Make a video of your manual for better viewer comprehension! Creation procedures and tips
Make a video of your manual for better viewer comprehension! Explanation of creation procedures and tips
Every year, more and more companies are creating manual videos to efficiently provide training and explanations to their employees. However, even if you want to create a manual video, you may have questions such as "I don't know how to make a manual video," or "What are the advantages of creating a manual video?
This article introduces the usage scenarios of manual videos, advantages and disadvantages, creation procedures, and points to note. Please refer to this article if you are considering the introduction of manual videos or are researching how to create them.
Click here for the Table of Contents.
Situations in which manual videos can be used
Advantages of Creating Manual Videos
Disadvantages of Creating Manual Videos
Basic Steps for Creating a Manual Video
Things to Consider When Creating a Manual Video
Improving Comprehension with a Well-Organized Manual Video
Situations where manual videos can be used
Manual videos can be used in a wide range of situations, such as explaining work procedures and internal training. Unlike paper-based media, videos can show actual operations, making them suitable for employee training and job descriptions. Below are some specific situations in which manual videos can be used.
Explanation of work procedures
Preparing manual videos of work procedures has various advantages.
Conventional explanations of work procedures require an instructor to go to the work site to show actual work, which requires time for scheduling, travel to the work site, and response to questions received at a later date. However, with manual videos of work procedures, it is possible to show actual operations on video, making it possible to provide some explanations without having to go to the site.
In particular, explanations given to new employees when they join a company tend to be the same every time, so manual videos that can be created once and used over and over again are very useful. When giving supplementary explanations in person, you can proceed on the assumption that the employee has seen the manual video, which greatly reduces the burden of instruction.
Another advantage is that if there is a change in work procedures, a manual video can be created for each employee, eliminating the need to verbally explain the changes to everyone. In addition, even if the person in charge is not available when an emergency trouble such as a machine breakdown occurs, a manual video that allows the recovery procedure to be confirmed with video can be used to a certain extent only onsite.
Introduction of sales know-how
Manual videos can also be used to share sales know-how within the sales department, from visiting the customer to closing the deal.
By using videos to explain the skills of employees who have achieved excellent results, it is possible to improve the abilities of not only those who are struggling to grow, but also the entire sales department. Preparing videos for different lengths of service and sales levels will help improve skills from career-based training, leading to increased sales for the entire company.
New employee training and employee training
By preparing manual videos tailored to target employees, they can be used for a variety of in-house training programs, such as training for new recruits and skill improvement training.
Manual videos for new employee training can be used flexibly depending on the target audience and purpose, for example, covering basic content such as morals, company rules, business manners, and exchanging business cards for new employees, and instructional methods for younger employees for mid-career employees.
For example, a company that operates a chain of stores can efficiently conduct training for store managers by creating videos of store operation manuals.
It can be said that there is a wide range of uses for manual videos in training.
Product Instruction Manuals
Depending on the product, some instruction manuals may be easier for customers to understand if they are animated. For example, videos of instruction manuals for assembled products can make it easier for customers to visualize the detailed procedures.
Another advantage is that with a paper instruction manual, it is easy to miss small notes, but with a video, they can be included as part of a sequence of operations.
However, when creating a video of an instruction manual, care must be taken with the shooting environment and angles so that the work at hand can be clearly seen.
Benefits of Creating Manual Videos
There are four advantages to creating manual videos
(1) Reduction of training costs
(2) Reduce the burden on customer support staff
(iii) Improved understanding by the viewer
(4) Can be viewed at any location and at any time
The more training sessions are reduced, the more costs can be reduced, making the introduction of manual videos highly worthwhile. Manual videos that can be viewed on a smartphone or PC can be viewed at any location and at any time, so you don't have to stop working for long periods of time.
In addition, videos can be archived for repeated viewing, so they can be watched over and over again to improve the understanding of the target audience.
