ArsDigita Archives

FAQ Module v. 3.4 Requirements

by Bryan Che

I. Introduction

This document describes the requirements for the ACS FAQ module. The FAQ module facilitates the creation and viewing of Frequently Asked Questions pages.

II. Vision Statement

Many sites have a page or series of pages to answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). We want a simple interface for creating and maintaining FAQs in which the work of FAQ maintenance may be shared by specific people. A given FAQ can be either public and viewed by everyone or restricted so that only members of a given group may see the FAQ.

This kind of system is inherently different from the BBoard system in that there are two distinct types of users - those that can only read the FAQ and those who may contribute questions and answers. The FAQ ACS module will implement such a system.

What are the benefits of using a FAQ module over simply writing an HTML FAQ document? First of all, a Web site may wish to allow users to create FAQ's without giving them a shell account on the Web server. The FAQ module provides a Web interface for users to submit FAQ's. Secondly, the FAQ module maintains permissions on a FAQ. It allows a Web site to know if a FAQ is restricted to a certain group of people for viewing or if anyone can view it. It allows a Web site to know who may edit a certain FAQ. Thirdly, it offers flexibility in how FAQ's are ordered and displayed.

III. System/Application Overview

The FAQ module consists of two, simple interfaces:
  • an administrator interface for creating and maintaining a FAQ
  • a user interface for viewing a FAQ

IV. Use-cases and User-scenarios

Creating a FAQ

Annie Admin has become the world's foremost authority on distinguishing different colored M&M's by taste alone. Since many people have been inundating Annie's e-mail inbox with questions about how she is able to taste various M&M colors, Annie Admin decides to write a FAQ explaining how to recognize different M&M candies. So, she goes to her Web site, which is built on top of the ACS, and uses the FAQ module to create a publicly viewable M&M tasting FAQ.

Reading a FAQ

Christine Candylover is perusing Annie Admin's Web site and notices that Annie Admin has written a FAQ on eating M&M's. Being a candy connoisseur herserlf, Christine Candylover decides to read Annie Admin's FAQ. Finding the document particularly interesting, Christine Candylover e-mails Annie Admin, asking her which color she likes to eat the best.

Maintaining a FAQ

Annie Admin, upon receiving Christine Candylover's e-mail, decides to augment her FAQ with one more question. She goes to the maintenance page for her M&M FAQ and inserts another question at the end of her FAQ: "What is your favorite M&M color?" Her response? "I don't like chocolate."

V. Related Links

VI.A. Requirements: The Data Model

10 The Data Model

10.1 FAQ's must have a unique identifier

10.2 FAQ's must have a name

10.3 FAQ's may belong to a user group or to no group

10.4 FAQ's must have a question

10.5 FAQ's must have an answer

10.6 FAQ's must have a set but changeable order for their questions

VI.B. Requirements: Administrator Interface

20 Administrator Interface

20.1 A FAQ may only be maintained by its creator, the administrators for its owning user group, or the sitewide Administrator

20.2 The FAQ administrator may create a FAQ

20.3 The FAQ administrator may edit a FAQ's name

20.4 The FAQ administrator may edit individual questions and answers

20.5 The FAQ administrator may re-order questions and answers

20.6 FAQ's may be created either for the public or for a user group, but not both

VI.C. Requirements: User Interface

30 User Interface

30.1 All users may read a public FAQ

30.2 If a FAQ is owned by a user group, only members of that user group may read the FAQ

VII. Revision History

Document Revision # Action Taken, Notes When? By Whom?
0.1 Creation 8/29/2000 Bryan Che