This week I've done a reworking of the FAQs app. Previously this was kinda annoying and not really any better than just using a content page for your FAQs. But now, well, that literally couldn't be further from the truth!
Prepare to be amazed!
The following changes to FAQs are now live:
- All FAQs are shown on a single page with 'accordion' style popping open of each question, with a nice little arrow that changes depending on which question is open or closed.
- Option to show each question on its own page has been removed, and the default view where you just got a list of links to each FAQ has gone.
(If you have a direct link somewhere on your site to a question that was on a sub-page, don't worry, it'll magically redirect back to the main FAQ list and automatically pop open the appropriate question)
- What was previously called an FAQ is now an FAQ Section. This makes more sense as really it's all one big FAQ for your site, with possibly a range of topics.
- You can now reorder FAQ Sections. They no longer always appear in alphabetical order. Yay!
- You can now choose whether a notification is sent to your site members when you add a new Q&A. Previously one was always sent which could get annoying quickly.
- Search Indexing! FAQs now appear in the search results for your site. Clicking on a search result for an individual question will automatically pop open that question in the FAQ list.
Try it out, and let me know what you think!
The demo site doesn't use the FAQs app, so if you want to have a look at it before trying it on your own site, then here are a few example sites that are using it:
(these are picked largely at random, and show the FAQs using different themes)
Joe - Voice Admin
This looks great. I would love to be able to add an FAQ section as an includelet. Is this possible or likely in the future?
For example... I'd like to have an FAQ section below a short amount of content on a page about Carer's Assessment.
I'd like a separate FAQ page for new adult carers. Of course, I can just write the questions and answers and format it so the questions stand out but I like the accordion style.
This is an interesting idea, though after thinking a bit about it probably what would be better from a CMS perspective is to have Accordion as a display mode for the Filtered Item List and Item List includelets.
Currently you can show items as a list, grid, or wells using these includelets, and in the case of Item List these items can be text/description, rather like an FAQ would be.
The advantages of this would be:
- You can mix text/description items with content items in a grid/accordian presentation.
- The page which has the item on it would be the canonical source of the information. (if you used the FAQ app, it'd be a bit odd as the FAQs would be in two places on your site - once in the FAQ app itself and again in the includelet, and so which page should return in google search results?)
- Doesn't require setting up the FAQs app for a simple accordion on a page.
The disadvantages would be:
- Item List is a bit fiddly to set up (though this could be improved of course!)
- Descriptions in Item List are plain text, not wysiwyg, so you couldn't add links/paragraphs/styling in FAQ answers. (though each one could have an image associated with it)
What do you think? Would an Item List in Accordion mode do the job for you? Try making an Item List in List Group mode and imagine that it was accordionised to get an idea of how it would work out!
Interesting idea. So... I've had a play!
By add the question and answer as a child page and then setting "Item display mode" to full, I can include links but this means I need to include the question in the content of the page, not just as the title. I think that would be a problem for however an accordion was set up.
I can add the question and answer as "Other" which is what I think I would need to do to make it work as an accordion but I think the inability to include paragraphs and links would be a deal breaker for me.
I'm happy enough to put it all on one page, it was just a thought!
Yeah adding them as "other" was what I had in mind, with the Title being the question and Description the answer. You can see that this makes a nice List Group type box at the moment, and having an Accordion option would be a nice extra display mode.
Though, as you say, the fact that you can't use paragraphs/links/styling in the description part is a bit of a sticking point.
Using a separate page for each and then using the 'full' display mode will also have the problem of the content existing in a different place to where you want users to view it (so a search would likely show up the individual question/answer pages rather than the one page with all the QAs on it - not ideal!)
One different solution would be to have a dedicated Accordion includelet rather than squishing it into an existing one.
Another would be to adapt the existing Slider includelet into a sort of "Slider or Accordion" includelet. This already lets you create a list of items with an image and a wysiwyg description, so all that would be needed would be a new display mode and an update of the appropriate includelet name and documentation etc. (and to make the image for each item optional)
So do have a quick play with the Slider, but imagine that each item was a QA rather than an image with description, and see what you think! :-)