Just when you think you have something nailed, you discover what the claw-end of a hammer is for. Case in point. Early this summer, we (as a product group) went through a vigorous exercise to review all of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on the Windows SBS Web site. We did this to 1) update some existing FAQ’s with the latest and greatest information, 2) add and update questions with relevance to the coming release of the SBS 2003 R2 editions, and 3) to organize questions into a framework that we felt was more logical and easier for customers to navigate. So, after modeling the revised format and passing it through a couple of internal reviews, we pushed a button and the new and improved information was published on the Web! Hooray! Right? Ummm…. Not necessarily. You see, not long after we pushed the button, we began to receive feedback that customers were having difficulty finding FAQ topics that they were interested in. Sometimes the search results were not helpful. Other times questions did not appear in a section that seemed most logical to the user. Even our support engineers have had some problems finding information to direct customers to. So what went wrong? Well, nothing, really. Sometimes we just need to take a step back and consider more closely the broad range of research styles that users employ. One person might feel most comfortable using a search engine, while another prefers to navigate through and across pages. Yet another may use the Find “keywords” function that is available from the main menu of the browser. Some of us like salt, some of like pepper. That’s just the way it is. So what do spices have to do with the Windows SBS FAQ? I’m not sure. But I can tell you this… thanks to a number of well directed comments from you, our customers, we are going back to the drawing board to create a better and more intuitive FAQ experience. And you can help! Send us links to your favorite FAQ pages, and tell us why you like them. They don’t have to be links to Microsoft Web sites. And we don’t care what kind of FAQ it is. It might be for your favorite gumball, or coffee roast. We just want to know where to find it. After all, there must be great technical writers and information designers in the gumball industry too!
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