Re: TutorialWare Feedback

Subject: Re: TutorialWare Feedback
From: aklemmer -at- factset -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 14:54:11 -0400

Hi Darren,

I agree with you re: some of WebEx's limitations. We use WebEx for live
distance-learning; we like the fact that users can ask questions & interact
using polls and such. We also use WebEx for distance-learning on beta
applications -- or any apps likely to change in look & feel soon -- because
it's relatively easy to throw together a quick WebEx without investing a
lot of development time.

For asynchronous distance learning (whoa, I think I just hit Buzzword
Bingo), we use HTML for text and static images, Flash for animations &
interactions, and an ASP template for navigation.

The biggest benefit of Flash that ViewletBuilder lacks (to my knowledge) is
that you can build more exciting interactions. For example, users can
choose to "View a demo" *or* "Try it yourself". (In user-testing, our
users quickly became bored with passively watching demo's. We were shocked,
as we'd thought demo's were the greatest thing since sliced bread.) We've
also built "drag & drop" interactions within Flash, as well as mouseover
"explore this dialogbox/diagram"-type interactions.

The con of Flash, I think, is that it involves a learning curve and is less
straightforward than some of the "demo-only" authoring tools. I'm not the
most technical-oriented person in my group, and I managed to pick up enough
Flash to create the interactions described above. (Incidentally, I'm fairly
certain that we use less than 10% of Flash's functionality, even with all
that we've done with it. Scary!) But, if you like the .swf delivery system
and you think you might want to go beyond pure demo's, I'd recommend giving
Flash a try.


Abby Klemmer
VP, Director of Instructional Communications
FactSet Research Systems

You wrote:
<<We've recently been
considering options for creating tutorialware. Generally speaking, I'm
referring to short "movies" of the software based on screen (and or
motion) captures that may or may not include audio. Up to now we've been
using Webex ( to record offline sessions and then post
them to our site. This is not necessary the best solution because:

a) Webex was designed (and works well for) interactive presentations and
collaboration. It wasn't designed for generating tutorialware, and
doesn't provide any annotation or editing functionality.
b) Recording a Webex session is like recording a song...if you get it
wrong, you have to go back to the beginning and start again (technically
not true in these days of voice manipulation, but you get the idea).
c) You have to download a browser plug-in to your browser to view the
Webex, and it launches a seperate window to display the thing.
d) The files are pretty large.

So, we've been looking at alternatives. We do not want to generate AVI
or WMV or other movie files. They're too big and generally a pain to
edit...this precludes using, say, Camtasia. Our current options include:

a) ViewletBuilder (
Despite its lame name, it seems to do the trick. I was able to create a
half-decent brief demo in just a few minutes. Plus, it's output is SWF,
which is a Flash file. This means that it's both very small and

Check out the new release of RoboDemo, our easy-to-use tutorial software.
Plus, buy RoboHelp Office in August and save $100 with our mail-in rebate.
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