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Picture this: you’ve been tasked with getting new hires up to speed on your department’s project management tool. Or maybe you stumbled upon a cool trick in your team’s favorite app and you want to spread the word. Where do you start?  

Software training is a common need at most companies, but it can be daunting—not to mention time-consuming—to create. But don’t fret! With Rise 360, anyone—even SMEs—can create software tutorials with ease! 

I recently found a huge productivity hack with my team’s project management tool and needed to share it with my team. Let me walk you through how I used Rise 360 to quickly create a software tutorial. 

1. Use the Labeled Graphic Block to introduce people to the software 

Before you get into the weeds of how to use the software, it’s a good idea to make sure people are familiar with the terminology and layout of the app they’ll be using. Instead of breaking out any old screen recording software, you can instantly acquaint your learners with the software’s user interface (UI) using Rise 360’s Labeled Graphic Block.

Rise 360 labeled graphic block showing an open marker on a Trello board

 As you can see from the image above, I used a screenshot of my project management app (Trello) and placed markers over the navigation buttons and other key features. I was also able to change the default marker icon to a number to intuitively guide learners through the interface step by step.

2. Use video to walk them through the software

With a basic understanding of the software’s layout, your learners are ready to learn more about how to use it for their work. I like to do this by creating a quick screencast to guide learners through how to use the software. Sometimes video tutorials can drag on—especially with a feature-rich app—so instead of creating one long video, I break it up into bite-size chunks to make sure I’m not overwhelming my learners with too much new information.

You’ll find that you can upload video into many different block types in Rise 360, or embed it from popular streaming sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia. In my case, I landed on using the Timeline Block to showcase two different methods of using the software that result in the same goal. However, the Process and Tabs Blocks are also great options if you want to walk learners through a successive list of steps.

Pro tip: To make sure my screencast filled my Rise 360 blocks, I recorded my screen in a 16:9 aspect ratio. Need help figuring out which app to use for screen recording? Check out this article for some pointers.

3. Combine audio, text, and images to show and tell

While screencasts are incredibly useful for learning the ropes in a new app, you don’t always need to record a video to achieve that goal. For simple processes, written step-by-step instructions paired with simple GIF animations can be just as engaging and memorable.  

Rise 360 lets you add both media AND text in the interactive blocks. This means you can use interactive block types like Tabs, Process, and Timeline Blocks to take a complex process—like adding a new customer profile to your company’s customer relationship management (CRM) software—and break it out into a series of quick steps, highlighting a few key actions people need to take in each step. This is also a great way to showcase a few key software-use cases or general tips and tricks for getting up to speed on using an app.

As you can see from the GIF below, I used the Process Block to show my team how to customize their Trello board using three different Trello customization features. The animated GIF shows them where to find the customization features, and my supporting written instructions explain exactly what steps to take.

Pro tip: If you find yourself wanting to include audio content in your software tutorial, play around with the Timeline Block, which allows you to incorporate audio-only media alongside supporting images, videos, GIFS, and written text.

4. Provide additional resources

To ensure your learners are fully prepared to use the software once they complete your tutorial, it can be helpful to provide them with additional resources like job aids, checklists, or reference materials. 

In my case, I wanted to give my teammates access to more helpful articles and inspiration for how they could use our project management tool to fit their specific productivity needs. As you can see below, I landed on using a combination of Rise 360’s Accordion and Button Blocks to link out to additional blogs, webinars, and more complex tutorials on using the app.

Pro tip: You may find that creating a PDF summarizing key software features or functions will help learners as they start using the app on their own. The File Attachment Block in Rise 360 is perfect for this. Here’s a quick GIF showing you where to find this block in the Blocks Library.

Summing it up

If you’re curious to see how I used these four simple tips to create my own software tutorial, check out my software tutorial example course. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to start using Rise 360 for your own software tutorials! 

Have some power tips or clever ways to use blocks? Are you already creating software tutorials using Rise 360? Let me know in the comments! 

Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.

Madison McCartney
Madison McCartney