Altus Client Conference

 James Faw, VP of Product Innovation and Founding Partner at Altus Dynamics, introduced their new help videos (which KIT developed) during a demonstration of “Upcoming features in Altus Employee Portals (AEP)” at the Altus Dynamics Client Event last Thursday. Our training videos were created to assist end users in the use of the Altus Employee Portal. These videos are accessed through a new help menu developed by Altus Dynamics.

Blair and I were there to watch the demonstration and we were both very pleased by the reaction of the conference participants. There were quite a few questions about the videos, when they would be released, and future video content.

We are also pleased to be working with Altus Dynamics as they are pushing ahead with numerous innovative products. One innovation they are working on is a desktop widget for the Windows 7 and Vista operating system. This widget will give users another tool for accessing information found with the AEP and is a great illustration of the use of technology and innovation to enhance end user functionality.

New Toys

Our new sound recording equipment arrived this week and we’re super pumped.

But why is quality sound recording equipment so important for creating software training videos and why are we excited? Both Blair and I spend a lot of time recording and editing training videos and listening to our own voices. We ask users about our videos looking for feedback to increase the quality and in the beginning many viewers commented on the quality of the audio not the content of the videos. So having sweet recording equipment makes our voices sound really good and at the same time better audio makes better videos.

Think back to the last time you attended a classroom training session and the tone of the instructor’s voice either engaged you in the topic or made you sleepy and disinterested. Video narration has the same effect even on the learners even if most software training videos are less than four minutes in length. On top of the narrator’s voice, background sounds such as pops, vocal ticks, and mouse clicks will pull the learner away from the focus of the video and focus their attention on the background noises.

 Another issue occurs when you have multiple people creating videos with different equipment because this often causes issues when trying to create videos with consistent audio quality and volume. There are ways to correct these audio inconsistences during the editing process but this can take a lot of time and doesn’t always work. We already spend a majority of our editing time dealing with audio so if we can start with a cleaner sound, then we are much further ahead.

 If you’re  working on creating your own videos here are a few tips to create videos with quality video

 When we are creating a new video there are a few things to think about with regards to the audio:

  • What are the background noises? Computer, monitor, printer, mouse clicks, fridge, chair, co-workers, and in downtown Toronto… fire trucks. Work to eliminate these noises by finding quiet places to record
  • Where are you recording? Larger the room the more chance for echo and dilution of the narrator’s voice. Big room… bath tub sound
  • What recording device are you using? Headset devices are often better than desk microphones but even the most inexpensive podcasting equipment is the best and they don’t have to have to cost an arm and a leg to purchase
  • Watch what you say…well more importantly listen to what you say. Learn  your  vocal ticks and pops because some of these will be hard to mask and edit  so by learning them you can decrease them during the recording process.

 With our new equipment we are excited to begin working on our podcasting series. Keep your eyes open for these in the near future.

Altus Dynamics client event this week

Blair will be attending the Altus Dynamics client event this week to show off the new training videos we delivered to Altus last Friday.