I was asked a few weeks ago to add a Frequently Asked Questions section to Article 27’s website. Here is the final result : Article 27 FAQ ( in French).

The FAQ is maintainable via an add-on in their administration system. Basically, they enter a question, its answer, and select the question’s status “online/offline”. The modification date as well as the author is automatically saved. The administrator can of course add, edit and remove questions.

As such, the system could be improved, and i will do so whenever i find some time. I did this in a hurry, so … go ahead blame me, and the customer for not doing better at foreseing the needs.

Improvement suggestions ? Mainly:

  • Be able to decide the order of appearance ;
  • Attach keywords to each question, allowing to filter through and use one FAQ system for various needs.
  • Some kind of sorting through the batch of questions would make it easier to find sought answers / Categories (which could actually be keywords)

For now, the customer is quite happy as it is, because the expanding/collapsing question system makes it quick and easy to find the answer to one’s question, whereas the usual way of doing FAQ are : questions on top of the page, with anchor links to answers on bottom of the page (example), or questions are links and onClick, it opens a popup window on top of it (example). I find these two systems to create an annoying “rupture” in the user’s navigation flow, which can be confusing someone who came looking for an answer, not for an additional coat of confusion :)

I also decided that, when these upgrades are made, to release it in a layout-free version to the opensource community. So check the “downloads” section soon, if you are interested. It will require PHP 4.3+ and mysql 3.27+, and a few questions, of course °-¨