FAQs with attitude

I like websites which demonstrate the personality of the people behind them.

I’ve written about this here several times previously:

Here’s another nice example I spotted recently…

Two of the frequently asked questions listed on instapaper.com:

Will you add (useful feature)?


Instapaper is brand new, and it’s a side project of a developer who works on something bigger, so development time is limited. But great features are always possible, especially if enough people request them.

There are some great ideas in the works… stay tuned.

Will you add (obscure feature)?

Probably not, sorry.

There are plenty of other sites that offer similar functionality but with thousands of additional features to satisfy every obscure desire. Instapaper is great because it’s so simple, and keeping it simple is the first priority.


8 thoughts on “FAQs with attitude”

  1. Ditto Rowan! At Off the Back we try and throw as much personality in as possible! Instead of being like “today’s product does this and that”, we like to throw a few personal opinions, jokes and funny situations into our product descriptions. All in the name of making an interesting read :-)

  2. I’ve got a serious question – how much personality is ‘just right’?

    It can be a fine balance between infusing personality and coming across unprofessional or even worse what if your personality, jokes, or ‘funny situations’ go down like a cup of cold sick?

    I asked my business partner this question earlier and he replied ‘it comes down to knowing what is good taste and what isn’t’.

    I suppose it is a matter of knowing your target market and what is acceptable/interesting to them – however in our business we’ve got everything from teenage boys (oops sorry they *must* be 18 to sell on Trade Me ;) to Grandparents in their late sixties as clients!

    Any tips?


  3. Tracey,

    I don’t think personality is something you should try and fabricate.

    Just be yourself.

    The “right” balance of personality and professionalism is probably impossible to find, but if you’re paying attention to how your communication is received you can hopefully adjust as you go.

    Good luck!


  4. Thanks Rowan

    That’s what we try and do. Stick to the ‘basics’ and not try and be something we’re not and bedazzle people with buzzwords that mean nothing to customers. I do pay attention to our reputation and communications so your advice was a good piece of reassurance that that’s the way to measure it :)

    I agree that you can’t fabricate anything – “be yourself, don’t tell lies, be honest and think about how you would feel if “potential action/communication” was sent to you, is the way to have credibility even if people don’t ‘like you’ they at least respect you.


  5. I was amused by SurveyMonkey’s list of 10 reasons why you should chose them:

    #3 We are intuitive
    #4 We are powerful
    #5 We are limitless

    (sounds like something very scary…)

    but then…

    #7 We are large
    #8 We are small


    I guess I like the unqualified nature of the short statements, because it’s obvious you can pick holes in them (or something), but they’re there anyway.

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