Off to the DUG meeting โ€“ Screencast Tutorials, Week #6

This week’s efforts were mostly a wrap-up of last week’s work in preparation for the DUG meeting: more screencast tutorial recording and editing along various styles. In particular creating a video for the geographic search shows off how some of the visual effects look in a more complex user interface.

Skye is very kindly setting up a development mirror of the ONEMercury interface to reflect anticipated and suggested changes to the tool so the videos will better reflect the future interface. These are very small changes from the current interface — mostly to wording or placement of input areas — but the goal is to depict the user’s experience as accurately as possible. I’ve found creating these tutorial videos to require very close attention to detail in both the scripts and the visuals, which suits my nature of wanting to get things just right.

On Sunday I’ll be showing the videos and asking for thoughts. In particular, I’m interested to see whether people will favor using the mouse cursor to draw attention to options, buttons, and areas of the screen or if they prefer to have effects edited in after the fact (and/or which effects are preferred). I think the answer will speak to whether people are being immersed in the videos by imagining themselves following the same steps or if they’re merely looking to understand or memorize the functions of buttons, text boxes, and menus. These are two very different ways to view the videos and while it’s hard to assess directly which of the two mental models a person is using, I do hope to get at it the roundabout way with feedback on which style people think will be most helpful.

Next week I’ll report on the discussion at the DUG meeting and amend my video style guidelines to specifically incorporate those conclusions. From then on out it’s recording and editing videos for ONEMercury. I still look to be on track to finish all tutorial vidoes for this tool by the end of July.

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