Originally Posted by zoom44
I have finally managed to get around to updating the FAQ. you can find what i have done so far here
. If you see any corrections that need to be made or have a suggestion for a Qand A post it here. Please feel free to write an actual QandA with links if you have/want them and submit it here. i will conntinue to work on it as time permits and fix/add anything posted here that i can and that is relevant
After a few weeks, once its all compiled, this will get turned from a series of posts into a more official looking vb
I do like what you have started to do with the FAQ. By the way, everyone on this site is an RX-8 enthusiast and all the mods, like you Charlie, are putting in a lot of great time in keeping this forum straight.
So thank you for all the work on the FAQ so far! There's already a lot of good questions (also thanks to Markd and all others who contributed so far)
These are my recommendations:
1) Positioning of the FAQ
The FAQ, in my opinion, must be a top-top-top sticky on the RX-8 Discussion forum. Forget the sub-forum: we don't really need a subforum.
RX8Club.com > General Topics > RX-8 Discussion
Sticky: RX-8 Frequently Asked Questions -- LOOK HERE FIRST
The RX-8 Discussion forum is where everyone goes, it's where everyone posts all the n00b questions.. so you know that a sticky there, front and center, with a clear name like that, will get way more traffic than in the subforum.
2) Ditch the outdated FAQ -- rename the sticky to "car pre-release FAQ", and unsticky it. Link to the old FAQ from the new FAQ, or migrate any content still relevant to the new FAQ.
We only need one FAQ.
3) The FAQ button on the top nav bar of the site (I assume this is the vbFaq?) doesn't contain any useful information on the car. It's just how to use the site. That button should link directly to the RX-8 FAQ or have the page that it links to refer the users to the RX-8 FAQ thread.
4) Format of the FAQ.
Looking at the new FAQ thread
, I see the following weaknesses (please don't take this as a flame, I am trying to constructively criticize):
* the subject grabs no attention! "Faq - Update" doesn't seem to imply that it's the main FAQ. Is it an updated FAQ, or is it an update (=news info) about the state of the FAQ, or is it a notification that the main FAQ was updated? So it's kind of unclear... is there really a FAQ in that thread?
* the first post of the thread doesn't look like a FAQ. Instead, it's an acknowledgements paragraph and a "read the manual and search" paragraph, plus a funny "related" link that I was initially confused about
: related to what? the car?
* the 2nd post is the abbreviations listing, so:
* there's no emphasis, or any indication of structure or any life signs of a FAQ in the first screenful, and even the 2nd one... when I first saw the "Faq - Update" thread, I was confused: where the heck is the FAQ? Sure, abbreviations are nice, but there's no indication that there are questions coming. Only if you scroll down past the abbreviations post do you start seeing the actual questions and answers.
* there's no table of contents/categorization of the FAQs... so I have to scroll through every question and answer to find the question that I have on my mind.. that's a lot of scrolling and a lot of scanning for the right question
* the 2nd paragraph in the 1st post with site use suggestions (e.g. "search", "bring up older thread instead of new one") is a wall of text. it needs to be bulleted, with the main points easily highlighted.
So basically, things aren't at a glance. It's not immediatley clear that the thread is the real/new FAQ. It's not immediately clear where the questions are. It's not as easy to skim through all the available questions.
The nature of people is to skim skim skim. Only read if something grabs the eye.
I mean.. think of someone who's in a hurry, or new to the forums and is a little flustered by the wealth of all the random info on the site... they go to the "Faq - Update" thread, they may conclude that it's just abbreviations and leave... they may not realize that scrolling will get them the questions: they may think that there's just the discussion of the abbreviations below that post (because often the meat of the thread is in the 1st post, and the rest of the posts discuss that original post).
Also, people start reading a paragraph.. and if the first few words or first sentence don't indicate that the paragraph is useful, people skip the rest... again, skimming skimming skimming...
5) So, my suggestion for the format of the FAQ is as follows:
* Table of contents with all questions itemized and clickable in the very first post
* Categories, to separate questions, say, related to boosting performance from "daily use" questions... we just need four or five categories...
* Post everything in one huge post OR one post per category
* Abbreviations list can still be its own post, but needs to be linked as a "Q: What does this abbreviation mean?" and answer...
* Use a lot of bulleted-style markup, try to avoid long paragraphs of text (unless it's a detailed explanation of some sort).
Here are my suggestions for categories (broken down by, unsurprisingly, the same subforums that we have)
* General info
* Rotary engine
* Maintenance, daily use
* Performance & aftermarket parts
* Exterior and wheels/tires
* Interior and in-car entertainment
*shrugs* I say the categories are there just tentatively.. the most important thing is the questions... we can always reshuffle the questions into different categories later.