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Tuesday May 31, 2011

Need to sneeze? Pause your recording, don’t start over

When you first begin to use the screen recorder inside KeyStone OnDemand, it looks like there is no option to pause a recording already in progress. You can see the note that to finish a recording, you should press ALT+R, but how do you pause one in the middle?


That’s simple…ALT+P.

 

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Tuesday May 10, 2011

Remember to customize your listed portal links

Across the top of your KeyStone OnDemand customized home page is a link to each user’s personal Quicklist. Next to the Quicklist is some free space that we’d like to invite you to take advantage of.

You see, that space is a placeholder for up to three custom web links. Call it the Admin’s Choice Area.

You can modify which links your users see from the Admin Dashboard by clicking the Settings tab and choosing General Settings.


In the area under Links, add your link text next to title and the full web address of the link (yep – including http://) in the URL field.

When you save the settings, users will see your newly added links in the Admin’s Choice Area near the top of the window.

This is a great area to direct users to upgrade pages, further support options, your company newsletter or any other information that would benefit your user base.

This is just one way KeyStone OnDemand puts the control back into the hands of our Admins.

 

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Thursday May 05, 2011

Quick Search isn’t just for users; it’s for admins, too

You’ve seen Quick Search all over the KeyStone OnDemand site. At least, we hope you have. It’s the best thing to locate the exact content you need when you need it.

But, as an Admin, have you noticed that there is Quick Search sprinkled throughout your Admin Dashboard, too?


Sometimes it looks a little like this:

And, other times, it looks a little like this:

So, stop tiring out your eyes and let KeyStone OnDemand do the searching for you.

 

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Sunday May 01, 2011

Top 5 Tips to Creating Successful Video Recordings

The key to creating screencasts that users will want to watch is preparation. Sounds boring, we know. But, after nearly 20 years of creating our own on demand training, we’ve learned a thing or two about making screencasts.

Here’s our Top 5 Tips to Creating Successful Screencast Creation:


1. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Overall, how much and how often you practice will be the key to creating professional videos. It takes practice to learn how to correctly move the cursor or open applications so they appear in the recording area. You will need to practice to get the positioning of browser windows and other applications just right.

This often means you’ll need to perform several “takes,” replaying them to see ways you can continue to improve.

Just be patient. Your first few videos often take much longer than you anticipate. But, once you hit your groove, you’ll be knocking out videos fairly quickly.

2. Clean up your Desktop.

Screen recording applications record anything on your screen. To ensure you get the best looking videos, clean up your browser and desktop by closing or removing all nonessential applications, browser toolbars, and desktop icons. Also, a plain background on your desktop is better than a busy wallpaper image. Keep in mind that a cluttered work space can draw attention away from what you are actually trying to show.

If your video does not include pop-up windows, make sure they are turned off by using a pop-up blocker or the browser’s built-in pop-up blocker.

3. Write it before you record it.

A well-thought out script helps define what should be happening on the screen, and helps avoid any unnecessary tangents or extra information.

Think through the actions, in detail, that you want to capture, and then write them down in sequential steps making sure that the script accurately reflects what’s currently happening on the screen. The script should also contain the exact words that you will record. Avoid using repetitive statements or words and avoid long pauses or hesitations in the narration.

A good way to start your script is to include an overview of the recording in the first line or two of the script. Explain the purpose of the recording and what you plan to show the viewer.

Then, just before you record, print the script in large type to make it easy to read while recording.

4. Talk to just one person.

When speaking, talk as though you were speaking with someone on the telephone. Keep your tone conversational. If you can picture just one person in your mind as you talk, your video will sound much less forced. Since your videos will likely be viewed by one person at a time, it makes sense to record them as though you were only talking to one person.

5. Pause, then click.

Normal mouse and cursor movements can appear jerky, hesitant, or too fast in the recording. To eliminate some of these problems, practice using the mouse around the screen in a slow, fluid motion.

Also, when showing cursor movement, pause a fraction of a second over the element, and then click. This will allow cursor position to be established in the video before the next action takes place.

There you have it – our 5 Tips for creating successful screencasts.

 

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