Re: what's the current trend?

Subject: Re: what's the current trend?
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl6955 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 12:08:38 -0400

Many videos are terrible, and that's due to a combination of two things: video cameras are now ubiquitous, and most people overestimate their talent at producing a good video. Most people actually have very little idea of what is involved, which is why the people who -can- produce a good video are able to charge a lot of money for it.

For hardware (which I believe is what the original post asked about) things have to be broken down into small chunks. I've got an early 1990s aircraft maintenance video that I ought to upload and link to, it's a good example. The video covers one small chunk of a long and complex task. Eight minutes long, including a quick intro and wrap up, plus a list of all the tools involved, plus occasional breaks in the action for stern cautions about the hazards of getting it wrong. But one thing was for sure, when the users loaded that video, they -knew- they were going to get a method of installing afterburner pilot spraybars and manifolds, and not get any other part of the procedure.

Video with a camera is tricky. The lighting has to be perfect (if you don't know the difference between key and fill lighting, then video probably isn't for you), the audio likewise (narration should be added in final editing with the narration recorded in a room with anti-echo protection of some sort), you should go in with a full script and a shot sheet, and you should be prepared to do multiple takes for every single shot.

But technology has outstripped the video camera. If I were producing a hardware video right now, I'd build an animation using a tool like Solidworks Composer. It still requires the same amount of time for the scripting and audio, but at least the actual images can be controlled more easily.

Still, I think the rule of thumb is to allow an hour of preparation time (scripting, shot decisions, etc) for every minute of video you want in the final product.

Many, probably most of the videos we see online today don't meet the requirements above.

--Rick Lippincott
"I Explain Things."

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 19, 2015, at 10:36 AM, Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca> wrote:
>
> There are many ways to learn, and we can't discount the portion of our
> customers who can't sit through long documents. I fall somewhere in the
> middle. I hate long documents, but I prefer the text steps rather than a
> video.
>
> Text-only requires a lot of words to describe something complex. A
> well-illustrated procedure is a great reference. A short,
> well-executed video, is a great introduction to a complex task. This is
> where we would experience the time savings.
>
> Of course, content has to be really well done. Nothing is more grating than
> a long video that takes us nowhere. But the fact is people are reading less
> and watching more. Within 2 minutes a person knows if they have received
> what they need or not.
>
> So I wouldn't recommend an all-or-nothing approach. People aren't reading
> documents because they're badly written and don't give them the information
> they want. If you improve the documentation then video may not be required.
>
> But, if you find your verbiage increases your page count exponentially,
> consider a series of short videos. You're not making a TED talk: you're
> producing a helping hand.
>
> -Tony
>
>> On Monday, 19 October 2015, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> wrote:
>>
>> How do videos save time? I find the opposite. It often takes a long
>> time to find the bit that I need. Sometimes I sit through the whole
>> thing only to find it doesn't tell me what I need to know. Once in a
>> long while a video is helpful for demonstrating a procedure that 's
>> hard to put into words.
>>
>> In my experience, when a product's written documentation is useless,
>> the videos are usually witless time-wasters as well.
>>
>>> On Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 4:31 AM, Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca> wrote:
>>> ... as our users are time-challenged to read consistently
>>> useless documentation, a video really does give the best experience.
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References:
what's the current trend?: From: frank taylor
Re: what's the current trend?: From: Tony Chung
Re: what's the current trend?: From: Robert Lauriston
what's the current trend?: From: Tony Chung

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