It happened again. You are in the middle of some heavy coding and you get a frantic email from your client who is in a panic.
They forgot how to upload an image to a blog post. If only you had a knowledge base for things like this. There are, of course, videos you can utilize for simple WordPress tasks. But what if you have something a little more custom. Maybe you are using Custom Post Types to display data.
There usually aren’t free videos for custom setups.
Truth is, you offer training to our clients. You may even have gone over things step-by-step, but they won’t remember your academy-award-winning lessons.
Maybe you created documents for them. That may not work either. Maybe it’s time you sit down and do a screencast. After all, you promised a custom site and that’s what you delivered. Maybe you created a robust online marketing platform by integrating a few applications together to create a lead generating machine. Now, you need custom tutorials to show how it all works for your client.
Screencasts are quick and easy videos of your performing a task on your desktop. You can add audio to give an interactive step-by-step guide.
A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. The term screencast compares with the related term screenshot; whereas screenshot generates a single picture of a computer screen, a screencast is essentially a movie of the changes over time that a user sees on a computer screen, enhanced with audio narration. Wikipedia
Today we are going to discuss three screencasting apps you can use to build a knowledge base of tutorials for your clients.
Here are three screencasting applications you can use to whip up some quick tutorials like grandma whips up a quick helping of mashed potatoes!
Screencast-O-Matic is a web app allowing to you make your screencast right from your desktop. Screencast-O-Matic is a Windows product. The pro plan is $18 for the entire year.
Do you have a team? No problem. The app has a plan for businesses and teams.
The application is launched right from the desktop. You will see a frame around your desktop and have a control panel in the bottom right corner. You can record your screen or your webcam.
A video of my very short screencast as an example
With Screencast-O-Matic, you can earn more features by sharing and getting your friends to sign up.
Screencastify is a Google Chrome App. You simply install the Chrome Extension and connect to your Google account. You can save your screencast to your hard drive or immediately upload it to your Youtube account.
Individuals can take advantage of the Lite plan in which you get a video limit of 10 minutes, 50 videos per month, and the Screencastify watermark, all for free. The Premium plan releases the restrictions for $2 per month.
Example of Screencastify screencast
The Jing interface itself, in its bubbly shape, almost feels like a web application instead of a real program. The Jing menu sits discreetly on the side of your screen and can be called up anytime. Capturing elements can be a bit confusing at first. Jing brings up a set of crosshairs that you will have to focus on the area of the screen you wish to capture. After that you can choose if you want a video or an image capture. The application features some limited editing tools like text, color or arrows, but these will often be sufficient. Softonic
Jing is downloadable software that sits on your desktop and ready for use for screencasting. Jing is available for both Windows and Mac.
Once you have recorded your screencast using Jing, you have the option to download or upload to Screencast.com.
Jing outputs your screencast in a flash file, so you are limited in what you can do. The output is a .swf file, but you can share the video with clients via their online storage.
Over to You
We are experts and sometimes our clients need our help to accomplish tasks that are easy peasy for us. For many, visual interaction is one of the best methods of teaching, and something like a screencast can be referred to time and time again.
How do you help your clients with tasks? Do you create written instructions, images, or a screencast? Do you have a knowledge base you have created for repeated tasks?
Let us know how you create screencasts in the comments below.