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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: The Impossible Question
Date Fri, 26 Oct 2012 21:25:30 GMT
On Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM, Louis Suárez-Potts <> wrote:
> Hi
> Every now and then a user finds the experience of downloading, installing, using AOO
disappointing and frankly frustrating if not worse. They will usually go to the user forums,
but sometimes they will contact the Apache Foundation directly. Okay, but this does not really
help them.
> What we did with OpenOffice was set up a Support page, which has since been moved to
here, It's pretty much an improved version of the old
but of course the "ecosystem" needs further fleshing out—it suffers from a lack of substantial
> I'm also not persuaded that the route to it from either the application download page
or homepage or wherever is redundantly clear enough for the befuddled enduser who installs
AOO to replace his or her whatever suite and doesn't really know where to go…..
> So, my query is the usual impossible question: What can we do to make it clearer to the
puzzled and frustrated how to get help? Sure, we can have a knowledge base (kb), FAQ, etc.,
and also enthusiastic community members.
> But what would you suggest as a path, or paths for the user? I personally would include
something in the installation sets that point to the support page above; but also banners,
say, or tags, stickers—glaringly obvious neon coloured blinking lights?—to relay users
to useful pages.
> Ideas?

I can't think of anything less confusing than a prominent link on our
home page saying "I need help with my OpenOffice".

The "befuddled" users who end up in other places might in some cases
be crazy like a fox.  They know the tricks to get one-on-one
attention. They are the ones who know how to press *0 on the phone to
get a real human.  They know the secret support number for Amazon
customer service, etc.

That said, it might make sense to give new users some tips and do this
repeatedly, since a since mention will not sink in.   We have a few

1) While downloading

2) While installing

3) Immediately after installing

4) A "start up tips" dialog that could display a new tip every day or week

5) A "new user" email autoresponder that users could sign up for to
get a helpful tips for their first X weeks using AOO.

6) Similar information sent to announce list

7) Maybe make the FAQ's directly linked from the home page

Obviously one of the hints could include a hint about support.

Of course, the real question, Louis, is what do *you* want to do?


> Thanks
> Louis

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