THE BLOG
Webdexterous Video Tutorials Help You Manage Your Site
Nicci Francis | Thursday, September 27, 2012

When you need to know how to do something, there are several ways to find out what to do and how to do it.  You can read instructions, you can ask someone to explain it to you, or you can have someone show you how to do it.  Each of these methods can be effective, and depending on your needs, each one may work for the specific task in mind.  However, your mileage may vary, and often, the best method allows for a combination of instructional strategies.

Instruction Manuals: Don't Believe Everything You Read

Any one who has ever attempted a DIY project, whether baking a cake, assembling furniture, or installing a screen door, knows that the process and result are only as good as the provided directions.  If the writer of the instructions misses a step or fails to adequately explain something, the whole project can end in disaster.

In fact poorly written instructions are so universally frustrating that Technical Standards, a specialized document staffing and technical writing company, has launched an annual Worst Manual Contest.  Take a moment to reflect on these gems from the safety section of the 2004 award-winning air conditioner manual:

  • " . . . to have the observance without fail to prevent the damage to harm and the property beforehand to the person who use this product and other persons."
  • "Please do not put the one embarrassed because it gets wet under the air conditioner."
  • "To apply the cold wind to the body for a longtime and so as to not exist about cooling too much . . . "
  • "Do not blow the wind to animals and plants directly.  It occasionally causes a bad influence for animals and platns to be exerted."
Well.  Now that we've cleared that up . . . (see also:  Why You Should Hire a Professional Copywriter)

Say What?  An Expert Explanation

Clearly, reading instructions may not be the best way to accomplish your task.  You may not understand the directions as written, and you do not have access to a person who can answer your questions.  Unfortunately, even when you are speaking with a support technician, you may not get the help you need.  Often, people who are experts in an area will either assume you have the same knowledge they do and will fail to adequately explain the task, or they will assume your knowledge is vastly inferior and will speak to you as if you are incapable of understanding.  

The following communication is a reasonable facsimile of an actual tech support call from one of the Webdexterous staff members (for anonymity's sake, we'll call her Me) and a computer support technician who was "helping" me install an ethernet card on a computer many years ago:

Me:  Um, okay.  So I have this ethernet card.  And the instructions tell me to insert it into the slot on the back of the computer.  But, like, there's no slot?

Really Helpful Tech Guy:  Yes, there is.

Me:
 No.  Seriously.  There's  not. 

Really Helpful Tech Guy:
 *audible sigh*  There has to be.

Me:
 Okay.  But there isn't.  It's all metal back here.

Really Helpful Tech Guy:
 It must be covered by the metal.  Do you have a screwdriver?

Me:
What?

Really Helpful Tech Guy:
 Do you have.  A screw.  Driver.

Me:  
Um, I can get one, but there are no screws back here.

Really Helpful Tech Guy:
What I want you to do is take the screwdriver use it to remove the metal to reveal the slot for the ethernet card.

Me:
 Okay.  But there still aren't any screws.  Are you telling me to take the screwdriver and pry the metal from the back of my computer?

Really Helpful Tech Guy:
 Yes.

Me:
 Like, actually break a chunk of metal off of my computer?

Really Helpful Tech Guy:
 Yes.  (I'm pretty sure I could actually hear his eyes rolling).

Now, to his credit, I actually DID have to pry a piece of metal from the back of my computer, and everything worked perfectly.  However, had I been able to see what he meant, I may have been a little more prepared for what seemed to be the destruction of a piece of equipment that cost me several hundred dollars back in the day.

Seeing is Believing: Video Tutorials

For most people, the best way to learn something new (or to get a refresher on how to do something), is to combine step-by-step instructions with the visual aids to reinforce the information.  To help our clients efficiently manage their sites--and their time--Webdexterous offers a serious of online video tutorials showing you how to use the most popular features of the Business Catalyst content management system.  Whether you need help logging in to your administrative panel, creating a photo gallery, managing your email marketing, working with customer data, or running ecommerce, our client tutorial videos can give you the information you need--at your pace and at your convenience.

Our video library includes dozens of tutorials on topics including:
  • Getting Started
  • Content Editing
  • Web Pages
  • Modules
  • Customers
  • Marketing
  • Ecommerce
  • Blogs
We hope that these video tutorials will be a valuable service to you; however, we never want our customers to feel as if these online tutorials will replace personal, responsive customer service.  Feel free to contact our support team for help managing and maintaining your website.  We promise we won't roll our eyes.  Not even really, really quietly.
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