Advantage 1: Reduction of training costs
By producing training videos, training costs and administrative tasks can be reduced. Training costs include fees for lecturers, venue, printing of materials, and transportation costs for lecturers and employees to and from the venue.
In addition, training using manual videos eliminates the need to print and bind materials and coordinate schedules with instructors, thereby reducing the burden on training staff. Videos can be produced once and viewed repeatedly, making them cost-effective.
Merit 2: Reduced burden on customer support staff
The use of videos in instruction manuals will lead to a reduction in customer inquiries. Explanations that were difficult to understand in paper-based instruction manuals can be conveyed more easily through video.
By reducing the number of inquiries from customers, the time and effort required for the person in charge to explain the details of the inquiry can be reduced. This will reduce the burden on employees in charge of customer support, and will be effective in improving work efficiency.
Advantage 3: Improved viewer understanding
Compared to paper-based media, manual videos can increase the viewer's level of understanding. This is because the use of video images can provide a more concrete image of what was difficult to explain in paper-based media.
Since it is no longer necessary to visualize work procedures from textual information, viewers can deepen their understanding of what is being explained while reducing misunderstandings and misconceptions.
Advantage 4: Can be viewed at any place and at any time
Another advantage of manual videos is that they can be viewed at any place and at any time. By producing manual videos in advance, there is no need to clear one's schedule or travel to a venue for training.
If the manual videos are uploaded to an internal cloud server, they can be viewed from a smartphone or computer during breaks in the workday, so supervisors and senior employees do not have to stop working every time a question is asked.
The advantage is that the videos can be viewed as many times as necessary if there is a point that is unclear or bothersome, making it easier to retain the content of the explanation.
Disadvantages of creating manual videos
While there are many advantages to creating manual videos, the following disadvantages also exist
(i) Cost is high when creating a video
(2) Cannot be easily modified once completed
(iii) Not suitable for complex explanations
(4) Depends on the motivation of each viewer
Although the production of manual videos is costly, in the long run, it will provide sufficient returns through reduced costs related to training.
However, it is important to shoot and edit carefully, keeping in mind that reshoots and re-editing will require additional costs and cannot be easily corrected.
In addition, since the motivation for viewing manual videos differs from person to person, it is necessary to devise ways to maintain motivation so that viewers' understanding does not vary.
Demerit (1): Costly when creating videos
Manual videos are effective in reducing training costs, but the production of videos requires planning, shooting, and editing costs.
Video production requires the use of filming equipment and editing software, so the initial cost of preparing the tools is necessary. In addition, it is difficult to engage in normal business operations while shooting and editing the video, and human resources are reduced for a certain period of time.
When video production is outsourced, production costs of several tens of thousands to several hundred thousand yen per video must be paid.
Thus, whether in-house or outsourced, the disadvantage is that video production requires a certain cost.
Demerit 2) Once completed, it cannot be easily revised.
Another disadvantage is that it is difficult to respond immediately to revisions to manual videos, as they must be edited again using editing software.
While paper-based manuals can be revised by rewriting or adding text, videos require reshooting and re-editing using software. Re-shooting requires time and effort, as it requires hiring personnel and setting up the location again from the beginning.
Even if the video can be edited, it is time-consuming if the editing software is not available, so if there is no one in-house who can use the editing software, you will have to outsource the work, which will require additional outsourcing costs.
Disadvantage 3) Not suitable for complex explanations
Manual videos with complex explanations are not suitable for visualization because they tend to take a long time to watch and it is difficult to keep the viewer's concentration. This is because the more complex the explanation, the more content to be included in the manual.
Even if detailed explanations are provided, there is a possibility that viewers will lose their concentration halfway through, give up on understanding, or not watch the video to the end.
One countermeasure is to create multiple short videos that focus on the subject matter being explained, but the drawback is that this increases production costs.
