December 03, 2021
By Brad Schmidt, Technical Support Specialist
MyBooks is the online tool for Book Division that provides an interface for our customers to access information regarding their book projects. This tool provides information such as quotes, invoices, and job status. Along with this there are tools that allow for uploading files, downloading templates and viewing proofs. These are all accessible using a web browser. Within the original MyBooks tools, there was an extensive help document that described in fine detail the various tools and functions of the website. This help document was almost a book unto itself.
In 2016, MyBooks was re-designed and prepared for its official launch in February 2017. The goal of the project was to update the tools to use current internet technologies and streamline the tools making them much easier to use. We found that customers were reluctant to read a full MyBooks help manual just to use an online tool. With a focus on simple design, the hope was that MyBooks would be so intuitive and easy to use that a help document would be unnecessary.
This year, the Marketing Department set up the goal of creating customer video training. As part of this process, it was identified that the MyBooks website would benefit from video training. These videos were to promote the adoption of MyBooks and improve the customer’s experience when using an unfamiliar tool in MyBooks.
Recording the video for the MyBooks training topics required a bit of knowledge and experience. Having never made help videos before, I reached out to one of our Customer Project Specialists in the Yearbook Division. It had come to my attention that he had experience creating training videos for our Yearbook customers. He shared his experience on how to prepare the videos and included some great tips on how to do the voice portion of the video. It was important to keep the videos under five minutes to keep the viewer engaged.
To begin, I prepared an outline for the various MyBooks topics I intended to cover. Putting together my first few videos was a learning experience. For example, I discovered that disabling my phone was critical. Having the phone notification interrupt my recording session taught me this lesson the hard way. I had to really concentrate and not lose focus when a recording was going well. One slipup or word bungle and I had to redo the recording process. It was encouraging each time I completed a successful run-through of a training video.
After several sessions, I was able to prepare ten videos covering various topics on how to use the tools in MyBooks. I handed these basic videos off to the Marketing Department and they arranged to have the final touches added, such as a proper splash screen highlighting the specific topic. It was great to see the finished product and how it would be integrated into the MyBooks help experience.