Open Source Creative Podcast #9 – Tutorial Monkey Button Junkie

This week’s episode talks about tutorials… well, specifically how we tend to treat tutorials. There seems to be an overarching trend toward replicating the process in a tutorial verbatim without actually learning how to apply those techniques elsewhere. People learn how to push a specific series of buttons in a specific way to produce a known result… and it’s lame. I take a bit of time during this episode to try to sort out whether the responsibility for fixing this lies with the tutorial maker or the person following the tutorial.

News things covered in the episode:

And my little bit of personal news:

  • I’ve relaunched the Lie of the Day (posted everyday to this very blog and on my social media pages)
  • Farming Simulator Modding For Dummies – A little book I wrote earlier this year is being released on the 10th of November (the cover graphic on Amazon is in German, but I’ve been assured that’s the English version of the book)

Alright… enough with the shameless self-promotion.

One Comment

caetano

I don’t really agree. Tutorials fall down in different categories and aim at different audiences and different situations in which the viewer is while looking for one. Here are the 3 situations I would think of :

– in the middle of a project, feeling stuck because I don’t know how something works (like a modifier). In that case, please explain me what each button means (Bartek Scorupa is a very good teacher for this)
– in the middle of a project, looking for a good approach to achieve a specific effect. In that case, please get to the point, as I most likely already know the features themselves, it’s the approach I’m looking for. “click this button, push this button, do this, do that” is all I want in that situation.
– Not in the middle of a project, learning in some new area of the program for me (i.e. rigging). In that case, please explain the features deeply and do an overview at the beginning, so that I have a clear Idea of what I’m about to learn.

My classification is certainly not extensive, but I don’t think tutorials should always explain everything, it can be a waste of time for the viewer.

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