Tips on ScreenCam Production

Just got off the phone with Jay Simons from Atlassian, an Australian software company specializing in collaboration and development tool like Jira, Confluence and FishEye. Atlassian uses screencam videos to illustrate new features and quick training tips, and produces the screencams with Telestream ScreenFlow.

I was chatting about Atlassian’s choice of Episodic as their Online Video Platform (OVP) for an article I’m writing for AV Technology, and Jay mentioned that the analytics that Episodic provided – like drop off statistics, how and when people rewind, how many people embed and forward the videos – gave them great insight into how to produce screencams that their customers (and prospects) liked to watch. Here’s a short list:

  • Limit screencams to 90 seconds, which typically means one topic.
  • Don’t waste time with introductions, logos and the like. Jump in and start presenting.
  • Summarize key points with text to aid retention, but pause the video when displaying text. Otherwise, folks can get distracted (as evidenced by lots of rewinds).
  • Use background music to fill in the “white spaces.” Make sure the mix is right – if music is too loud, viewers exit quickly. 
  • Voice quality matters – buy a good microphone and pre-amp, and learn skills like pop and click elimination and noise reduction.

I produce a lot of screencams, and I’ll keep these in mind going forward. Thanks to Jay for sharing, and I hope you find the tips useful.