Main Site Documentation

Help section on top menu


#1

I’d like to see a help section to this site with videos and links to the documentation. The FAQ could be contained in this section as could Contact.

At the moment, having the GHI and NETMF doc links in the downloads as well as the videos is a little odd IMO.


#2

We like to think of this forum as the “help section”. As you know, this is not a random public forum but it is a place with a lot of dedicated FEZ users who love to help, including me.

…add the ebook on top and everything you need to get started is ready for you :slight_smile:


#3

I agree with Gus. Why make a help section?
Everything is right here :slight_smile:


#4

Because everything is not right here, nothing is right here at first glance. If you want to find “help” on getting your FEZ going, find any sort of documentation you don’t think “oh i need the forums” because the forums are just a bunch of posts, not a specific list of help issues. If you look for documentation or anything you look for a “support” or “help” section on any website, here you go to downloads…

If users can’t find what they want in the documentation then they would come to the forums to ask. We get so many people who haven’t looked at the ebook and gus basically tells them RTFM. It must be disheartening to a user to see “It’s in the ebook, go look there”. If there was a help section or a support section that had these frequency asked technical/after sales questions, as well as the presales stuff, and all the documentation and such then people would be more inclined to look there and discover it for themselves.

There is a lot of information on the wiki, however it’s marked as “projects”, if i’m wanting information on how to use a sensor, or xbee or something i wouldn’t think i’m going to find it in a listing of projects. The title for that link could be changed to FEZ Wiki. The wiki also has no sort of management over content structure with pages varying from things that look like a blog post to some fantastic information that is really easy to read and understand (more in the theme of wikipedia than a blog post).

You could even have a mouse over/screentip style thing that comes down from the bottom of each link to tell the user what they can find there.

If people can’t find information about how to use FEZ or how what to do once they get it or get stuck, or even answer some of these questions and see how easy fez really is before they purchase it then you’re going to be cutting yourself short on sales. If they can’t work it out once they get it and put it in the too hard basket then you have them tell other people that it was too difficult rather than getting these people into FEZ and becoming important members of the community.

I had a hell of a time trying to find the information i wanted about FEZ before i bought it. I wouldn’t have bought a FEZ at all if it was my own money, but now i’ve used it and researched stuff and found out this stuff myself the long way i’m glad i did.

Having the eBook is all well and good and an excellent resource, but not everyone is inclined to read through several hundred pages of document - especially beginners. As the owner of dozens and dozens of technical books i dont fit into this category but then i’m a developer by profession - not a hobbyist who this product is targeted at.

FEZ is an amazing product but it could be so much more with easier access to information for the beginners. Beginners of any kind - be it professionals or hobbyists tend to be reluctant to ask questions they might think are silly or possibly obvious because they couldnt find the information they required.

I just hate to see such an amazing product, in my opinion, let down by lack of easy access to information. FEZ is clearly far superior to Arduino for almost every hobby project application out there, especially with the Panda now being offered at such a great price. Arduino however has such a wealth of information and support behind it that people will choose that over FEZ because it has the look of being easier. And by this i by no means refer to the huge amount of projects and such which are out there.

Check out the arduino home page. Their menu is:

Buy | Download | Getting Started | Learning | Reference | Hardware | FAQ

Everything you need, in order. Buy it - download the stuff you need - get started with it - enhance your knowledge - find reference material when you go beyond the learning.

I’m slowly studying towards a Microsoft Certified Trainer certification, I’ve taught a number of uni grads how to code winforms, asp.net and wpf as well as related technologies when they have no experience in it. I spend most of my time at work doing User eXperience and training stuff. Making things accessable, easy to use and quick to understand for even the most dense individual is what i’m passionate about if you couldn’t guess from this post.

I want FEZ to be all it possibly can be, to have the amazing features and engineering on the product backed up by everything here.


#5

I will be shorter than Mark : I agree (with him) :smiley:


#6

I did kind of go on for awhile :slight_smile: Sorry about that, but please do read it before responding to me.


#7

I agree that the wiki named projects is a bad idea. We already have the wiki so what not let users decide how they want to use it. Even if they want to use it to add help

But then what would you call it? Playground? Still not implying projects and help! Call it wiki? But not everyone knows what is a wiki!


#8

I think most people know what a wiki is, thanks to Wikipedia. FEZ Wiki works for me.

I’d still like to see a dedicated help section. Arduino’s homepage is a very good example of how easy it is to find information. Sparkfun even have a great tutorials section.


#9

We have a dedicatedh elp section. It’s called the forums.


#10

Ok Mark, you have convinced me ;D That’s a good idea 8)


#11

Now that I think about it, I do think this would be a good idea.

I recall the 4 hours it took me to get my FEZ up and running, hadd no idea what order to install things in, and it took a while to figure out that MS’s NETMF SDK also needed to be installed.

I think a help section would get rid of a LOT of RTFM type questions as well.

So, you have my vote, Mark.


#12

My idea is that the “help section” is part of the wiki that users like Chris and Mark can enhance to fit their needs. If we write up a help section, ti ill just be a copy of the tutorial and the ebook. Someone else has to do ti do it is different.


#13

I think Mark is talking about for getting started and stuff like that. Little tutorials.


#14

MarkH. Think that was perfect, logical, and right on.


#15

Actually I agree.
I read through the tutorial and then tried to find the Components class. Even doing a search of my system I could not find it. Eventually I had to go to the Fezzer site and download the appropriate class from there.

It can be a bit of a dampener on one’s enthusiam when I had to do this just to get a flashing LED to work.

Take Care
Dave