Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Screencasting For Better Communication & Teaching

Guest post by Eric Karkovack

Sometimes, your job title doesn't always necessarily explain the full extent of what you do. Personally, I'm a freelance web designer (and have been since 1996). But a great portion of my job is about doing things that have very little to do with design itself.

For example, one role I often find myself taking on is that of a teacher. Whenever I create a website that my clients will update themselves, I have to teach them how the process works. Sometimes it can be difficult to get my point across. It's especially hard when clients don't have much experience with technology.

For awhile, I offered manuals to my clients to use as a reference material. While that helped, it certainly wasn't as interactive as their website's content management system. I felt that I really had to find a better way of communicating.

Create screencast tutorials with Debut video capture software The idea of "screencasting," or recording my screen with a voice-over, came to me. If my clients can see what I'm doing on my screen and can hear my explanations of how to accomplish specific tasks, it could be of great benefit to all of us.

When I found Debut Video Capture Software, I was sold. It works exactly as advertised, it's affordable and easy to customize to my needs.

Probably my favorite part of Debut is that I can simply plug in my headset microphone, open up the software and start recording. That's really all there is to it. Within a half hour, I've created a few short tutorials that will help my clients. I've saved a ton of travel time and my client has an interactive reference that illustrates exactly how to update their website. It's hard to put a price on that kind of convenience.

Eric Karkovack is a freelance web designer with well over a decade of experience. He designs and maintains websites for clients in a wide range of industries. For more information, visit him on the web at

1 comment:

  1. You say Flash Player is the least common denominator, but Adobe will not release a version for 64-bit Windows, 64-bit Ubuntu, any 64-bit operating systems, embedded devices like cellular phones and tablets, and many other computer platforms. It's not only a technical challenge, in many cases the Adobe license restricts it. The Mpeg Consortium restricts implementations of MPEG video, too. The least common denominator is FOSS formats, because at least everyone can possibly use it. You can choose a closed format because more people have it by default, but you should know you leave others no way to obtain the content. Mozilla and Opera will even soon be implementing Theora within the browser. Help break the proprietary web format cycle by using open formats.


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