Demerit 4: Depends on the motivation of each individual viewer
Manual videos are often viewed by individuals, and whether or not they take the videos seriously depends on the motivation of each individual viewer. Because manual videos can be viewed at any time and any place, it is impossible for the administrator to know whether the target audience has watched the video properly.
In some cases, the videos may not be played or may be skipped because "they won't be discovered anyway. Even if a system that allows managers to track viewing status is implemented, some people may not be motivated and simply skip over the videos for now.
If the system continues to rely on the motivation of each individual, there is a possibility that there will be a difference in the level of understanding and proficiency between viewers who are serious about watching the videos and those who are not. It is important to establish a management system, such as a test to check the content of the videos to ensure uniform levels of understanding.
Basic steps to create a manual video
Creating a manual video involves the following five steps
(1) Create a draft of the content and structure of the manual
(2) Gather materials and information
(iii) Prepare a script
(4) Shoot video and record narration
(5) Edit the video
It is not enough to simply shoot a video, but it is necessary to make thorough preparations in order to create a video that properly conveys what you want to say.
First, clarify the purpose of the video and gather the necessary information. Next, a script is created based on the information gathered, and the video is generally created through the process of shooting and editing. Each step is explained in detail below.
Step 1: Create a draft of the content and structure of the manual
First, consider the purpose of creating the manual video, decide on the matters to be explained, and create a draft composition. At the stage of creating a composition plan, it is important to clarify what you want to convey and what you want to communicate.
Considering who the video is aimed at and the level of knowledge and experience of the audience will make it easier to envision the content and explanations to be included. At this time, it is important to extract the parts that most people tend to stumble upon and the matters that you think need explanation.
Once you have decided on the content, estimate how long the video will be and calculate the approximate viewing time, which should be 5-10 minutes.
Step 2: Gather materials and information
Once the proposed structure is finalized, gather the materials and information necessary to create the video. You will be able to gather them efficiently by making a list in advance.
If you have a concrete image of what information is needed according to the proposed structure, it will be easier to make a list, and you will be less likely to omit anything.
If it is difficult to visualize what information is necessary even after looking at the proposed structure, go back to step (1) again to flesh out the proposed structure. If the image of the completed manual video is still vague, the amount of materials and information to be gathered may become too large, and it may take time to sort through the information, or you may end up with a video that does not capture the main points.
Step 3: Creating a script
The script has a significant impact on the quality of the video, so be sure to create one. As you create the script, the image of the shoot will become clearer, and you will be able to notice any missing content or materials before the shoot.
If you realize something is missing after the shooting has begun, it could result in a waste of time for those involved in the video production. To avoid the time and expense of additional reshoots and re-editing if you notice omissions after filming, prepare the script as text or storyboards.
Ideally, the script should include the lines of narration and information on materials and images to be inserted, so that the viewer can visualize the finished video as long as he or she sees the script. A script that clearly describes the lines and progression of the video will ensure that nothing is left out and that filming will go smoothly.
It is important to have other members of the team read the completed script to check that the content can be conveyed objectively and easily.
Step 4: Shooting the video and recording the narration
Once the filming is ready, the actual shooting of the video and recording of the narration are done. The schedules of the people involved in the filming should be coordinated in advance, and the date of the filming should be decided.
Once the shooting date is set, it is important to hand over the script to the narrator as soon as possible. The narrator is responsible for explaining and facilitating the video, so he or she must not only understand the content of the script, but must also be able to read the lines smoothly.
Make it a priority to give them the script when it is completed so that they can practice to ensure that the content is understood by the viewers before the day of the shoot.
When shooting, make sure that the background does not show anything unnecessary and set the lighting in a position where shadows will not interfere. If shooting indoors, although there is indoor lighting, it is recommended to prepare lighting equipment and reflectors to make the reflection as good as possible.
When shooting, take pictures from as many angles as possible so that you can select the shots that are easier to see later. In particular, when photographing the hand, it is recommended to take both a close-up of the hand and a pull-back shot that shows the entire image.
