Productivity software

Create Engaging Tutorials in a Snap with Snapguide

Part of running a business smoothly is to have simple processes that users can easily learn and repeat. Whether it’s a process for filing an expense report, or logging a customer complaint, or writing a blog post, there are processes in every business that need to be shared with others so everyone is on the same page and handles tasks consistently. Snapguide makes it easy to create engaging step-by-step tutorials.

The problem in many cases is effectively conveying the information and teaching users how to properly follow the processes. The United States Air Force has a documented procedure called a Technical Order (TO) for just about everything from tying your shoes, to launching a missile--I managed the TOs for awhile in my shop when I was stationed in New Mexico. The thing is, although everything is documented in detail, it is often too much detail, and it’s presented in a boring manner.

You can drag and drop steps to change the order in the Editor tab.
Many people learn better from images and seeing how something is done rather than reading about how it should be done. What would be nice is something more engaging and visually appealing than just black text printed on a white background. A guide that includes pictures of the actual steps of the tasks so users can see that the results they’re getting match the results they’re supposed to be getting is very helpful.

Well, if you want to create more compelling tutorials to teach your users how to perform certain tasks or functions, you might want to check out Snapguide. This iPhone app makes it simple to create stunning step-by-step guides using photos, text, and even videos.

You begin by tapping the “Create” icon at the bottom of the app, and supplying a title for your tutorial. Snapguide starts with “How to” by default, and suggests common types of guides like “How to cook…” or “How to fix…”. You can add any word you like after “How to”, though.

On the Editor page of the app, you can start with a supplies list to spell out any items the user might need to complete the steps of the tutorial. Then, just tap the “Add + Step” button at the bottom. Snapguide lets you choose between adding photos, videos, or text.

You can take as many photos or videos as you wish. After you have all of the steps added, you can easily reorder them by simply dragging and dropping them into the proper sequence. You can add captions to your photos or videos, and you can delete any photos or videos that didn’t turn out the way you wanted.

Give your guide a cover photo, tap "Publish", and you're all set.
Once the steps are complete, you can assign the cover photo image that users will see when they’re exploring Snapguide or searching for your tutorial, and then tap Publish. Voila! Your how-to guide is live.

While Snapguide is a great tool that you can use to create stunning step-by-step guides for your users, there is one caveat to keep in mind. The tutorials you create with Snapguide are public—they can be accessed and viewed by anyone from the Snapguide site or the Snapguide app.

It would be nice if Snapguide provided some controls to let you choose who can see your guides. Snapguide could also use a better search function—or any search function. You can follow other users a’ la Pinterest, and you can explore the available guides, but there is no function on the site or the app to let you search by keyword to find guides relevant to what you’re looking for.

Nevertheless, I created my own Snapguide tutorial called How to Use a Geek Magic 8 Ball. The whole thing took about eight minutes, and it looks pretty snazzy (if I do say so myself). It can be accessed and viewed from the iPhone app, or the Snapguide site. Imagine what you could do with a little time and effort.

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