I love discovering new cool WordPress plugins / solutions and I love it even more if the developer has taken the effort to create a demo video of the plugin in action.
Demo videos showing something in the WordPress Dashboard and there's updates and notices there?
I have an opinion about that.
— Remkus de Vries (@DeFries) July 8, 2016
So, let’s address that. What is my opinion about that? I think it comes across unprofessional and sloppy. There, I said it.
Now, it’s very easy to criticize something, but it takes effort to actually come up with a solution. Or rather, in this case, steps to take to prevent sloppy demo videos. On that note, I’d like to share with you the steps that I take before I start recoding a demo.
Demo preparation steps
- Close all non related apps
- If possible, use a dedicated Demo Desktop screen (in Mac OS X for example) or create an actual separate demo account.
- Kill all notifications.
- Set up a fresh demo installation (on your local dev with DesktopServer for instance) with domain name that reflects the purpose.
- Update all the things. WordPress, plugins, themes and translations. Yes, all the things.
- Clear all notices in the Dashboard. Perhaps even use a clever way to hide and combine all those notices, but that’s a different subject 😉
- Hide the toolbar, bookmarks in your browser
- Hide all the browser extensions and plugins
- Make sure you have a fitting desktop wallpaper if you have the possibility it might be shown when clicking around
That’s my demo preparation checklist. Obviously there are some things to consider when actually recording as well:
- Use a storyboard if it’s a long demo with lots of steps
- Do a proper introduction starting at the beginning
- Explain your steps while you’re doing them. Don’t assume the audience knows why you click somewhere
- Get a proper microphone that records something that’s actually similar to your voice
- Do a proper recap
So there you have it. Problem and solution. I’m sure there tons of smart stuff you guys do as well when creating demo videos and I’d love for you to share them in the comments!