User support

Make no mistake. Your project will be judged and graded, not only how well the code runs when people execute it, but also based on how well you treat your users when come to you to ask questions.

A user asking for help is a person who have deemed your project worthy to use, or at least potentially use if they get it working the way they intend it to use it. Your response to this cry for help can be what makes this a happy user that sticks around forever and turns into a contributor, or someone who gives up and moves on to do something else.

Respond within a decent time in a friendly and accurate manner.

This can become time consuming work and may certainly pull you away from being able to work on that cool new feature you write spend your evening coding on, but in general it could be considered more important to help and please users to use the existing product and feature set than to expand it. You helping a user now could make that same user able to help the next user asking an almost identical question next week.

Of course, all user support should be feedback on how documentation can or should be improved so that users in the future can find the information on their own rather than asking for it. Even if you will never completely be able to avoid questions simply because for many users, asking is quicker and easier done than searching and reading documentation.

See also Documentation is never good enough.

Last updated