RE: Re: RTFM? Really?

Subject: RE: Re: RTFM? Really?
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, "jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com" <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 23:36:06 +0000

Maybe it depends on what you're trying to do.

Normally I hate videos too -- they're just too time-consuming.

But the other day, I had to swap a figure in InDesign and struggled with it for a while, then went to the online help portal for it -- they had a listing of videos so I thought I'd try it.

I watched one or two intro videos and then 2 or 3 videos specifically on working with images (esp. how to place), and I did the task I needed to do in 5 seconds. Seriously. It was that easy. But I struggled with it for 15 minutes before going to the help. And it was frustrating once I got there because I was confronted with a whole portal, not a manual, with no knowledge of where to start. I'm not a big fan of Adobe but I think they set that up well enough that I was able to get on my way. But if you're pressed for time and you're looking for the optimal solution, you probably won't go that route. I didn't have a lot of time, but I hit a roadblock and I couldn't find anything in the traditional webhelp or pdf stuff that I was able to find.

I'm also watching videos for some other tools I'm using, and they help big-time. The hardest part is finding the right ones to watch, and separating the good stuff from the true time-wasters. The vendor stuff ends up being best (for my purposes), so as video catches up as a legitimate documentation source, they will probably end up getting used more rather than less. And some people learn better visually, and some things are better conveyed visually (home improvement stuff, for example).

Steve

On Friday, September 26, 2014 2:11 PM, Nancy Allison wrote:

About videos:

A while ago, I had a conversation with my web designer nephew and his
web designer wife -- these are young people who grew up with computers
and are completely at home with all new media.

We were talking about how Microsoft doesn't have dedicated online help
any more and you just get a huge list of their knowledge base stuff,
forums, videos, etc. I said, "I always skip the videos, I hate them" --
and they AGREED!

I thought I'd come across as an old fuddy-duddy, but they find them as
annoying and time-wasting as I do.


On 09/26/14, Julie Stickler<jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

I'd much rather search a help system or scan the index of a huge manual
that sit through a video to learn how to use something. I don't have
the
patience to sit through the 2 minute cat videos my friends post when
they
say "The best part is the end!"
I think that part of it is that I tend to be either a complete novice
at
something, or a power user (and seldom in between). So I'm either
looking
for that overview that tells me "What the thing does" "how the thing
works"
or "why should I care" or I'm looking for that configuration setting
that I
remember setting to do obscure function, but can't remember where to
find
it. Videos, even short ones, seldom help with either problem.


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References:
Re: Re: RTFM? Really?: From: Nancy Allison

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