Design Elements in FAQ Pages

Ah, the FAQ page. The forgotten runt of the web design litter. Almost as overlooked as the 404 Error page, it often sits alone in a dark, little-used corner, stripped of individuality and flair. Users who hit up the FAQ page are usually looking for help, and only stay until they’ve found what they need. But does that mean that these pages somehow don’t matter, or don’t need to be concerned with elements and principle of design? Not at all! Here are three strong examples:

  1. Youtube.
    YouTube’s page is straightforward and intuitive, with a search bar on the top, categories in a sidebar differentiated by a grey gradient, and answers provided in convenient drop-down style boxes. This, in my opinion, is critical. It’s extremely distracting to send your users away from your page with every single answer you provide, and YouTube avoids this problem with clever coding.
  2. Vimeo.

    Vimeo is perhaps the world’s most elegantly designed video website, built in the spirit of aesthetic minimalism. Their FAQ page is no different, with helpful categories linking to well-written tidbits answering common questions. It also wisely offers other resources, including forum topics and tutorials for those seeking extra help.

  3. Woot!

    Woot! is the quirky king of the online shopping world, offering one-day-only sales on novelty items, t-shirts, and electronics. Their FAQ page is a mixed bag: it features large blocks of text that don’t skim easily, and lacks a search bar. On the other hand, however, it demonstrates a critical component of the design process. The infusion of personality, something many web designers and copywriters often forget, is the crux of their brand, and their writing shows it. It’s clever, playful, and successful despite the construction of the rest of the page.

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