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April 26, 2010

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Have the print tutorials been jettisoned in favor of these videos?

Good question. Ill check with the right people or have them answer here.

Based on results from the 2009 Customer Satisfaction Survey and management direction, we are not continuing to develop the written tutorials. These video tutorials are designed to introduce the new user to Revit. Additional videos will be developed and posted throughout the year.

As Lisa stated above we have moved away from the written tutorials to focus our efforts on video tutorials. We will be creating additional videos moving forward. If there are any subjects you might like to see covered in this format please let us know. Also please let us know how we can make these videos into a good resource for your needs. Feel free to e-mail me directly with suggestions/comments or post them here.

That is a grave disappointment. According to my copy of the survey results, preference for video tutorials / documentation was generally only about 1/3 of the responses. The other possible responses were not mutually exclusive (ie text based tutorials could also be pdf's that could be printed, and still be heavily pictorial and require user interaction with the product. Thus the other 2/3 could be satisfied with good, written tutorials.

Video, on the other hand, is passive (does not require user interaction), is difficult to refer back to, and is at present, woefully inadequate. Twenty-three minutes of low resolution flash video, 15% of which is Autodesk branding fade in and out, barely scratches Revit's surface. Little context is provided by the 90-second format; new users need a lot more to get them started. The fifteen videos currently extant will certainly not give a new user enough information to begin to use Revit effectively.

Pointing the user at the User Guide isn't viable either, as each section quickly gets bogged down enumerating every possibility of every dialog box and parameter, without describing why or when to use most of them. It's passable as a reference manul, but a poor way to learn any given facet of Revit.

I really am disappointed here. Is the layered approach of the 3D Studio team, which uses multiple means to appeal to many skill levels, really so difficult to achieve? They manage to do much better videos, and provide tutorials for users to work through, among other materials: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=11002009&linkID=10381717

Third parties to the rescue?

Very short sighted have you ever tried watching video tutorials in the bath which is where I do much of my background reading!
No seriously PDF's are needed as well, there was nothing in the Customer Satisfaction Survey Results, to justify yet another poorly considered "management direction"

bath..no problem.  My netbook is so portable its breaking down traditional barriers as to where I can compute.  They should sell a foam raft accessory.  I also had an idea about modifying a harmonica harness so I can walk around with it in front of me at the ready.

Seriously though I know the user assistance team appreciates this feedback.

You guys think it's bad that they're eliminating tutorials- wait until Autodesk has you writing the help yourself:

http://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/wiki/

That's right- this is where the horribly slow "Web Help" is leading us- Autodesk want us to write the hep for them.

Let's call it "crowdsourcing"- make the user do themselves what Autodesk should be doing.

http://insidethefactory.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/04/sourcing-the-crowd-for-a-better-wheres-my-command-tool.html

Every year, we get less and less for our subscription $$.

The blog article very surprised to me! Your writing is good. In this I learned a lot! Thank you

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