Trumble’s Fourth Law

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are things we aren’t talented enough to organize.

I despise FAQs.  Even when people have taken the time, done the research and provided useful information in them, I despise them.

To me, they are the white surrender flag of information architecture.  When you put them on your web site, you are admitting defeat or at least settling.  Don’t do it.


Glad you asked.  There is no mechanism for finding your question in them, apart from scanning through all of them.

You want your customers’ interaction with your website to be conversational. They have questions; you have content that they can easily find to answer them.  This dynamic is destroyed by FAQs.  The user’s task changes from finding an answer to finding a question.  You lose.

I understand that when you build your IA you have a big pile of information and organizing it is hard work.  But doing the easy stuff and throwing the rest into FAQs is not a recipe for success.  Do the work to make things findable and well organized.  No one has ever complained that a site didn’t have FAQs.