Instruction videos: a rewarding experience


Creating your own instruction video

An instruction video can be very effective indeed. People consider an instruction video to be an experience rather than an instruction. Such an experience takes away the feeling of ‘being told what to do’. Because an instruction video also is very close (if not, identical) to the actual situation in question, people are certainly inclined to give you their attention.

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Why are instruction videos so effective?

Instruction videos are so effective because they are attractive.

  • Users consider instruction videos to be an experience rather than a lesson containing a set of working instructions.
  • Because you can create interactive instruction videos, users get feedback immediately if they undertake some action. This counts as an exercise without real consequences, which is appreciated.
  • Because of the two advantages mentioned above, users can process a lot of information within a relatively short timespan.

How to make an instruction video in ten steps

1. Appoint a project manager

When creating a instruction video, a lot of people are involved: those taking care of the camera, of the sound, of the story board… To check if everything is going according to plan, a project manager is certainly no luxury!

2. Make your goal perfectly clear

Instruction videos tend to be entertaining – which is a good thing. But if a video is meant to be instructional, it is important to keep its original function in mind. It is better not to let the video ‘slip away’ into purely entertainment, with instructions taking a backseat or no seat at all. The latter could happen if there are too much (funny) animations in the video.

3. Decide on what kind of instruction video

What kind of instruction video are you looking for?

  • An animation, giving you the opportunity to be both instructional and entertaining (with your mascot playing a role, for example)?
  • A realistic video without animation, but with the use of a special studio to highlight certain aspects of your working instructions? Take the use of a white table to draw the attention to your dark colored product, for example.
  • A real life video where the working instructions are shown in a relevant environment, without any adjustments in that environment? Take an ‘as is’ production line, for example.

Manualise can help you to decide on what kind of video would suit you best.

4. Decide on the type of instruction video

Would you like your instruction video to be static or interactive? A static video is cheaper to produce. An interactive video could be more effective in instructing your users. After all, an interactive setup invites viewers to get actively involved. As such, they will ‘internalize’ information faster than in a static setting.

5. Decide if outsourcing would be desirable

Of course, Manualise can help you in making your instruction video. But there are tools to do the job yourself, such as Screenr, ScreenCastle, Screen-O-Matic or Screenbird.

6. Create a story board

A story board is a chronological set of visuals telling the story of the instruction video on paper. Creating a story board is always a good idea. You can decide on the story line first and adjust the sequence in the visual instructions later.

7. Choose a ‘look and feel’ for your video

Always make sure that your instruction video is in line with your corporate identity. If not, users do not associate your video with your product – which is a shame!

8. Use a voice over

A voice over gives you the opportunity to get extra information across or to clarify things. If you use a voice over, make sure he or she speaks clearly, using easy to understand sentences.

9. Document your story board

If you document your story board, it is a breeze to adjust your instruction video at a later stage. After all, you can easily decide where to change your story line and where this is not necessary.

10. Review your video in order to improve it

Your instruction video should be effective right from the start. But there is always room for improvement. This will become obvious when you let people review your video. Ten to one they can tell you something you didn’t think of at all. Their output can be of great value.

Our references

Are you looking for a partner to bring your plan for an instruction video one step closer? Please do not hesitate to contact us, as did the following customers:

“We prefer to partner with Manualise, as their communication is direct and to the point.”

- Jacqueline Revet , Product Manager Visual Color Doc. & Communication, AkzoNobel -


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