Over the last two years, we’ve learned a lot about automating video production. To help you build your business case, we have developed an ROI calculator that compares the time and cost of manual screen recording vs. Videate. The next time you are asked, “why don’t you produce more videos?” or “why are the videos out of date with the latest software release?” you will have the formula to show, “there’s a better way.”
Making Software Videos Easy
When Videate makes videos, we use a combination of automation, AI, and text-to-speech (TTS) technology. You can think of the Videate platform as a team of always available “software robots,” cloud-based resources who can make awesome videos from your scripts and your software. In this article, we will take a look at one of the fastest-growing segments of technology, Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Please don’t confuse RPA with old-style computer-generated voices that sound robotic. To refresh your memory, the latest TTS voices are now performing within 1-2% of human voices according to research from WellSaid Labs.
Many thanks to our great customers for giving us permission to share some samples of their videos generated by Videate. Here is a link to the sampler, which includes snippets of a few videos that will demonstrate just how far we’ve come with our automation in the past year. In this article, we will take a look “behind the scenes” and explain a few of the subtle techniques that will save you time and money.
There was a great paper published last week based on research done by Frost & Sullivan on the “State of Self-Service Content.” Thank you, Megan Gilhooly and the Zoomin Software team for sponsoring this. One of the takeaways was, “Customers don’t have confidence in the content experience.” The research went on to say, “Users state that on average 40% of the time their searches lead them to either irrelevant or out-of-date product content. This does not include content that users may not realize is out of date.” Here is the link to the research paper.
We recently met at the ConVEx conference with Ben Colborn, Director, Technical Publications at Nutanix, in a Candid Conversation session about scaling videos for documentation and training. He started with a discussion about single-sourcing and multi-channel publishing. While very successful for product documentation, for the most part, this has meant, “as long as it is text.” But now, recording videos, capturing screenshots, and even creating slides that can be also used in Customer Education are possible. Below is a quick summary and here is a link to the recording.
The best software companies in the world follow documentation standards that are aligned with their user experience goals. They use simple and consistent terminology. They don’t allow individual writers to invent their own content strategy. This now needs to be done for video as well. Practices that not only align with the user experience but also streamline the software video production process from writing a script to quickly making updates with each release.
We are often asked, “What do you need in addition to documents or scripts before you start producing videos with Videate?” The answer is very straightforward. You need a Dedicated Environment, Prerequisite Instructions, and Sample Data. Whether you record videos manually or use Videate to automatically generate them for you, getting these three things in order is key to success.
One of the greatest challenges of making software videos is updates. Every time there is a new release of your software you have to re-record some or all of your videos to bring them up to date. If you have well-written video scripts that follow a template, Videate can automagically make videos. If not, Videate now allows you to reuse the audio transcripts of your existing videos to quickly make new videos of your latest release.
We just launched our new Videate Chrome Extension that allows you to automatically create UI selectors directly from your application. Think of a selector as a pointer to a specific UI element in your app. Sounds techie and you may ask, “why is this so important?”
Here are the full results from our survey last month about software video production. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped us raise money for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life.
We recently spoke with an expert video producer who makes software videos for one of the leaders in the digital experience market. Without sharing the results in advance, his data validates what we learned, especially the time and cost it takes to produce software videos in the SaaS world.