Posts Tagged ‘capture’

Put your screen recording woes to rest with Screencast-o-matic

A successful blog post is made of three important elements: text, images, and video. While you may think that your text should be enough to describe your concept properly, walking that extra mile with an image doesn’t hurt. A picture speaks more than a thousand words, doesn’t it? But what works better than images, are videos; especially when you are trying to explain a complex concept. You need to monitor your post traffic to understand if your audience gets hitched on to your content easily without getting confused or intimidated with long and complex words. Videos are the best thing that have happened to the Internet; which is why more and more organizations are opting for video instructions than textual documentation.

A live walkthrough of the application that you are giving to the market, a quick demo of the new concept you are going to teach in class, tutorials to educate your team on the new tool, all of these require videos. While there are quite a few software applications available in the market that will help you create videos, what will be really nice is creating a video without actually learning the mechanics of recording combined videos.

Enter Screencast-o-matic!

Screencast-o-matic: All you need to know about this cool video creating tool

The simplicity of Screencast-o-matic is its USP. Once you perform a video recording of your screen, all you have to do is upload it to your sharing platform and that is it. Take a look at few of the many amazing features of this tool.

  • Free version entitles you to 15-minute recordings. With Pro you can record longer videos.
  • Editing Tools to make your videos more appealing (Pro version)
  • Option to add audio scripts to your recordings (Pro version)
  • Simultaneous recording of the screen along with the Webcam turned on. Or you could record only the screen or only with the Webcam turned on.
  • Direct publishing of content to YouTube. Also, you can save your content online as a video file on Screencast-o-matic’s portal.
  • Option to publish videos to Google Drive, Vimeo, and Dropbox (Pro version)
  • Easy to use. Even if you are beginner, you will find no trouble learning how to record videos of the screen.
  • They have a free version available, which comes with only a few hindrances. What’s more! The Paid version (Pro) is pretty cheap at $15 a year.

This is how it rolls

Visit Screencast-o-matic’s homepage and click on the blue button that says “Start Recording”. You’ll be directed to a page where you can choose between using a free trial or registering for a paid pro version. Our suggestion would be to try the tool out first before investing in it, so click on the green button that says “Launch Recorder”. This will download the tool launcher to your system. The executable will be named WebLaunchRecorder.exe. It is a legitimate download so you don’t need to worry about malware.

Once the download is complete, install and run the set-up file. After the setup is complete, the system will prompt you to select an option. For the free version, select the Use FREE Recorder option. You can start recording with one of the following options:

  • Record with the Webcam switched on without the screen
  • Record only the screen without the Webcam switched on
  • Record both the screen and the Webcam

To start recording, click the Rec button at the bottom left of the screen. The system displays a small timer that times everything that is being recorded. To pause or stop the recording, click the Rec button again. When you press the button for the second time, the system will display the following message:

Delete everything and start over?

Don’t panic, simply choose an appropriate option. If you have finished recording, click Done and the system will display a preview of your recording. If you want to delete your recording, click the Trash Can icon. To save your recording, choose one of the following options:

  • Save the video locally on your system with one of the following extensions: AVI, MP4, etc.
  • Upload your video to YouTube.
  • Upload your video to Screencast-o-matic.

The Good and the Bad

Let’s visit the plus points of the tool first:

  • Once you start working on the tool, it is pretty simple to navigate and get stuff done.
  • Since the tool allows you to directly upload your content to YouTube you don’t need to waste any extra time in saving it locally and going through the tedious procedure of publishing.
  • Screecast-o-matic allows you to record from both sources simultaneously, which means you save the time you would have spent if using more than one software application to combine both videos.

Now for the negatives:

  • Because Screencast-o-matic requires a constant internet connection to record everything, it gets inconvenient for users to work offline.
  • For users trying out the free version, full-screen recording is not enabled. You will have to buy the Pro version for full-screen recording.
  • The free version comes with a 15 minute limit of recording time. Of course, the Pro version does not have this limitation.
  • Another disadvantage of using the free version is that it comes without the ability to use the computer’s audio recording system. The Pro version can be used to overcome this limitation.
  • Record on-screen activity without any hassle, try @screencasto screencast-o-matic.com/ today via @supermonitoring

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Wrapping it up

While the free version is quite limited in functionality, it is still pretty useful for people wanting to make a quick recording of a short presentation or video call. Most of the limitations of the free version are not applicable to the Pro version, which in turn is not very expensive. We urge you to give Screencast-o-matic a try. Since videos are quickly becoming a must in all blog posts, Screencast-o-matic could become quite a handy tool for you.

