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Video instructions are becoming more and more popular each year, and for good reason: there are many advantages that come from using this way of imparting knowledge. A video instruction brings information to life and makes it more enjoyable to absorb knowledge thatn just reading a whole slew of words. Making a video instruction, or having one made, results in a really effective means to make something celar to your target audience. Whereas a picture can paint a thousand words, a video is an array of tens of images.
It has been scientifically proven that the imparting of information by audiovisual means, such as in a video instruction, is experienced by users as an enjoyable way to learn. But in addition to this entertainment value, the great attention span that video instructions enable is really interesting. The longer you can hold the recipient’s attention, the better and longer they will retain what you’re telling them. Would you like take full advantage of this? Then take a good look at the step-by-step plan that we’ve developed at INSTRKTIV, or have us see to the production of your video instruction. Here’s our step-by-step plan:
Ten steps to making a video instruction
It has been scientifically proven that the imparting of information by audiovisual means, such as in a video instruction, is experienced by users as an enjoyable way to learn. But in addition to this entertainment value, the great attention span that video instructions enable is really interesting. The longer you can hold the recipient’s attention, the better and longer they will retain what you’re telling them. Would you like take full advantage of this? Then take a good look at the step-by-step plan that we’ve developed at INSTRKTIV, or have us see to the production of your video instruction.
The objective of any service or product always has to be your starting point. And the same goes for making a video instruction, where the objectives can vary. Is the goal to instruct the user? To motivate them? Or perhaps it is just to demonstrate one or another procedure or way of working. The goal determines to a large extent how the video will be structured—how shots and scenes will be sequenced—what atmosphere you will try to create, and what tone of voice you will go for.
Are you going to use animation, or take a realist or “authentic”-looking approach? Deciding on what kind of video you want is your next decision. The results of steps 2 and 4 must be taken into account when you’re making this decision.
In this step you decide on a static, a dynamic, or an interactive video. Scientific research by Plaisant & Schneidermann indicatest that an interactive vdieo is best when the goal is to teach the viewer somethign effectively. For this reason, this type of video has been gaining considerably in popularity. Here are a couple of pointers from the aforementioned researchers:
A. Offer procedural and/or preparatory information: Just as with methods such as “Minimalism” and “Information Mapping”, it is important to distinguish among various kinds of information (explanation, specification, clarification, instruction, and so on)
B. Keep your segments brief: In order to keep the viewer’s attention, it’s good practice to go for short segments that are easily remembered and readily digested.
C. Make tasks simple and clear.
Make sure the language you use is correct and clear, make your sentences short, and go through one task at a time.
D. Use a mix of tasks and exercises.
As noted above, it’s best to go through one task at a time. But as you are guiding the user through a task, you can also encourage them to combine it with an exercise. Have them follow one or another procedure in order to make sure that they readily understand the principles they are based in. Have the viewer themselves engage in reflection on the basis of exercises, assignments, and tasks. That’s how they themselves will think about precisely what it means to put something way in their memory banks for later.
E. Use the spoken word.
In addition to visual information, use audio and subtitling where needed. The more you stimulate the viewer’s senses, the better they’ll retain what you’re showing them.
F. Do justice to your video.
Perception also plays a role in the retention of information. When something makes an impression on you, you remember it better. In the end, how something looks is important, and it is more enjoyable to watch a video that looks really good.
G. Do something eye-catching to attract attention.
By creating elements that catch the eye, you can get the viewer to focus on one or another part of the screen. For instance, you might consider zooming in on something, or circling it, or having something blink on and off.
H. Give then user control.
Allow the user to do the driving: enable them to decide in what order they would like to learn the material. [Note the difference from the original: presumably you don’t mean, “decide what they would like to learn, and in what order”]
There are a variety of tools out there that you can use to make your own videos—Screenr, Screencastle, Screencast-o-matic, and Screenbird, for instance. However, you can also choose to have your video made. In that case, look no further. INSTRKTIV is ready to be your partner.
You decide in a storyboard what the scenarios and the overall narrative in the video instruction are going to be. Consider what scenes you want to highlight, what sequence these are to appear in, as well as the script you want for each scene. It is vital that you sketch out step by step the draft you have in mind before you embark on producing the video instruction.
First of all, it’s important to give your video the same look and feel from start to finish. It’s not only that that comes across as professional—it’s also that this way you head off any confusion and reduce the chances the viewer will lose interest.
And if the video is for a company or an organisation, it’s always advisable to base its look and feel on any existing house style or corporate identity. Aside from the recognition factor, the video instruction will also serve as an advertisement, stimulate name recognition, and reinforce the brand identity.
As you were creating your storyboard, you may already have een thinking about what parts of your video instruction you would like to highlight. Some parts, or some scenes, are simply of greater importance than others, or need a bit of oomph! Animations offer a way to make this happen. If you are planning to animate your video or certain parts of it? Why not get in touch with us, or click here to take a look at various tools for, and manuals on, animating your audio-visual content.
Once you are feeling completely ready to get started on your video production, including any animations, there’s just one more thing you need: to get your plans reviewed thoroughly—even if you’re proof positive that you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s. Even as you’re planning everything out carefully, it can easily happen that you miss certain glitches or points for improvement. That’s why it’s important to get at least one other person to do the review for you—preferably people who belong to your target audience. You should also take a good look more than once at the video instruction and try to put yourself n the average viewer’s shoes. Terms and explanations that might seem to you, as an expert in your field, to go without saying, might be completely new to your audience, or hard to understand. While you’re looking, note all points for improvement so you can implement them later and help make the most efficient video instruction.
If you want to be involved either only a bit or not at all with the production of your video instruction, you can engage us here at INSTRKTIV to create it for you. We have a lot of experience with the production of manuals of all shapes and sizes, and we can produce any sort of manual you want, with all kinds of options in areas such as the design of your content, the look and feel of the manual, and its technical implementation.
The benefits in a nutshell