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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

FAQ content is popular for new programs but doesn't usually work well for web users. Find out why.

So, what does the other content do? Answer the infrequently asked questions?

If your content meets your user's needs, you won't need frequently asked questions (FAQ). If your content is important to your user, then it should feature in the main content and not in a separate section.

Issues with FAQ

Frequently asked questions:

  • duplicate information
  • are not front-loaded with keywords, making them hard to scan
  • often aren't questions actually asked by the public
  • don't meet diverse needs
  • are harder for search engines to crawl.

The Australian Government Style ManualExternal Link doesn't recommend FAQs.

Most users aren't reading FAQ pages

Most users will never read your FAQ page. Here are some examples:

  • - Victorian travel voucher scheme: 18% of users who visited the main page also visited the FAQ page
  • - Victorian Travel Permit Scheme: 11% of users who visited the main page also visited the FAQ page
  • - Victorian Government QR code service: 1.2% of users visited the FAQ page
Page title Page views

Victorian Travel Voucher Scheme

Victorian Travel Voucher Scheme FAQs

18% of users visited the FAQs page and then not for enough time to read all the content.



Victorian Travel Permit System

Victorian Travel Permit System FAQs



Register to use the Victorian Government QR code service

QR code registration FAQs



Users who read an FAQ page tell us they're not helpful

When users do read FAQ pages there's more negative feedback than positive feedback. Users tell us they don't find the information helpful. The opposite is true for pages which outline a process, such as a 'how to apply' page.

We define a successful page as having 70% or higher rating for yes, this content was helpful. Less than 50% of users not finding the content helpful is an indication that the content needs work.

Structuring your content for inclusion

    The Centre for Inclusive DesignExternal Link conducted usability testing on and reported their findings in June 2022.

    The research concluded that the most important information should be found at the top of a page with less critical content lower down.

    Users come to government websites for quick and accurate information. This is easier to access if it's not in a separate section or page.

    "Yeah, I don't spend that much time on government websites, but when I do, I like kind of get the information then and there."

    Cognitive-impaired participant, Victorian Government Website Usability Testing, Centre for Inclusive Design

    When we follow user experience and content design principles, content:

    • is well organised, with the main points first
    • is presented well for scanning - using keyword-loaded and well-worded headings and lists
    • provides a call to action (such as an 'apply now' button) or information on what to do next
    • is monitored and maintained so it's kept up to date and improved upon.

    Rework FAQ information into your main page content

    Map out what people need to know and in what order. For example, 'eligibility to apply', 'information needed to apply' and 'how to apply'.

    Then include the information in the relevant section.

    Rather than having an FAQ such as 'Can I sign up if I'm under 18?' and 'Why do I have to be over 15 to access the payment?' you can include this information under eligibility:

    "You must be aged over 15 because Victoria has restrictions and permit requirements for people under 15 years in relation to their ability to undertake paid work. People under 18 will need your parent or guardian to consent to entering the terms and conditions within the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee Program Guidelines on your behalf."

    Add an FAQ page only if feedback suggests you need it

    Have a chat with your digital team to see if the answer to a question can be incorporated into your existing content.

    If your service or transaction is on Service Victoria, make sure your FAQ content is added to your Service Victoria FAQ tab; don't duplicate it on your website. Link across where relevant.

    If this isn't relevant, a FAQ page may be added if you can show evidence that:

    • the question has been frequently asked through a contact point, such as a contact centre or email address
    • the types of questions are specific to certain groups and can't be incorporated easily into your existing content
    • the list is prioritised from the most asked question to the least or grouped according to user need.

    Reviewed 25 July 2023

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