tend to be filled with marketing jargon
>> and sales pitch pages, rather than specific step-by-step guidance.
>>
>> As a fyi, I haven't specified what kind of site I'm focusing on here,
>> primarily to avoid the very philosophical debate Cliff raises.
>>
>> Again, as I said originally, I have a chance to set up a good design
>> pattern
>> for FAQS, and I'd welcome any additional ideas people have to help me
>> "get
>> it right."
>>
>> Thanks.
>> Best,
>> Jennifer
>>
>> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >>
>
>
> --
> Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
> > > >

From: Jennifer Sutton
Date: Wed, Dec 24 2014 11:29AM
Subject: Re: preferred format for a Frequently Asked Questions page
← Previous message | No next message

Greetings:

Thanks to all who contributed to this thread about FAQs.

Here's a general usability article about FAQs that I thought I'd post
as a "wrap up" to the discussion.


Happy holidays to all.

FAQs Still Deliver Great Value
http://www.nngroup.com/articles/faqs-deliver-value/



Jennifer