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Online Apple Store adds 'Answers from the Community' to product pages

post #1 of 12
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In an attempt to make product Q&A more social, Apple has launched a new community layer to its online Apple Store that taps into the knowledge base of existing device users that supplements the official FAQ already found on most product pages.

In the online Apple Store's new "Answers from the Community," potential customers can ask questions to knowledgable device owners or contributors, allowing for pointed queries to be answered in a more timely manner when compared to the broad "frequently asked questions" system.

The new section, which can be found at the bottom of many Apple Store product pages, features a search bar as well as a list of links to the most-asked questions as well as a "popular topics" category for a given device.

Users who conduct a search for previously asked questions will be taken to a separate Answers from the Community webpage and, if a suitable answer is not yet in the database, can submit the specific query from there. Also on this dedicated community page is an option to answer proposed questions, which is done by selecting the "Answer Now" button and logging in with a valid Apple ID.

Although the Answers from the Community page has a dedicated URL that branches from the online Apple Store's, it seems that many of the submissions are integrated with Apple's Support Community.


The online Apple Store's new 'Answers from the Community' section. | Source: Apple.com


The new section brings more flexibility to the FAQ system already in place, and also exposes users to the densely populated Apple Support Community by presenting a gateway to the Q&A forums in a reformatted eye-pleasing UI.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 12
Sounds like a good addition. There are a lot of very helpful people on the Apple Support boards.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 12
If it's not moderated and de-duplicated, I feel these kinds of efforts are usually well-intentioned, but a waste. No one wants to wade through hundreds of answers, many of which are useless or wrong. How many times have we seen responses like, "Well, I'm not sure, but....." Why do these idiots bother responding?
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

If it's not moderated and de-duplicated, I feel these kinds of efforts are usually well-intentioned, but a waste. No one wants to wade through hundreds of answers, many of which are useless or wrong. How many times have we seen responses like, "Well, I'm not sure, but....." Why do these idiots bother responding?

The worse ones for me are the overconfident ones talking out of their behind
post #5 of 12
Its an Apple device, so easy my newborn son and blind senile grandma can use it. What could possibly go wrong?
"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

If it's not moderated and de-duplicated, I feel these kinds of efforts are usually well-intentioned, but a waste. No one wants to wade through hundreds of answers, many of which are useless or wrong. How many times have we seen responses like, "Well, I'm not sure, but....." Why do these idiots bother responding?


The Apple community discussions used to be a great place to solve an issue but they haven't been for a while. Apple made a handful of gradual changes over the past few years and it's degenerated quite a bit, but I hesitate to blame the posters too much. It's currently laid out terribly, the search function is nearly guaranteed to NOT give useful returns on a subject you already know is hotly discussed, and much as I'm an Apple devotee, there is no worse place to try to find out about some Apple hardware or software thing you need to find out about than to leap into their mire of byzantine "support" pages. One is much better going elsewhere for the answer.

Fortunately there are many other places to go, of which we all have our personal favorites. But I remember the days when I wouldn't hesitate, when my mother would call with some Mac problem, to tell her to go to the Apple discussion pages (just to get her into the swing of how to get Mac problems solved). Those days are long gone.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandd View Post

The Apple community discussions used to be a great place to solve an issue but they haven't been for a while. Apple made a handful of gradual changes over the past few years and it's degenerated quite a bit, but I hesitate to blame the posters too much. It's currently laid out terribly, the search function is nearly guaranteed to NOT give useful returns on a subject you already know is hotly discussed, and much as I'm an Apple devotee, there is no worse place to try to find out about some Apple hardware or software thing you need to find out about than to leap into their mire of byzantine "support" pages. One is much better going elsewhere for the answer.

Fortunately there are many other places to go, of which we all have our personal favorites. But I remember the days when I wouldn't hesitate, when my mother would call with some Mac problem, to tell her to go to the Apple discussion pages (just to get her into the swing of how to get Mac problems solved). Those days are long gone.

I have to agree. I hate their new interface to the support forums. They used to be so helpful and easy to navigate. Now, it is too much work and I find more often than not, I leave for another external site.

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We are a Montreal based technology company that offers a variety of tech services such as tech support for Apple products, Drupal based website development, computer training and iCloud...

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TechnoMinds

We are a Montreal based technology company that offers a variety of tech services such as tech support for Apple products, Drupal based website development, computer training and iCloud...

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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

Now, it is too much work and I find more often than not, I leave for another external site.

It really does take on the feel of a place that is trying to make you give up before you find what you need, doesn't it? You have to click on five links to go to where you thought you needed to go, but it turns out to bring you back to an unhelpful page you were on three clicks ago. It's such a weird thing, that the Apple site is designed so un-Apple like.

Here's a perfect example: You're at the main level of a support subject, say Aperture. You want to do a search. You have a problem with a white balance bug. So you're at the Aperture level page and there are only two places to enter anything (and one is for a question, but you don't want to ask a question and wait for an answer, you have learned that it's very useful to just see what others are saying about this issue.) So you enter "balance" in the search box at this level and you get returns from iTunes, FCP, GarageBand etc with balance.

So you leave.
post #9 of 12
How about if Apple spend some of their wades of cash on providing great customer support instead of having their customs do the work they should do. Just had an excellent product support experience with Kodak - far far superior to anything Appel ever done in the 10 years since I switched back to Mac.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by psjofors View Post

ust had an excellent product support experience with Kodak - far far superior to anything Appel ever done in the 10 years since I switched back to Mac.

Wow, a sentence loaded with response options if I ever heard one!


But seriously, this is the way too many companies do it. AVID's tech support, at least the kind you look for when you go to their site, is nearly entirely led by their User Community forums, and your only chance of getting through your crashes is to hope that the smart guy in Cleveland is finished with his session and checking in because all of the answers are from users. AVID also pretty much lets the users take care of each other except for critical, extra $$$ paid support.
post #11 of 12
"Surged." $601.10.
My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
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My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
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post #12 of 12
I have never really liked the Q&A section in the online Apple Store, or the Apple Support forums for that matter. Or their dev forums either.

They have reinvented them Lord knows how many times, and each time they try to be too clever, instead of just following what works from other online forums.
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