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From sebb <seb...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: contact_us.html: new clues
Date Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:26:22 GMT
On 9 September 2013 13:12, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:
> When we get a misdirected email sent to the dev list with a subject
> reporting a website error, it is coming from a user who is reading
> http://www.openoffice.org/contact_us.html.
>
> We've been doing some fine tuning of the language on that page to try
> to make it more clear to the user that they should use the forum or
> the user list for product questions.   But it is not clear this is
> working.
>
> So I took a look at the data from the last 30 days, via Google
> Analytics.  Some interesting and unexpected findings.
>
> First, what was the page the user was visiting before they went to the
> contact page?
>
> 28% of the time they were on /support/index.html page
> 26% of the time they were on /index.html
> 14% of the time they were on /download/index.html
> 4% of the time they were on /product/index.html
>
> So the highest ranking page is the support page, the one that should
> have helped the user in the first place.   The user would scroll
> through that entire list, and then find the contact link at the bottom
> of the page, read that and ignore all the support options described
> before they send an email to the dev list.
>
> We might want to revisit the support page to see if that can be clarified.

I've noticed that a lot of pages (including support/index.html) have a
TOC at the start.
However the TOC is usually just a terse list of links, for example:

Product documentation
Community support
Professional services
Books about OpenOffice.
Other Online resources

This takes up quite a lot of vertical space, without being
particularly informative.
And the Prod doc link actually leads to a section called "OpenOffice
Documentation".
[The anchor used here is #rtfm which is a bit of an insult, given that
the user must already be RTFM to be looking at the page!]

At the very least it might help to have some descriptive text after
each link, for example

Product documentation - FAQs, User Guides, How-To's, Tutorials,
Installation, etc.
Community support - etc.
Professional services - etc
Books about OpenOffice - On our Books page you will find a listing of
the many books written about OpenOffice topics, for general and
specialized use.
Other Online resources - etc

In the case of Professional Services and Books, there is almost no
useful content on the page, so the links might as well go direct to
the relevant pages.

Something else that might help is an introduction which provides an
overview of the various types of [self-]help available. Even with
additional descriptions the list of links is not particularly
welcoming.

I think one big issue is that specific product documentation is
actually quite difficult to find from the support page.
The Product Doc link takes one to the Wiki documentation project,
where the main focus is the documentation project, not the generated
documentation.
If I have a problem with Calc 4.0.0 for example, how do I use the
Support page to find the docs/faqs/tutorials for it?
If it were made easier to find documentation on specific products, it
might reduce FAQs being posted on the mailing lists.
Maybe consider a page for each product with links to the different
documentation types.

Another possibilility that might be worth considering is to have a
short intro on the contact page, mentioning the various forms of
self-help and documentation available from the support page.

[BTW, the support index page still has a reference to OpenOffice.org]

> -Rob
>
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