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.
I’ve created a whole series of tutorial videos for SkySlope.com, an online transaction-management sytem for real estate professionals. This is just one example.
What did they think of it? Well, since completing their tutorial series, SkySlope has brought me back in again and again–to create a promotional video, to edit some live-action introductions to their site, and to create additional tutorials focusing on their newest features. So for more samples, you can check out their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/mySkySlope/featured.
Studio Helper is an online system designed to help music studios, dance studios, or anyone with a small private school manage their students, teachers, calendar, and invoicing. They asked me to write, narrate, and produce a whole series of tutorial videos. In fact, 25 videos in all.
“Thanks for all your help with these videos. I think they turned out really well, and our customers are finding them very helpful in learning the software.” – Brandon Pearce, StudioHelper.com
To watch more of my Studio Helper videos, please visit their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/studiohelper.
I created a whole series of tutorial videos for FormLizard.com, a site that allows users to replace their old-fashioned paper forms and fill-in-the-blank contracts with easy, online interviews. Users answer a few questions, and end up with a clean, seamless, customized document, which they can print out or submit electronically.
Since then, FormLizard has brought me back in several more times to create additional tutorials about their newest features. This is one of those additional videos–specifically, about how to send a form to your client for a signature without wasting paper.
For more samples of my work for Form Lizard, visit their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/blueburrosoftware/featured.
ModernClosetsDirect.com asked me to write, narrate, and produce a tutorial video to show new customers how to use their editor to design custom walk-in closets. The editor provides a lot of options, but they wanted to keep their video fairly short.
I like the way this one turned out–especially the ending, where we take the sample design we’ve been putting together and show how it turns into a professional design, and ultimately a finished, real-world closet system.
Also, as with any client whose website has a very distinctive look, I adapted my style so the video would fit in. Based on early reports, the client (and their customers) seem to like their new tutorial.