Res facta quae tamen fingi potuit (pauamma) wrote in lj_userdoc,
Res facta quae tamen fingi potuit

The care and feeding of FAQs

This is a quick introduction to how FAQs work, and how we deal with them. It's nothing new for anyone who's been around a bit, but I wanted to put it in one place for newcomers.

FAQ features, user-facing.

FAQs have a title (the question), a detailed answer, and (optionally) a summary. The title may not be the only topic the FAQ will address, and most FAQs will discuss related topics or link to other FAQs that address them. If you cannot find a FAQ with a title that fits exactly a given topic (a question that you have or that you think a FAQ should cover), look for related questions. Chances are, one of the FAQs you find will answer your question or point you to the FAQ you want.

Each FAQ is assigned a category. This allows grouping FAQs that discuss the same general subject, eg. account creation and management, or entry security. There are 3 different views for FAQs.
- All FAQs, grouped by categories, with only the title for each FAQ, linked to the whole FAQ. That view also has links to show FAQs in each category (the next view).
- All FAQs in a category (eg, all account management FAQs. This view displays the question and summary for each FAQ, with a link to the whole FAQ. (If there's no summary, it shows the detailed answer instead.)
- Individual FAQ, with the title (question, the summary, and the detailed answer. (There used to be an alternate single-FAQ view showing question and summary only, which was the default single-FAQ view, but this feature was removed recently.)

There's also a FAQ searchpage, which highlights the search term in the FAQs it finds.

FAQ features, writer-facing.

There's a rudimentary application-specific markup system for FAQs, described in and There's also a style guide of sorts in,, and

Workflow in a nutshell.

- Someone (support, user, or whoever) decides that a FAQ needs change or could use improvement, or a need for a new FAQ, and posts a proposal to lj_userdoc. That proposal is tagged with the FAQ number, the FAQ category, and the status (status-pending).
- People discuss the proposal and suggest language if the initial proposal didn't have any.
- If the proposal is accepted, someone able to edit the relevant FAQs makes appropriate changes, comments on the initial proposal, and tags it "status-resolved". Otherwise, it's tagged "status-deferred" or "status-rejected".
Tags: administrative

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