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Help and Tutorials

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Help and Tutorials

<ul><li>Tutorials for new users (General functionality, UI, ...)</li><li>Specific tutorials on new functionality (to be updated with each major release)</li><li>Self-paced learning mode (UI setup, guided tour, ...)<br /></li></ul>
19 REPLIES 19

Re: Help and Tutorials

I like the new tutorials for the Personal edition. They should also be available for the commercial product (and have the appropriate file formats for the practice parts).

Re: Help and Tutorials

I too like the new tutorials in the PE version, and I've heard from a number of other folks that they'd like to see these in the standard product. I've also sent a note to our contract manager to this effect (per their recommendation).

Re: Help and Tutorials

New users have requested an overall demo from starting a session-workplanes-geomerty-machine commands and then modifications. We could use the simple models that come with PE. Each concept should come with an avi that demonstrates its use. We dont need every command but at least show soemthing the demonstrates the thought behind using the concpets.

Re: Help and Tutorials

I'm glad y'all like the Quickstart Projects. The LP team is proud of them, and I think all of us would like them to appear in the 15.50 standard product, perhaps replacing ""Getting Started." The evidence we're getting is that the Quickstart Projects are doing a pretty good job of drawing in new users. However, they are not providing EVERYTHING novices need to do their jobs. I've been pushing the idea of a ""For Dummy's"" like book to take users from Quickstart to pro, based on a lot of customer requests. Or is the problem more easily solved with just a few more Quickstarts? Any opinions? Cat McClintock-- LP/Localization manager

Re: Help and Tutorials

Steve ... I've heard an occasional request for more concept material too. If we created a ""concept"" demo, we need to be careful about how we present it. All our testing shows that obviously passive material (sit down and listen!) interferes with motivation in self-paced learners. Especially those who don't have a gun to their heads to learn our product--people who are evaluating as much as learning. New users want to get their hands on asap! And if they can't, they often find themselves suddenly ""too busy"" to use stay with it. To solve that, I'd make the ""conceptual"" demo separate and ""on demand."" To make the concept demo effective, I believe we need to take it a step beyond what we (or our competitors) traditionally do, or only a few people will sit through it. It's got to be more engaging. I'd want exceptional presentation, excellent writing, images including people, a professional voiceover talent, good/appropriate music (not like the bad porn movie stuff Solidworks and ProE uses), etc. Then I'd want to place it prominently on the appropriate web pages. Think about a ""youtube"" video screen, where you only have to press > to start the movie on the web page ... no downloading or anything. Since our concepts don't change release to release, I think that might be worth the extra investment. What do y'all think? Cat --LP/Localization manager

RE: Help and Tutorials

<p>I think we need more basic concepts tutorials.<br /><br />The other day I played around with Google SketchUp and they have some nice easy to follow videos which introduce the basic concepts. Those videos are also directly accessible from their software: &quot;Help&quot; -&gt; &quot;View Tutorials ...&quot; which guides you to this web page:<br /><br /> http://sketchup.google.com/tutorials.html<br /><br />I think we should offer such basic tutorials as well.</p><p> Things to cover:</p><ul><li>What's a workplane</li><li>How to draw 2D geometry (construction lines vers. real geometry, closed profiles, no overlaps)<br /></li><li>How to get a 3D body from a 2D profile</li><li>How to change my view (see Google SketchUp tutorial 1: How to Orbit with the mouse)</li><li>What information is shown in the browser</li><li>Parts and Assemblies</li><li>Simple dynamic modeling operations </li></ul>
Not applicable
(in response to)

RE: Help and Tutorials

<p>All other CAD programs offer a &quot;Quick Reference Card&quot; (or a cheat sheet).</p><p>If we don't deliver a physical one, we should at least ship a PDF version which can easily be printed. Again, Google SketchUp has a menu item &quot;Help&quot; -&gt; &quot;Quick Reference ...&quot; which opens a PDF file to print.</p><p>This quick reference card should list the most common keyboard shortcuts which are usually hidden like</p><ul><li>How to do list selection (SHIFT+left mouse button, SHIFT+middle to complete)</li><li>Complete and action (middle mouse button)</li><li>Pan/zoom/rotate with the mouse</li><li>Catch center (SHIFT+CTRL+left on arc/circle)</li><li>Other important shortcut keys (F1-F12, ...)</li><li>Explanation of browser icons and status icons </li></ul>

Re: Help and Tutorials

Markus, all What do you see as the benefit of the Sketchup video tutorials versus our existing In Depth Tutorials (http://ftp2.cocreate.com/lp/lphome.html)?

RE: Help and Tutorials

As I was reading these posts about basic concepts, the Google SketchUp tutorials are exactly what I had in mind. In fact, I went thru those tutorials many months ago, before Google bought SketchUp, and I remember being very impressed. I'd probably need to look at them again as a refresher for further thoughts, as I seem to recall that while I liked them overall, there was some room for improvement as well. But, if you just emulated what they did, you couldn't be far off the mark.

