Instructions for Creating a Del.icio.us Portfolio
I'm testing out a new software package, ScreenSteps, which lets me create visual, step-by-step user guides and lessons. I used it to develop some simple instructions for creating a del.icio.us portfolio, a follow-up to my earlier post.
It took me about 20 minutes to create after downloading the Screensteps software, which I get to test for 15 days. I have to say that it made the process pretty simple and easy, although, of course, the THINKING process required to pull together instructions isn't always simple and easy. I particularly liked the ability to easily identify steps in a process.
I'm not sure how this works as a stand-alone. I'm inclined to think that some people would prefer a screencast with ScreenSteps as a back-up, at least for something like this. For simpler tasks, this would probably work well on its own. Let me know what you think.
Thank you, Michele
I came a little too late to start applying these very useful instructions today, as I've been invited to join Carla Arena's study group at Diigo and spent my evening there.
Only tonight I'm realizing both the complexity and the usefulness of social bookmarking sites.
I used to just tag sites and to "throw" them to delicious or to diigo, randomly; now I began to see how many different features we can explore as a precious help not only for our personal work but also for the work of those with whom we share our bookmarks.
As for your "savable" pd f lesson with Screen Steps, I will apply it later, to create a delicious portfolio.
Thank you again for making this task look so logical and attractive.
Posted by: inpi | June 20, 2008 at 06:05 PM
I like the good-looking, clean and clear pdf format that you've created. PDFs can be quickly saved, mailed as attachments and annotated, so a good, flexible choice for instructional materials like this.
I watched a couple of Screenflow (Mac; $) 'how to' videos earlier in the week, and enjoyed that approach also i.e., video + 'live' explanation.
PS Who would have thought it eh? Del.icio.us as the basis for a portfolio. Great lateral thinking!
Posted by: Kate Foy | June 20, 2008 at 06:24 PM
I use SnagIT for all my screenshoots. Screenshots vs Screencasts gets back to the technical skills of the person who needs instructing. I've found that people with lower technical skills need the screenshots and can't cope with the multitasking of screencasts. Screencasts appeal to the tech savvy -- less words and can just go for it.
There is no simple answer -- depends on your audience. And to make it worse I know some people who dislike how to posts. You can't win them all :)
Posted by: Sue Waters | June 20, 2008 at 08:12 PM
Hi Michele, I like the format for ScreenSteps. Can the images be embedded in a post, or do they have to be saved as a pdf? Unlike Kate, I'm not crazy about downloading pdfs and prefer having the info available on the webpage.
With regards to what Sue said, I prefer screen shots to screencasts as I can quickly scan the information and easily refer back to the steps I need.
Right now I've been using del.icio.us the way Ines described; tagging sites and throwing them into del.icio.us randomly. I've definitely got to look at how to get the most out of social bookmarking, and your post is a start for me, thanks!
Posted by: Claire Thompson | June 21, 2008 at 10:28 AM
working on the principle that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery I have created my own portfolio on del.icio.us
Thank you for the idea.
I guess in terms of screencasts vs screen shots, and apart from personal preference re 'reading' information, it also depends on the efficacy of the medium. I've waded through screens full of shots full of highlighted 'instructions' and just get confused. The eye can only take in so much. Good design rules.
Posted by: Kate Foy | June 21, 2008 at 09:13 PM
@Sue--Agreed that screencasts alone can be too overwhelming for less tech-savvy people. I would definitely want to include written instructions along with a screencast.
@Claire--you can embed the screensteps directly into a web page, but from what I can see, to do that you need to have an account with ScreenSteps Live. I have to play around with it a little more to see if this is the case though.
@Kate--glad you like the idea--will you be sharing your portfolio? :-)
Posted by: Michele Martin | June 23, 2008 at 05:41 AM
Hi- I am one of the developers of ScreenSteps and just wanted to let you know that in version 2.1 you can upload directly to your TypePad blog - no ScreenSteps Live account required. It is still in beta but should be released sometime this week.
Posted by: Greg DeVore | June 23, 2008 at 01:33 PM
re Claire's comment on pdfs: the PDF Downlaod add-on for Firefox lets you open a pdf as html.
Posted by: tom | July 17, 2008 at 03:00 AM
@tom, thanks for the info!
Posted by: Claire Thompson | September 22, 2008 at 11:50 PM