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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » What is it with instruction videos vs. manuals? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

George Ledo
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I've had a heck of a time recently finding online instruction manuals for things like a drafting program, a 3D design program, and even my cell phone. Everything seems to be videos nowadays - the other night I was trying to find out how to do something simple in a new drafting program I'm trying out, and all I found was unbelievably dumbed-down five-or-six-minute videos on stuff we used to learn in a page or so back in the old days. Same thing happened tonight with another program: lots of videos on simple tasks, but the manual -- if it existed -- was buried six miles down.

I can understand companies not wanting to spend money on printed manuals nowadays, but why do they give up manuals for videos? Is it because they think their customers want these silly videos, or because they can't find people to write manuals, or does every tech jock want to get into show biz? Why would someone want to spend hours going thru five-minute videos when all they want is to learn how to do something that can be learned in half an hour in a book? Or is it just a new business practice of letting third-party companies produce books and sell them?

Geez, I'm sounding like Andy Rooney here.

I'm sure it's a generational thing, but man, it's irritating.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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tommy
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Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
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Hmm I have never had a problem finding manuals. There was a company who I used get manuals from, who were set up just to provide manuals for all sorts of things, like electrical goods, but I don't know about software.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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I've experienced the same sort of thing with a new Android phone I bought. The only paper inclusion had a few basics, like showing where the charging port and the on/off button was. If I actually wanted to use the .damn thing, I had to look online for some tutorial video, most of which manage to side step the specific things I want to do. I've learned some of the features by going back to the Verizon store, or by stumbling on the correct method by sheer accident.

I have the same beef with FAQ's, which always seem to cover everything except what I need to ask about. Phone calls to customer service are often useless because the outsourced tech support reps can barely speak English and the accent is so heavy that I usually just hang up on them.

But the worst of all are community boards, where all you manage to find are other people asking questions, and lots of speculation about answers to problems, but no real proven solutions.
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The Magic Company
foreva.infiniti
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I had dream Andy Rooney died a few days ago. I wonder what that was about.
Colors are Foreva. Numbers are Infinite. 4 every number there's a color. HEY! Eternity! Lets smoke a beer and drink some loud. But wait! I heard you was a six a plus a 6 ahhhh.
gdw
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I usually don't have much trouble finding videos explaining what I'm looking for, and they are usually much clearer than manuals as I can see exactly where to go, and what to click.

Are you looking at only "official" videos? Because there are tonnes of user made videos which show you how to do almost anything with any program, or any device.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Woland
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The picture-only instruction "manuals" that now come with many products that are distributed worldwide often seem like inscrutable hieroglyphics to me. Dyson is a major offender.
George Ledo
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SF Bay Area
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Quote:
On 2013-07-18 09:19, gdw wrote:
Are you looking at only "official" videos? Because there are tonnes of user made videos which show you how to do almost anything with any program, or any device.

I've noticed that my biggest issue is just the time it takes to find the stuff, and, with videos, having to sit there while the guy rambles on, or fast-forwarding -- only to find he doesn't cover what I'm looking for. Back in the old days, they gave you a book: you need something, you find it and get back to work. Yep, I guess for me it's a time thing.

Maybe it'll become my old-fart mantra: "Don't waste my time, sonny. Maybe you have a lot if it on your hands, but I don't." Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
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