Earlier today Daniel posted this idea:
Prioritize frequently asked questions on an external facing documentation site based on how often the questions get asked in support tickets. Show the number of times a given question was asked this month as a way of indicating to the customer that the answer probably already solves their question.
It gave me a quick idea to jot down: personal recommendations for support docs. The idea would be to take something akin to the Like button on Facebook or WordPress.com but turn it into a way for users to say “This doc answered my question.”
Really low friction interaction is the goal. One click should register whether it helped the user and then display their Gravatar next to the doc to show that it worked for them. In a way this would be turning the vetting of documentation into a user-facing feature.
The data would be public. Having a publicly displayed list of those users whom the doc has helped may convince future users that the answers are found in docs. Sort of a “Oh look, it worked for these 150 people, maybe it’ll work for me” scenario.
To take it to the next level you could aggregate a list of vetted docs for each user. This way they could look back and see which ones they’ve found answers in before. Maybe they have a repeat question and you just saved them half an hour of searching.