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I have a hunch that most new users don't read through the entire FAQ before participating. This leads to poor-quality posts and sometimes even hostility from veteran users. This makes it hard for a new user to appreciate the site and get the most out of posting questions and answers.

I'd like to propose a more visual FAQ, or maybe a different area of the site containing a few short walkthroughs with pictures (and less text) that you can step through quickly.

A "richer" FAQ experience could be applied to the following topics:

  • How to accept an answer
  • How to use basic formatting (specifically code formatting. It seems like a lot of new users don't do this)
  • How reputation works
  • ..etc.

Of course, we should encourage users to read the FAQ, but we can't force them to read it. However, I think something that's easy to look through quickly and get main points out of would be a little more user-friendly.

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Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/68218/… –  Jon Seigel Mar 6 '11 at 20:05

1 Answer 1

This is a really great idea! Many new products are moving to using videos -- a picture speaks a thousand words -- to convey information about how to use the product.

I think that the best way to start is for some volunteers to make some videos demonstrating these actions and then submit them to the community managers to see where they go from there.

You could always put them on your blog as well as promotional materials to help drive more traffic to the network.

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I never really liked video's; they require too much time vs just scrolling and understanding simple pictures. –  TheLQ Mar 7 '11 at 2:36
    
@TheLQ: Agreed, I think simple pictures are a little less cumbersome... –  ɹǝʞɐʇıɥʍ ʍǝɹpuɐ Mar 7 '11 at 2:40
    
The trick, and the challenge, is to keep them less than 30 seconds long. It doesn't have to be a full featured film, complete with popcorn and junior mints. –  jmort253 Mar 7 '11 at 5:49
    
I like this idea, but videos--particularly with sound--aren't very useful, many users can't play videos (cough--at work--cough). Perhaps interactive graphics would work, though. –  Neil Fein Jun 4 '11 at 20:57
    
@Neil - I'm not saying we should destroy the original FAQ and perform the equivalent of a digital FAQ burning session. Those will still exist, but the videos will also be available for the more visually oriented people. I like the idea of subtitles in the videos to go along with any audio that might be there. Google does this, as well as some other businesses. –  jmort253 Jun 4 '11 at 21:03
    
@jmort253 - Having both makes sense. And I like the subtitle idea. –  Neil Fein Jun 5 '11 at 6:19

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