Usually, I produce my tutorials one video at a time, one topic at a time. That way, you can embed each one into the appropriate spot on your website, and direct users to exactly the help they need.
In this case, though, I was asked to create a set of related videos for an online billing platform, complete with an interactive menu to navigate between them. It took a little trial and error to get it to work properly, but I’m pretty happy with the result.
This video–or rather, this set of videos (more about that in a moment)–is near and dear to my heart. And it’s probably more revealing about me than anything else on my site.
I had already created a whole series of short tutorial videos for OnSIP, a hosted phone service. But then, they asked me if I was familiar with YouTube’s new “annotations” feature, which allows one video to include links, so users can choose what they’d like to watch next. And they asked if I’d be interested in using that system to create an interactive tutorial for their new users.
Was I interested? I grew up playing Zork and reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. Of course I was interested!
They had a script already… but it was pretty linear. The viewer could make choices, but those choices didn’t affect anything. So I asked if I could write a new script, instead.
In the end, I created 30 short videos, and even a flowchart to track how each one would lead to the next. The tutorial covers the basics of setting up your phone system, of course… but it also allows each viewer to help to create a fictional company–and the nature of the company they end up with, depends on the choices they make along the way.
And what does it reveal about me? Well, give it a look. Move through the choices. (I’d suggest picking Susan, rather than George.) And you’ll start to discover my sense of humor.