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From Joshua Slive <jos...@slive.ca>
Subject Re: prototype FAQ
Date Fri, 23 Feb 2001 20:01:45 GMT


On Fri, 23 Feb 2001, Rodent of Unusual Size wrote:

> Only if, as you say, you want to re-order the items.  I do not
> regard that as a priority, personally.  The FAQ has been re-ordered
> once in the last four years.  This will make twice.

I can say, however, that I have wanted to reorder things more,
but I have not done so because I didn't want to mess up numbering.
In any case, I'm perfectly willing to go with your opinion on this one.  I
see the point.

>
> > What are we losing with this?  Well, as I see it, one of the primary
> > reasons that the 1.3 FAQ is unmanageable is this requirement.
>
> Um, who has said it is unmanageable?

I did ;-)

> I think there have been
> noises about there being too much stuff in it, but that is a
> 'function' issue, not a 'form' one.
>

I guess this is a point on which we disagree.  I would like to be
relatively liberal in adding questions to the FAQ, because I think that
this makes it a more powerful resource for users.  However, if we do this
in the current form, then it will soon be back to the state that the 1.3
FAQ is in.

I have not done any formal usability studies (obviously), but the evidence
that I do have strongly suggests that people find the 1.3 FAQ very hard to
use.  You and I know the FAQ backwards and forwards, so finding something
in it is pretty trivial.  For someone who has just an inkling of what they
are trying to ask, the task is much more difficult.  Having a clear and
simple 'form' will help these people a great deal to accomplish the
'function' of the FAQ.

>
> > I'm certainly not going to create some new SSI monstrosity.
>
> If you are implying that the current FAQ is such, then I take personal
> exception to this remark.

I apologize if this statement offends you.  I did not intend to criticize
the particular coding.  I just meant to express my dislike for the added
complexity to which this gives rise.  I am a big fan of clear and simple,
both from the developer and end-user perspective.  I think the current FAQ
is failing on this.

I do understand the desire for a single-page version of the FAQ.  Perhaps
we could hear some other opinions about whether the new design that I have
made is worth the trouble.  If people think it is not much better than the
old design, then we just stick with the old design.  If people think that
it is significantly better, then we find some way to make a single page
version (even if it involves another monstrosity ;-).

I don't have too much invested in this.  I've so far spent more time
arguing about the relative merits of the design than I spent actually
creating it.

Joshua.


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