Thing 18 – Jing

Standard

This is another tool I have been using at work.  We have recently taken over the hosting of a website of a global community.  Our website is slightly more modern than the previous website as it is a build portal with discussion forums and digests.  Some users have found the change quite challenging and have therefore made complaints.  We decided a good way to show people the way the site works would be to show videos and training guides.  Through Googling ‘screen capture’ I came across Jing (the first free tool I found!).

I decided not to record a narrative but instead would add notes at the bottom of the screen to support what was happening in the video.    I found that I needed to write a script as a step by step guide, as it were, before recording the video to avoid making errors or have the mouse fly around the screen.  It was interesting to actually have to think about what I was doing instead of automatically looking around and using a website.

I found that I need to download Camtasia to edit my video, this was also free but only for a certain time period.  At the editing stage I also realised that I had recorded the video at natural speed and in order to make it more understandable and add text it needed to be a much slower pace.  Camtasia has such tools to allow you to slow frames down (which saved me having to record it all over again!).  You can also zoom into to frames if you need to get a close up of anything on the screen.   The editing process was quite fiddly – making sure the arrows appeared and disappeared at natural moments- but once I got into it, I quite enjoyed the challenge!

We have yet to disseminate the videos to the community but (and not to blow my own trumpet!) I really do think they will help. I think they make good additions to any user/ training guide.  The best thing about Jing is that it’s free, so it’s really worth a try!

Podcasts

I never done any podcasting, the need has not arisen yet.  I’m not comfortable with the sound of my own voice so I’m not sure how well I’d do at making my own, but it might be another useful aid to user and training guide as well as another way to promote services.

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