Screencasts as technical help

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  • #273117

    nellalou
    Member

    It is nice to have the little movies in the help section for technical issues. There are however some problems with this approach.

    Many people world-wide have low bandwidth and waiting for the downloads is excruciating.

    It is time consuming to have to pause and go back and forth for the various instructions.

    Would it be possible to just place step by step lists of instructions (which could be then saved for reference when one is off-line)along with the videos so that one could quickly refer to them?

    Some of us are just such atavists when it comes to writing I know.

    Thanks.

    #273319

    carocat
    Member

    Hi there, you will find the step by step explanation in the FAQ as well as the screencasts.

    http://faq.wordpress.com/

    Have a look through there.

    #273322

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    See my comment here and Michael Pick’s reply a few comments below it.
    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/wordpresscom-faq-screencasts/#comment-47635

    I’m also hoping that the FAQs themselves will get a serious overhaul. It’s the only area of COM that hasn’t been redesigned yet. Even the COM blog had a facelift. http://en.blog.wordpress.com/

    #273323

    nellalou
    Member

    Thanks carocat. However I am not looking for general information. The issue is with specific items such as

    http://faq.wordpress.com/2008/09/09/whats-a-category-how-do-i-add-and-manage-categories-screencast/

    or

    http://faq.wordpress.com/2008/09/09/how-do-i-create-excerpts-screencast/

    It tells what a person will learn from the screencast but if it can’t be watched for some reason it is not useful. If there are written instructions it would be helpful if they were linked to the screencast pages. There are now many more of these specific items.

    #273324

    nellalou
    Member

    Thanks justjennifer

    Glad its gotten the attention.

    #273325

    carocat
    Member
    #273326

    I am so very, very new at this but I found the ‘mini-movies’ helpful. I did, however, view them more than once…

    #273327

    nellalou
    Member

    Yes the movies are helpful. I don’t advocate getting rid of them. I am trying to address a bigger technical issue with navigation in the help section rather than just specific items. And the comments referred to by justjennifer and answered by Micheal as mentioned above hit the issue I am talking about.

    #273328

    If you want to see all of them in one list, just search the FAQ for “screencast.” The list is still growing and from what I can see, it looks like they are going to convert most of the existing FAQ’s over to screencasts.

    #273329
    #273330

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    Michael also pointed out that the screencasts cover material already available in verbose versions in the FAQs, so it only makes sense to me to treat the screencasts as supplementary material to the existing FAQ. Of course, some people will prefer to think of it the other way around. :)

    What would be helpful, imho, is link the screencast directly to the verbose version, if it exists, rather than rely on tags or “related posts”.

    Just my rapidly-falling-but-on-the-way-to-recovery-otherwise-I’m-screwed 2 cents worth.

    #273331

    Give Paulson a call. Perhaps he can set you up with a bailout.

    #273332

    carocat
    Member

    Maybe I’m just missing it, but I don’t see what the problem is? Yes, there are videos and yes, they may be difficult for people with low bandwidth, but I thought all the info in those screencasts is available in the FAQ on other pages anyway?

    #273333

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    @tsp-I’m assuming there was a ;) somewhere in there. At least I take responsibility for my rapidly-falling 2 cents worth, which is more than some people. Just sayin’… But I digress…

    @carocat- as long as there is a verbose edition of the FAQ, I don’t think there is a problem, but like I said, having a direct link on the screencast page to that verbose FAQ would be helpful. Not everyone can watch or see the screencasts, which is what I think bazaarofdreams is getting at.

    #273334

    nellalou
    Member

    @justjennifer

    Precisely

    It just makes for better usability and user experience if related information is grouped and linked directly rather than having to continually refer back to a list of posts that may or may not be relevant which is what comes up in a search.

    #273335

    carocat
    Member

    Jennifer, thanks for explaining, now I see the problem.

    Well, as you said, the FAQ is in desperate need to be redone.

    #273336

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    Oh, one more point. Screencasts become outdated. Just last night I was watching the “HTML & Quick Tags vs. Visual Editor” Screencast and lo and behold they created the Screencast with the old Dashboard, before the “Tree” button was removed. I’m sure someone watching that will be confused by the lack of the “Tree” button on their Dashboard.

    And when we go to 2.7, the whole lot of Screencasts with the 2.6 Dashboard will become redundant.

    #273337

    They will all be obsolete when the 2.7 upgrade hits in probably December, even the non-screencast FAQ’s. The entire user interface is again changing.

    #273342

    mark
    Staff

    The FAQ is indeed due for an update. It is in progress.

    Anything that changes when 2.7 hits will be updated. Bear in mind though that the transition here is usually slower but the admin change is significant.

    Downloading a movie is slow for some but once downloaded it is obviously quicker to repeat view.
    If there are particular issues with something that keep popping up here in and in Support then we will look again at any video / text we have with a view to improving it.

    And if you want to see the curent unfinished and still under discussion version you can login here: http://tamba2.org.uk/wordpress/TestTrack
    Please do bear in mind that it is not complete, things will change and we will have docs and more help when the transition occurs.
    Also bear in mind that we have had 2 surveys on changes so the blame could lie with other users :)

    #273344

    mark
    Staff

    Regarding the new design – you should read this:
    http://comox.textdrive.com/pipermail/wp-hackers/2008-October/021944.html

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