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How to utilize the ‘Answers’ worksheet to facilitate creating questions and answers content for the ProudCity service center

Posted on August 20, 2020


service center display

Overview

ProudCity Answers allows you to easily add searchable, topic-specific plain language information into your website.

To help you get started, we created the ProudCity Answers Guide that categorizes government-specific topics and relevant questions you can use to create your own ‘Answers’ content.

You may notice questions in multiple categories, and this is intentional. For example, a person trying to renew their driver’s license can find information under both ‘Transportation’ or ‘Permits and Licenses’ because both categories are logical places to look.

Example

In our ProudCity demo site, we have the service center application with a ‘Get Answers’ section displaying frequently asked questions. These questions are grouped into categories to help the user find more specific answers. This activity will help keep the structure designed.

Content Strategy

There are two common approaches in writing and structuring the questions and answers and content, below we have listed the two routes. Feel free to use whichever makes sense for your process.

  1. Iterate the current structure by simply providing answers to the templated questions.
  2. Interview and collect questions and answers first and then insert them into the template.
    • See if your questions fall under an existing child category
    •  Or create new Parent and child categories

Understand the ‘Answers’ structure

The answers worksheet is organized to follow the hierarchical structure created in the ‘Get Answers’ section of the ‘Service Center’ application. This structure is applied regardless of the route you decide to take when gathering your answers. Please feel free to use the parent and child categories provided in the worksheet as a template for your own questions and answers.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the structure designed.

Parent category –

Child category –

Question-

Answer-

Child category –

Question-

Answer-

Collect questions and answers

The most common way questions and answers are gathered is through department interviews. Staff members who answer the phone or are by the front desk have a direct insight into the questions asked by residents, and can best assist with this exercise.

  1. If you collect questions and answers from the department staff, group them based on the problem or task. When creating parent categories we recommend having labels such as “Safety” where questions for both the police and fire department can be attributed, instead of department focus labels.
  2. This is an opportunity for site visitors to find information outside of knowing department structure or your organizational chart. Also, this helps people find information without using internal jargon that they might not know.

Write and format your answers

We have created a content style guide to help enforce consistency and uniformity in how information is presented throughout your ProudCity site.

  1. Once you have collected the answers, we recommend tailoring the language with the tips provided in the content style guide.
  2. As you finalize the questions and answers from the departments, we recommend you start placing them under their designated child category. If you see that your question does not belong to a specific child or parent category, create a new one. This will allow you to continue building the structure without having floating questions and answers.
  3. Presented is an example of how we use the structure to create and format the answers and questions content.  In the worksheet, you are provided with multiple parent and child categories to help you get started.

Culture & recreation ——————–> Parent category

Park permits and reservations      ————————-> Child category

      • Is there a public swimming pool? ——————-> Question
        • Detailed answer ——————————–> Answer
      • Who do I call to reserve a park facility? ———–> Question
        • Detailed answer ——————————-> Answer

Parks and recreation  ————————————–> Child category

      • How do I enroll my child in little league? ———-> Question
        • Detailed answer——————————–> Answer

Events ———————————————————> Child category

      • Where can I find a list of upcoming concerts and cultural events? ————> Question
        • Detailed answer——————————-> Answer

 

  • As we can see from this structure, there is only one parent with multiple children, where each child category has at least one question and answer.  
  • Provided is a visual representation of how the parent, child, question, and answer will look when you follow the structure designed.
Parent categories
parent categories screen shot
Child categories
child categories screenshot
Question
Question screenshot
Answer
Answers screenshot


Do’s and don’ts

Do

  • Follow the Parent, child, question and answer structure
  • Answer questions thoroughly to provide clear answers to the residents.
  • Collect questions and answers from those who answer the phone or have direct insight into the questions asked, such as the front desk staff.

Don’t

Resources

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