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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: The Impossible Question
Date Sat, 27 Oct 2012 18:57:37 GMT
On Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 7:57 PM, Dave Fisher <dave2wave@comcast.net> wrote:
>
> On Oct 26, 2012, at 2:06 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, http://www.openoffice.org/support/. 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
existence.
>>
>> 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?
>
> We could emulate a version of what the ASF does to highlight the many projects. Take
a look at www.apache.org - you will see a feature project section.
>
> Perhaps on www.openoffice.org we can add a "Featured Support Question / Language / News".
This would be backed by an xml file of FAQs, Languages and News which would randomly be selected
every day and republished to the front page.
>

I like the idea in general, but from a support perspective I think we
need to get the feed down to the client.  Why?  Because users have no
current reason to visit www.openoffice.org homepage on a regular
basis.  It is not really a necessary place for them to visit, once
they've downloaded.

Most users just want to get their work done.  They don't have any
emotional attachment to AOO.  It is just a tool.  If they are thinking
about their tools rather then their work, then something is probably
wrong.  This is not sexy, Apple-like technology that users go gooey
over.   It is a good day that a user thinks about their document, but
not about their word processor.  The task is in the forefront, the
tool recedes into the background, like any good tool an extension of
the user.

Well, that's one ideal, at least.

So in terms of priorities, we should want:

1) Fewer bugs, not more bug FAQ's

2) Less need for support, not a more prominent support page

3) More quick avenues for self-help rather than hard-to-scale support offerings

4) More skill-building pages, ways user can become more productive
with the tools.  We could make a destination that users would actually
visit if we could pull together solid content on "power tips",
extensions reviews, lists of topical templates (for holidays, tax
time, etc.).

-Rob


> Regards,
> Dave
>
>>
>> Thanks
>> Louis
>>
>

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