Screencasting gains momentum…
Screencasting isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been in use for several years, actually. Jon Udell of O’Reilly Media has a good rundown on the concept from a couple of years ago. But I seem to be seeing more and more of the application in use on Web sites as a quick way to show a user/audience how a software tool or a Web site works.
Basically, the idea is to show a mirror image of a software concept or tool while the demonstrator narrates his/her actions. Check out this screencast demo from 37 Signals showing how one of their software tools works. It’s a great alternative to simply creating a laundry list of bullet points and calling it a ‘feature list.’ Both tools have their use, but I love the simplicity of the screencast application. I got a kick out of Josh Hallett’s screencast showing his frustration with finding information on a Web site. This example shows that screencasting isn’t just for software demonstrations. The concept can be used to communicate in a way that words and pictures alone can’t do.
There are lots of tools available to produce screencasts. It’s worth considering when you have a communication objective that fits.