How do I create an faq in MS Expression 4? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I would like to create an faq that guides the user through various questions/options/answers based on the initial question they ask and the subsequent choices they select. I am totally new to MS Expression and whilst I'm very capable of reading the various tutorials etc that are available I would appreciate some help with the basic process involved in such a project.

    Ideally if someone could just set out the steps required, from the beginning, including which tools etc to use I would be extremely grateful. I have spent the best part of a day searching the internet for solutions but as soon as you search for 'faq' or can imagine how many irrelevant hits I have found.

    many thanks in advance.

    Monday, December 13, 2010 3:02 PM

All replies

  • You would create it in EW the same as in any Web editor (or text editor, for that matter), using a dynamic client-side technology such as javascript, and given the interactive nature (path following) that you require, probably including AJAX. You may store the information required for the various possible paths client-side, in the downloaded page, but that would not scale well and would quickly become unwieldy as the complexity increased. So, you would probably want to use either a database back end or a downloadable XML data source, and at that point you would likely introduce server-side programming.

    The thing is, this is not a trivial undertaking, and does not admit of simply setting out "the steps required, from the beginning" in a short message format forum such as this. There are entire bodies of knowledge underlying the techniques that you would use that are prerequisites to even beginning to explain the process.

    There is existing software for this type of process. There are educational and survey-oriented software packages that permit building the kind of directed structure you're talking about without having to learn the nuts and bolts of javascript, AJAX, databases, server-side languages, etc. Look for Web survey management software, or educational Web-based quiz software, instead of FAQs (which are usually atomic, and which have no path, or perhaps a simple straight-line path).


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Monday, December 13, 2010 3:36 PM
  • Or, you create the content and links for your FAQ as regular HTML pages.  That's the brute force method, and may work just fine if the contents of your FAQ are not huge and would remain reasonably stable.  The answer for "how to do that" is: the same way you'd create any other pages.  They may include effects you could use on other pages, too, such as named anchors to link to places on the same page, and show/hide effects to open and close information blocks.

    The point is, however, that there is nothing magic in a FAQ.  It's a page or set of pages, and displays different information in response to clicks on links.  You can populate those pages by hand, or from a datasource with scripting.

    Monday, December 13, 2010 4:39 PM