Evaluate your website’s reach through UsabilityTools

Imagine you’re a web developer or website owner. From your point of view, what would be the key things towards building a successful website? Unique content, search engine optimization algorithms, attractive web design and such. After putting all of this in place and satisfying yourself of every little detail, you’d probably go ahead and launch your website. Now what would be the next step? Evaluating the impact! That’s where the truth will lie. That’s what will tell you how fruitful all the hours that went into building that website proved to be. But how would you know about the impact?

While some web development tools like WordPress offer plugins to monitor site statistics that specify the number of visitors and visits per day, even such plugins have limits. They don’t include everything. They don’t highlight which areas on your website are gaining maximum attention and which minimum. Plus, everyone doesn’t use WordPress. So then how would you evaluate user impact and gain insights to your website’s reach to its target audience? Through unique and brilliant online utilities like UsabilityTools!

usabilitytools

UsabilityTools – See your website as a user would!

UsabilityTools is a web portal that brings together some of the most amazing features that can help website owners capture visual conversion insights and analyze them to increase conversions on actionable user insights. By capturing user gestures like mouse hovers and clicks on specific buttons, text or other areas on your website, this portal helps you know exactly “what” on your website is attracting the most users and “how” you can improve the areas that aren’t as appealing.

Here’s a brief glance over this tool’s features:

  • By enabling you to capture mouse movement, UsabilityTools helps you discover the difference between the most and the least converting user behaviors.
  • Unique engagement metrics feature helps you find out which users make the most clicks during their visits thus spotting conversion barriers and usability issues.
  • Supports smooth playback of user recordings of any resolutions on mobile devices, tablets as well as desktops.
  • It works just as well with static and dynamic websites. Even if your website has carousel forms and drop-downs, that’s not a problem.

usabilitytools1

There are 3 basic utilities or more correctly, tools offered by UsabilityTools, viz. UX Suite, Conversion Suite and Voice of Customer.

UX Suite is an online suite of small testing utilities to evaluate the User Experience through your website. It includes Click Testing (to validate design concepts), Web Testing (to optimize usability remotely), Survey (where you can ask users questions and get answers) and Card Sorting (to organize your website such that it makes sense to your audience). Since everything is online, it enables an extremely efficient way of remote testing that’s 100% browser based without the need for any plugins or special hardware.

Conversion Suite is where the real power of UsabilityTools lies. Here you can actually translate user-browsing patterns into actionable insights. By tracking how your users are viewing your website, where they are leaving the pages where they are paying attention etc., you can eliminate confusion causing fields and make your forms and other content more suitable to user preferences thereby increasing your site traffic.

Voice of Customer is where you get to directly interact with your customers. Ask them questions and get real-time feedback with no technicalities. Here you can customize feedback forms so as to establish better relationships with your users.

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How it rolls

To try out the conversion suite you’ll have to sign-up for a free 14 day trial. Signing up is smooth and free. Once you do, you are allowed to create a new project. Give it a unique name and go ahead to adding scripts to your website by copying them from UsabilityTools. Or if you find yourself confused you can send an email message to the team to seek their help. A convenient tutorial is provided to help you out along the way. It contains screenshots etc to give an idea of how things should look once rolling.

To try out the UX Suite hit the “Try as a participant” button on the UX Suite page and you’ll be redirected to a survey. It is simple to follow and follows a click-next approach.

For anything else that you’d like to try out, there are plenty of “Talk to us” buttons that strangely instead of taking you straightaway to the contact us form, direct you to the pricing page first. Call it their marketing strategy, but we found it rather unnecessary. A simple redirection to the contact us form would’ve been good.

Pros VS Cons

Well, it may sound harsh, but it was a bit tough to find a plus point to this tool. The idea behind it is good but somehow, using the utilities is not very simple. It is very difficult and confusing to understand what to do with the tool and how to use it. The website look is fine, navigation menus are okay etc, but to what end? From a user’s point of view, only if you are very familiar with such kind of tools can you figure out what to do with this tool.

Plus every time you wish to clear your confusion by hitting the “Talk to us” button, you’re first redirected to the Pricing page that makes you think the makers are interested in earning from the service first and making it of use to customers later.

  • Build a better web experience for your users by knowing what they’re liking: @usabilitytools usabilitytools.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Verdict

All in all, not a very recommended tool since it is quite confusing to deal with and figure out. We honestly couldn’t comprehend why it was made. Maybe we started off at the wrong foot. But there would be a lot of people out there who’d also land up where we did. So maybe there should’ve been something there to help people understand what it’s all about. What an irony, a tool that’s aimed at helping people improve visual conversion insights has quite poor visual insights itself!

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