Did you know internet users consume 206 videos per month, on an average? Youtube registers nearly 300 videos every minute! Research shows 80 percent agree video messages are more powerful than text. So why do users love video so much? More importantly, will video manual replace the text user manuals? Let’s look into some science-backed reasons to show you why video is the next user manual.
Technical user manuals confuse most people. Those who dislike reading prefer their hand in a fire than reading through a complex and difficult user manual. However, text manuals have their advantages, too. They serve as literature for products and services. Printed manuals are accessible anytime, without the internet and preferred by people who like reading. Plus, tutorials for coding are best viewed in the written form. Still, creating a text document is time-consuming and if users refuse to read your user manual or find it difficult or learn anything from it, then a text manual is a complete waste of your time and resources.
Reasons users don’t read the printed user manual
- It has the Wrong Format – If technical writers follow only the manufacturer’s instructions, without considering how the users want it, then there is a mismatch of expectations.
- It’s SO Boring – If the technical writer uses many jargons, then for the product user the user manual will be useless, rather than of help.
- Complex & Difficult to understand – Your great design team and writers put a lot of efforts into your printed user manual. If it is difficult to understand for product users, then they don’t value it and may end up calling customer support for help rather than using the text manual.
Video guides help people learn about the products and services faster and retain the information better.
The Science Behind Video Vs. Text
Mayer’s multimedia learning theory talks about how people best understand concepts. It is when both their visual and audio channels match their previous knowledge. With a text manual, only one channel is stimulated i.e. the visual. With videos, the narration is the audio channel, and the visual is well the video. This is one of the strong science-backed reasons video tutorials are more effective than text manuals. Here are other reasons:
Our brain processes visual 60,000X faster than text!
Right from the caveman days, man has always been a visual creature. Reading comparatively is a more recent development. So, no matter how complex your product or service may be, a video tutorial can help explain it to many people, anywhere.
Video let you emotionally connect with your audience
People make an intellectual connection with text. With video storytelling, you can make an emotional connection with your audience. The message about your product or service can then go deeper and connect with your audience on a gut level, making it more effective than a text manual.
Engage your audience on a personal level
Man is built to read faces. We like looking at people and establish trust with eye contact. When a person talks to you face to face the message is sent at a greater impact than if you were to read it. With video user manuals, you can replicate this with thousands of people at once.
Why video tutorials are more useful to Users
- Learn quicker visually – demonstrate how-to
- Web-based manuals are easy to update
- Address specific problem
- Available online regardless of user location
- Retrieved easily using keywords
- Do not take up space
- Not damaged easily
- Easier to follow as you go
A video tutorial will let new user visualize the content, follow the steps and do it in parallel. An intermediate or advanced user may not sit through a whole video though. Such users may prefer to scan text to find a specific section they are looking for. If a short video on key concepts are available to these users, then they are encouraged to use it too.
If you are in the business of marketing, selling, you want to align audience to your vision or just want to connect with people, video helps you do that and much more.