This project is a narrated screencast that introduces basic skills for Microsoft Excel 2019 software. Viewers are guided to organize a loose dataset of sales figures for easier interpretation, and apply functions to produce analytical insights.
Audience: Spreadsheets novices who wish to improve their skills and efficiency
Responsibilities: Instructional design, scriptwriting, recording, editing, graphic design
Tools Used: Camtasia Studio, Figma, Affinity Designer, Audacity
Problem and Solution
Being able to produce spreadsheets is an assumed skill in most modern offices, and those who can't often struggle to obtain employment. To simplify learning for those not in need of comprehensive knowledge, this tutorial series focuses on one real-world task at a time, bringing skills into play intuitively while also building understanding of their practical applications.
Ideation of this video was largely informed by Richard Mayer's principles for effective multimedia learning. This includes emphasizing visuals over text, narrating in a more conversational manner, and highlighting significant onscreen details.
After defining the objective and target length of the video, I wrote an outline to establish all key points. This was then developed into dialogue using language suited for the target audience. I recorded a narration dry run to better gauge the length, and then made revisions to bring it closer to my target.
Using Figma and Affinity Designer, I created the visual content to be shown whenever a screencast is not being displayed.
To ready the script for the screencast, I split the copy into sections and added images to represent what will appear on screen. I also noted visuals and sounds to be used.
Recording and Editing
Audio was recorded and edited with Audacity and screen activity with Camtasia Recorder, and then all contents edited for production in Camtasia Studio. I added graphics, effects and animations as visual aids, and optional closed captions.
While the script and storyboard paved a (mostly) smooth path for recording, I fumbled with an unwieldy project in the editing phase, and wound up stopping to revise my approach. Because the raw screencast had some rather undynamic stretches, I also added several unplanned animations to create action and engagement.
So what lesson did I learn? There’s no such thing as being too prepared! It’s important to take editing needs into account during planning, and also to look past the technical framework to anticipate the ‘feel’ of the video.