Look + Feel

It’s almost one in the morning, so I decided to post something for a change.

As many of you know, we do have a wiki and an FAQ to handle many of the questions that our users have as well as a forum section to deal with more detailed issues. Many people seem to get along just fine and find answers with very little effort.

But for some, there seems to be a deficiency in two key areas. Reading and Understanding.

Reading

As I said before, the wiki is a good resource for finding answers to many common problems. For some strange outlandish reason, certain people find it extremely difficult to read the help sections, or use the search function for that matter. Is it really that difficult to find answers? We get many requests per day to answer questions that are clearly and thoughtfully answered in the FAQ. Handling these requests are fairly annoying, and sometimes I feel the urge to not answer at all just to spite them for not reading the FAQ. But alas, ethics drive me to answer anyway (the tone of my response, however, depends mostly on my status at that moment).

Understanding

One of the major reasons I don’t handle offers as much as I used to is that it was simply too much trouble to chase after users to have them fix their torrents. When asked if they had read the upload guidelines, nearly everyone replies “Yes, I have!” Most of the time, common sense tells me “No, you haven’t” or “Do you understand it?” Understanding things and using logic is how the world works. Sometimes I wonder how these people get along without screwing up.

I wish I could say more but now it’s time for me to go. Bye~~

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5 Responses to Look + Feel

  1. psyren says:

    We really need to get Jaru to put in our ‘magic words’ field box for approval.

  2. surdumil says:

    Oh boy, this’ll be a long message. Sorry about that.

    I’m sure you’ve far more experience than me regarding user-help, but maybe I can toss some suggestions out. They might have been discussed many times before… but maybe not. One never knows.

    Getting people to take time to read and understand the docs is a toughie, all right. I think it’s a pretty universal problem, too. I guess that anything complex enough to need instructions is going to be bombarded with queries that are adequately addressed in the docs.

    On the other hand, RTFM kinda seems unfair too. When dealing with Linux-based software projects, I’ve found that there are so many completely useless manuals available that an appropriate response to RTFM is usually “Write a Decent Manual”. This is especially true when the needed information is buried a large, poorly organized and non-index manual. I don’t think that’s the problem here, as the BoxT docs I’ve seen look very good to me, being brief, concise, clear, and practical.

    Is there an easy way to post a document reference to point the user to existing, pertinent info? Something like a positional link to the appropriate part of the FAQ or wiki? It might give some users the hint where to look for answers, and might even embarrass some users into actually reading more of the document.

    A suggestion I have is to include the section and paragraph numbers shown in the FAQ’s table of contents with the section and paragraph titles in the body of the FAQ… maybe even with matching indentation. This might make document references a bit more obvious both to the user and for BoxT staff, though asthetics take a bit of a hit.

    Many thanks for your hard work. BoxTorrents is a fabulous site thanks to the BoxTorrents staff and community.

  3. MarchHare says:

    we don’t require users to memorize everything thats in the wiki (although we would very much like that to be so), but rather we would like them to look for answers themselves first before coming to us for answers. having users buffet us with questions that have been clearly answered already gets very annoying very quickly.

  4. kureshii says:

    Surdumil, it would be a pain to have to update the section and paragraph numbers each time I clean up or edit the FAQ 😡

    As far as possible I try to link users directly to the relevant section of the FAQ, but sometimes I really can’t be bothered (when I see a question like “How do I become a Power User?” I can’t help but think the user’s a newcomer here and simply has no desire to read the FAQ). And if I can’t be bothered then said user will just have to live with “Read the FAQ” for a reply.

  5. kureshii says:

    Ughh, why does 😡 become an angry smiley? >_<

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