THE TRAINER POINT OF VIEW
Here is another step before I actually go into recording a training video – the testing.
It happens quite frequently that I have this nice idea for a video, get started with my samples, play around with settings and features and then realize during testing that I am either missing a step or the sample sentences are not in the right sequence or I find a bug in the software and cannot use the sample I had planned to use or, or, or…
Testing is essential. This quality assurance – the steps you take so that quality can happen – is absolutely necessary. I guess, everybody who tried to “repair” a video by adding boxes over things that should not be visible or tries to insert a screenshot in a video knows what I mean.
Going through the steps that I want to show also helps me to create the text that I want to have in the video (either written or spoken or both). I collect the text in a table format so that I can associate a certain slide number or dialog in the software with the text that belongs to it. If I am working with slides, the text document also shows when I need to move on to the next animation or next slide altogether.
And, as tedious as it is, another QA step is to use the script to actually go through the feature you are showing again and again. If the topic is a very complex one and I need a lot of specific settings to show something, I make a list of the settings as well. Like, a special database to load, a special checkbox to activate, and the size of the windows I am showing etc.
But still, every time I actually do a recording, I find a typo in the script or a missing mark for starting an animation or I have to redo everything because this time I did not revert to the default settings I wanted to start out with. But there would probably be a lot more of those things if I had not done all the testing upfront.
Adding voice to a video can be done in several ways. You can record your voice while you click through the software or show the slides. Or you can do a video of the feature and add your voice later. For me, it does not really matter, the time I need to spend on it is about the same either way. I have now tried to work with a slightly different setup. Slides and voice to explain things and then small pieces of clicking through the software without voice-over.
I would be interested to hear what strategies other trainers are using.
(Trainer for translation tools since 1997)