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.