RE: Help and Tutorials

<p>Cat,</p><p>I downloaded all tutorials from that page, but I don't seem to be able to run most of them. E.g. if I try to view any video of the &quot;In Depth&quot; tutorial, I get an &quot;Internet Explorer Script Error&quot;. I used IE7.</p><p>The only videos I could watch were the QuickStart videos.</p><p>A few comments about the stuff I saw:</p><ol><li>I miss a video which explains how to change the view and that the user should use CTRL+mouse buttons to pan/rotate/zoom. That way you can avoid traveling with the mouse button to the explicit viewing commands in the other videos. This takes too much valuable time.</li><li>I miss the explanation that &quot;Middle mouse button&quot; completes (OK's) the current command. With that concept you don't need to travel explicitly to any green check mark which takes too much valuable time.</li><li>The UI should reflect the &quot;out-of-the-box&quot; state without any customizations or pinned taskbar. Otherwise a user is lost because his UI looks different.</li><li>I miss the &quot;Object-Action&quot; concept. In most cases it is more convenient and faster to just click an object and call a command from the context menu. Same is true for the Structure Browser context menu. Here the user finds a lot of useful commands right on the selected object.<br /></li><li>Instead of those explanatory bubbles it would be better to have a voice explaining what is currently shown. That helps to follow the flow better without interruptions and you can explain more details.</li></ol><p>What do other's think?</p><p></p>

RE: Help and Tutorials

Hi Markus, everybody, Which set of In Depth tutorials did you download? I know we're having trouble with the videos that go with the PE version. They should be fixed today. I'm really glad you did go through the QSP videos. Let me respond to your comments: 1. We felt that we needed to tell people about mouse navigation everywhere. So it's not in the videos but on the actual project pages. If we created a new set of ""video-only, concept"" tutorials, it would be a great idea to add this. 2. I think middle mouse button ""OK"" is a power user item. See my separate post on usability versus ease of use. 3. Other engineers complained that some of our UIs were not like out of the box, too. We made some adjustments for the sake of real estate, and NO tester ever noticed. This seems to be more of an issue internally than with real users. 4. Again, context menus are for power users, see separate post on usability versus ease of use. 5. Voiceover would be nice. I'm all for it! I need to be clearer about what problems we're trying to solve with a new set of ""conceptual"" tutorials. Are the current tutorials failing? Are they incomplete? Or are they taking the wrong approach? Would the current tutorials be complemented with new ""conceptual"" tutorials? Or would they be replaced by them?

RE: Help and Tutorials

In Modeling and other modules there should be examples for different options. Example: SheetMetal It is possible to create a sheet from a model. In the menu there are some options but there is no example in the online help how these options influence the function. In many cases some picture would be very helpful. Sometimes you get a wrong help for commands. Example: If you want to change the radius of a cylindrical hole you get the help for the fillet change. This is a different function. Maybe this is only in the german release.
Not applicable
(in response to whofer)

RE: Help and Tutorials

Hello All- I totally agree with Markus on the ""Quick Reference Card"" pdf file. Whenever I teach a class on Modeling, I end up printing off the page from the help menu that lists the mouse/keyboard shortcuts (like F5 toggles 3D Geometry on/off, alt-middle-on-face creates a new workplane, etc). Unfortunately, it doesn't print very well, so it would be nice if something like this was ""formatted"" for easy find, easy print. Brad

RE: Help and Tutorials

In general it's easier to understand concepts descript with pictures then with word. The technical details are getting more and more complex and for our customer itÂ’s important to be sure that they have done the right. One example for this need is the blend command with all the new option. During the PAT we get one slide with an example made with all option and so you can be sure what to do. In our Model Manager help we have great concept description with pictures and good examples.

Re: Help and Tutorials

LP has been getting a lot of suggestions from different places about what we should do to help the new user experience. I look at learning happening in phases: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> [novice:0000000000] [early proficiency:0000000000] _____________________________________[professional:0000000000] Here's how I think the pieces fit together: 1. We KNOW new users often don't open any learning tools at the very beginning. That's why it's imperative that they have a successful UI experience at the start. 2. Once the user is a little engaged or motivated, a number of different tools can get them to preliminary proficiency. This might be Quickstart projects, marketing webinars, a Knowledge base article from Support. There is so much available in this area, that I think my team should start organizing and centralizing information about what's there. We can even provide psuedo personal plans to help users navigate it all. 3. From [early proficiency:0000000000] to [professional:0000000000] we need more support. I think that's why so many of you are suggesting more tutorials in various forms. I actually have many more requests for a ""for dummies"" book, and a lot of evidence that people won't use more than one or two tutorials. So, I'm still pitching the idea of a book, at this point. 4. Reference cards are an excellent idea and could support users throughout the process. 5. Online help is also a ""support"" tool, rather than a teaching tool. Although we could drive people to certain pages as needed for a complete education experience. I have a slide set that says all this with prettier colors. I'll send to Berthold and Markus. If anyone else wants to see, let me know. Cheers, Cat

RE: Help and Tutorials

anonymous wrote:

markusk - 2007-03-02 6:31 AM <p>li>Instead of those explanatory bubbles it would be better to have a voice explaining what is currently shown. That helps to follow the flow better without interruptions and you can explain more details.</li></ol><p>What do other's think?</p><p>Â</p>

RE: Help and Tutorials

anonymous wrote:

markusk - 2007-03-02 6:31 AM While voice-over is all well and good, there is value to the explanatory bubbles as well, particularly for folks that are non-native-language listeners. You can pause while reading (or re-reading) the bubbles much easier and with less frustration that rewinding the audio/video.

RE: Help and Tutorials

OF course, we could do both ... voice and bubbles.

Re: Help and Tutorials

I agree that an easily accessible pdf cheat sheet would be very valuable. It took me several weeks to learn several key short cuts (multiple select, project workplane on surface etc...). I also think the webshops are valuable, but have not found a central location where these are achieved.
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