Re: Video vs The Written Word

Subject: Re: Video vs The Written Word
From: "Rick Stone" <rstone75 -at- kc -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 13:15:38 -0600

Hi all

Just my own personal $.02 worth (adjusted for inflation)

Just playing Devil's Advocate here, but let's just say that you are attempting to coax the user into turning a knob that is located among a very complex maze of other similar objects. And further, assume that nothing currently exists in the form of photographic help. If I were the person needing assistance with locating said knob, I would cheerfully and gratefully appreciate ANY form of photo that simply showed me where the darn thing was, using a callout, as opposed to reading three paragraphs of text that explain where it may be located.

Granted, I agree that the better the photo can be, the better the end result. But I'm not sure I'd care if the photo were along the lines of Olan Mills or another well known studio, as long as it conveyed what I needed. And to be totally honest, I think my gut would probably inherently make me trust a more "basic" photo than one that was meticulously laid out and all color coordinated under perfect lighting. As I would somehow think that this was probably captured under "real" circumstances.

I'm not suggesting anyone settle for shoddy work. Only offering a potentially differing viewpoint from an end user point of view.

As for videos, I see it this way. Perhaps you have a series of steps that might take two to three HTML pages to perform. But if you could keep the user on the same page without having to read and click to see the next page of information, the focus may be better retained. Additionally, from what I understand, people are more enticed to watch a video, where they will simply balk at a pile of written instructions. Sometimes a disconnect can occur when reading, where if they are actually watching a process be performed it is more engaging.

I do agree with the fact that one cannot print the steps from a video to take with them. But I believe that if a bit of care is taken, the addition of video can be invaluable. As for video, I'd say it should be supplemental. Written material should also be provided. I think of it like that FedEx commercial where the employee suggests something. A pause occurs. Then the boss makes the same suggestion as the employee did. People may connect more easily with video than simple written text, or vice-versa.

Cheers... Rick :)

----- Original Message ----- From: "Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:39 PM
Subject: RE: Video vs The Written Word

My biggest problem with video is the same problem I have with photos:

Looks great, sounds great, works great -- if it's done right. Too many
people at high levels think that minimal is okay, and I have serious
professional difficulties about having my name associated with shoddy work.

When I'm told to take photos out in the factory with a point-and-shoot
digital camera, and no additional lighting equipment, without proper editing
software, it's another gosh-darn educational opportunity.

I explain how this will be perfectly adequate for the storyboard, and I ask
if they've already located a qualified professional to prepare the finished
product. It's a losing battle, but I continue to fight the good fight.

Dori Green


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RE: Video vs The Written Word: From: Dori Green

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