Also, to avoid having to reshoot from the beginning due to problems during shooting, try to keep the cuts short.
When recording audio, it is also necessary to take a trial shot beforehand to check how much ambient noise will be included. In some cases, especially when shooting in a factory or outdoors, it may be necessary to take separate shots of the audio because loud noises may be included.
Step 5: Edit the video
After filming is complete, it is time to edit the video. First, cut unnecessary scenes. The cut material may be used later, so do not delete it immediately but keep it.
Once you have extracted only the necessary portions, insert subtitles and tickers into the video. Once the video has been edited in one step, check to see if it is a video that can be watched without getting bored until the end.
When editing the video, have someone other than the person in charge of editing watch the video several times to prevent major revisions after completion.
An objective view from multiple people will make it easier to find areas for improvement that could not be noticed by one person.
The most important thing to keep in mind when creating a manual video is to make it easy for the viewer to understand. To create videos that are more easily understood, it is important to prepare videos for each theme, focus on key points and emphasize them with tickers, and otherwise try to edit the videos in a way that helps viewers understand them.
Things to keep in mind when creating manual videos
When creating a manual video, it is important to put the viewer first and make the content easy to understand.
To create videos that are easier to understand, it is necessary to organize information in an easy-to-understand manner, such as by preparing videos by theme or focusing on key points and highlighting them with a ticker.
Focus on one theme per manual video.
To avoid confusing the viewer, be conscious of dealing with one theme per manual video.
If you deal with multiple topics at once, viewers will switch from one topic to another without fully understanding the content of the video, which may result in an overall decline in understanding of the matter being explained.
Also, even if you want to check the parts you do not fully understand during your work, you may have a hard time finding the part you want to watch if the video is long enough to include multiple topics. If there are multiple topics to be covered, creating a short video for each topic will make it easier for viewers to understand what is being explained and to quickly find the topic they want to see.
Add a ticker or animation
When editing your video, use tickers and animations at important points to convey to the viewers at least the points you want them to understand.
The trick is to keep the text large and the number of words small. The more the number of messages, the more words will be buried and the less emphasis will be placed on the message.
Don't use all the narrator's commentary as a ticker, but rather narrow down the lines. If you insert a lot of text, the viewer will struggle to read the text and will not be able to concentrate on the video.
Another good idea is to incorporate animation to draw the viewer's attention to the parts of the video that you want them to pay attention to. Adding animation effects as needed will help prevent the viewer from missing some important but unnoticeable parts of the video.
Consider using paper documents in conjunction if necessary.
When explaining the overall picture of a job or work procedures that are difficult to convey in a video, it is a good idea to use paper documents in conjunction with the video.
While videos can increase understanding visually through images, paper documents are a highly comprehensive medium that allows multiple items to be viewed at a glance. If you show which part of the paper document corresponds to the part you are explaining in the video, it will be easier to get a concrete image.
Also, a list such as "list of tools to be used" may make you want to stop the video and take notes. By preparing the list as a paper document, you will be able to concentrate on watching the video because you will not have to stop the video once and take notes.
Improved comprehension with information-organized manual videos
Creating manual videos has many advantages, especially in reducing training costs and improving learning efficiency. The key to creating manual videos is to clarify what you want to convey and organize the information in a way that is easy to understand.
By preparing separate videos for each theme or unit, or by using tickers to emphasize the information, you can increase the viewer's understanding. One disadvantage of manual videos is that it is difficult for the administrator to check the viewer's level of understanding.
LearningBOX, which makes it easy to introduce e-learning, makes it possible to easily create questions to check the issues explained in the manual videos, making it possible to grasp the level of understanding of the target audience. The plan is available for free for up to 10 accounts and for 33,000 yen for up to 100 accounts, allowing you to create a wide variety of content, including manual videos.
If you are interested in using manual videos to efficiently conduct training, please try the free plan first.