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Screen Recordings Dos and Don’ts
Screen Recordings – an underestimated and cost-effective solution for any video production in the technology or education sector. No matter if it is an app promotion, platform explainer or web product training video, a screen recording will provide useful visual support to the viewer.
It’s also a very efficient tool to use since screen recordings can be easily integrated into any video. They are compatible with animations as well as with live action videos.
However, don’t be tempted to forget your audience’s desire to see something that entertains as well as educates. A stuffy, boring screen recording will lose your viewer’s attention and the recall of the information will be low, unless you remember a few basic rules to ensure they retain the information for use later down the line.
How to avoid boring Screen Recordings – Screen Recordings Dos and Don’ts
Screen Recordings – Dos
Do Consider the audience and what they want to see. Don’t just list what you want them to learn, think about the information delivery from the audience’s point of view. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how they might have come across the video, what information they already know about your software product, what they really need to know in order to progress with their learning.
Define Goals: As usual, it all starts with goal setting. Make sure that you define the learning outcomes for the audience and create content that works towards those learning outcomes.
Spend time researching other screen recorded videos for inspiration. Do they do anything interesting stylistically that you can reference?
Find the right pacing: When capturing screen, keep in mind that your audience may not be familiar with your product. Therefore, it is essential to have the right pacing. If you click around too fast, the audience will not be able to follow the process, while when done too slowly, the viewer might get bored and drift away.
Give breaks: To make sure your audience has enough time to retain information, it can be helpful to give them little breaks by inserting suitable animated graphics between the screen grabs.
Direct the viewer: To ensure that all key points are emphasised, draw the viewer’s attention to the important parts of the screen by highlighting, zooming in, or underlining the necessary piece of information.
Provide audio support: Using a voiceover is a proven method to help your audience to retain the visually received information. A voiceover artist would also give your video an additional layer of humanity. When choosing a voiceover artist, make sure the voice is engaging and easy to understand – free of any location-specific accents. Furthermore, keep in mind that every piece of information that receives a visual highlighting, needs to be mentioned by in the supporting audio. If you have a video series covering different sectors, think about using distinguishing different voices, to ensure a memorable differentiation between the segments.
Use on-screen text: When it comes to technology, there is often a load of technical information that needs to be processed in a short period of time. To process this information, it is advisable to let the audience to receive the information through different communication channels: verbally and visually by supporting on-screen texts. Subtitles can additionally help the viewer to retain the information – just make sure that they can be switched off if the viewer feels distracted.
Screen Recordings – Don’ts
Don’t overcomplicate the script: Before starting to work on the video, make sure the script has a clear outline, is easy to follow and covers all key learning outcomes. If you think that you put too much information into one short video, consider making it a video series in which you could go into technical details of different features of your product.
Don’t move your mouse: Refrain from unnecessary mouse movements, they tend to get distracting and the viewer gets confused where to watch. Your mouse clicks and movements direct the viewer’s eyes on the screen, use it to bring across the key features of your product or website. To reinforce this effect, you could increase the size of the cursor in post-production to make it visually easy to follow. For the same purpose, you might also consider adding a small animation to appear on the pointer with every mouse click.
Example: Screen Recordings Integrated into an Animation Video
Here’s an example of how we integrated screen recordings into an animated explainer video for Build Aviator.
We hope you found this Screen Recordings Dos and Don’ts list helpful! When done right, screen recording is a great and cost-efficient tool to illustrate your product or service. Screen captions got brilliantly together with animation but can also be easily embedded into a live-action video – by either using stock footage or previously shot video material. Keep it fresh, simple and concise and you’ll have a successful explainer video.
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