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Video tutorial best practices

Getting started

This guide will help you complete your tutorial video. The best practices listed will ensure that your tutorial, which represents the Library organization as a whole, is of the highest quality. 

If this is your first video, please contact someone on the video committee, which is Liz Holdsworth, Marlee Givens, Gabe Nagel, and Alison Reynolds. The committee can help you with all parts of the production process, and they can help you choose your workflow.

Guidance can be found on the tabs on the left. Each page covers the basics of a single facet of creating a video tutorial. 

  • Instructional design
  • Writing a script
  • Audio recording
  • Video recording and visuals
  • Aesthetics
  • ADA compliance
  • Training

Essential guidance

  • Peer review is recommended throughout the production process. One or two other people can catch errors, inconsistencies, dubious choices, and more before a video is finished.  
  • The user needs to know a specific thing or be able to accomplish a specific task at the end of the video. Remove any digressions, and if you must include a policy, simplify it.  
  • The user usually drops out after 6 minutes of video. Aim for a three-to-five-minute maximum duration for any tutorial. If your tutorial needs to be longer, chunk it out into a series of videos or timestamp different steps/concepts. Each chunk accomplishes a specific task or goal. 
  • Tell the user what the video is about at the beginning and remind them of what they learned at the end.  
  • It helps to think of what you want the user to accomplish, then design backward from that end goal. 
  • Keep it simple! Manage the cognitive load of the viewer. 
  • Include contact information at the end of the video so the viewer can get further assistance.

Should I make a video?

Describes the decision tree to make a video