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Video Tutorials: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

July 9, 2009 | Jabberwocky, Life | 1 Comment

I’m sorry, this is pretty much a rant.

To all the sites that think video tutorials are a good thing: please rethink this. When people need a tutorial they need something they can follow along with step by step. Often times I want to come back and just read one part of it again. Or, heaven forbid, print it out to take it with me to where I need it.

Following along with a video tutorial is nigh impossible. I’ve gotten to the point now that once I see a tutorial is in video form that I leave, I don’t care, because no matter what the reputation of the person giving the tutorial is I know that I’ll have a much easier time getting through a written tutorial. This is magnified 10 fold if I’m trying to get some info at work. I don’t have the time to get through your entire blabbering video. You don’t know how to present. You don’t have a good enough mic or a good enough voice for that matter. Your cadence sucks. And to boot I’m gonna be interrupted 10 times while trying to get through it so having to re-watch and re-listen to parts takes me exponentially more time to get through than it would if the tutorial were just written out.

So, please, if you really want to make a video and the video really can add value, do it as an accompaniment to the article. This will make the content much more usable, you’ll get better SEO from it, and it’ll become a resource that’s very easy for people to come back to again and again.

But for now, I’ll just keep closing those browser windows when a video tutorial shows up.

Thanks! or not…