Friday, November 20, 2009

FAQ on the first date?

I follow Jeff Atwood because I think he's generally a bright guy and so I took notice when Adrian (another bright guy) was critical of him.  Then, in following a link from google today, I notice this at the top of my browser...

This is from Stack Overflow, Jeff's brainchild.  For an otherwise bright guy, what a incredible dumb thing to do, amateurish really.  Here's why:

o) It seems to pop up based on whether your signed in or not; rather than whether it's really your first time.  It is not my first time, so it's annoying to see it every time.

o) Let's suppose though, that it were my first time.  I doubt I'd have a frequently asked question already.  If I did, would it not be an indication that your site really kinda sucked?

o) Lastly, there's the presumptuous nature of the popup itself.  You really think anyone would want to sit and read your FAQ on the first date?  You're crazy.  You get me hooked on your software and then when I have a question I may poke around your FAQ, otherwise, I'll just leave.

The bottom line...  if a question is asked frequently enough to make it on your FAQ list and said question is of interest to a first time visitor, it's time to fix your software...

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