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GarryP

Proposal for Visual Tutorial Index

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While we have some great lists of tutorials pinned to the top of the Tutorials forum it can be very difficult for some people – especially beginners – to find what they need. For example, in the Photo tutorials list we have entries for things like “Focus Merging”, “Infer LUT” and “Displace Filter” (amongst many many others). Most beginners – and some non-beginners – will have no idea what these things mean or what they can do with them from the name alone.

When someone wants to do something – unless they already know what it is they want to do – they probably won’t know what the name of the thing is that they need. And because of this they will have to browse to lots of different pages over and over again just to try and find what they need, if they find it at all.

To try and get round this problem, my proposal is that two new threads are started and pinned to the top of the Tutorials forum. One could be called “Visual Tutorial Index” (henceforth VTI) and the other could be called “Visual Tutorial Index Discussions” (henceforth DIS). The VTI would be where tutorials are listed and the DIS would be where discussions about the VTI are held – to keep the discussions from clogging up the VTI itself.

Each VTI post would look like those in my crudely-drawn attached example and have:
* a title describing the thing that someone might want to do, e.g. bend text;
* a before and after picture showing what the user has before the actions and what they get after the actions;
* a list of tutorials broken down by application so the user can choose depending on what they have.

When a user comes to the VTI, all they need to do is scroll down looking at the images to see if there’s something that does what they need to do. They don’t need to know the name of the technique, feature or tool, all they have to do is look at the pictures. Once they find what they want they can quickly see if that thing is possible with the application(s) they have, rather than having to search the three lists already pinned, or asking in the Questions forum. (I’ve lost count of the number of times that the same “how can I do this” questions have been asked, and I’m probably guilty of doing so myself as I usually know what I want but don’t know what it’s called.)

To take some of the workload off the website moderators, the users of the forum can volunteer to take a particular area, then research which tutorials are available, and then create a single post with the relevant list of tutorials. If someone wants to add a new tutorial to an existing post then they can PM the relevant VTI-poster and ask them to add it to the list. If a VTI-poster stops being active in the forums then, either a moderator can intervene and ‘switch’ the post to a different forum user (to be decided in the DIS), or someone else can create a new post – containing both the existing information and the new information – and ask for the outdated original to be deleted.

Discussions about the VTI – “Should this tutorial be added?”, “What I want isn’t on the list”, etc. – should be in the DIS instead of the VTI. This way the VTI thread only holds the tutorials and not loads of distracting stuff.

The VTI doesn’t need to be in any particular order as people would be searching it visually by what’s in the images.

I realise that a Wiki is probably a better way of doing this but the moderators may not want to have the extra workload of having to moderate one of those too. This way we would be using the technology and software already in the forums site with minimal extra moderator intervention (which gives them more time to do more important things like helping us with our problems).

What do people think about this idea? Does it have any merit? Does it pose any problems? Is there a better way of doing something similar?

VTI-example.png

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It would seem to me that the VTI heading would need to include the fact that the postings were created by users, not Serif employees.  Otherwise Serif might occasionally be put on the spot for something they hadn’t intended.  Could create unfortunate situations if not everyone searching for a solution turned out to be a gentleman or a lady.  


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I agree.
I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult for the VTI thread to have warnings and disclaimer information at the top, in a similar way to the Beta threads.
That first post would also probably have to include other usage information such as:
* a message telling people not to discuss things in that thread;
* how to request that a tutorial was added to the relevant post; etc.

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Good idea.
Over the years I collected posts which - at the time -  I thought could come in handy when facing a problem.
I had to delete them because recovering anything from that collection
turned out to be more trouble than it was worth, precisely because of indexing.

So, good idea, go for it !:)


 


That what you do not yet know is more important than what you already know-Jordan Peterson

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