We were chuffed to have been chosen to host a talk on The Power of Product Screenshots in your Help Documentation at the Write the Docs Atlantic conference on September 12. It was a great couple of days learning all things software documentation with the passionate and engaging community that is Write the Docs. Thank you to everyone who took the time to listen to our talk and for all the thoughtful questions throughout.
Q: How feasible do you think it is to automate screenshot grabbing when you want to show example scenarios that illustrate the product capabilities? Things like "real" data, filled out forms, lists with items that make sense, and so on. - Paulo Ribeiro
It’s a great question and I think it primarily comes down to two key challenges:
- The ability for your organization to produce a solid Demo Account (we all lust for this). A solid demo account holds “real” data, and allows for real functionality across all features. The best Demo accounts, if you allow for data mutations (add, change, delete) will “reset” on every use, or every night.
- An automation platform (bias alert) like the one we are trying to build at LaunchBrightly, which provides the opportunity to record a set of actions that you can play back [A]; fill out input boxes, click buttons, press keys, hover elements, navigate etc. Think of it, almost like a recipe builder.
There is a lot more to say about this and each of the two items are really full-on blog posts (help articles) in their own right.
[A] demo credentials is actually one the core setup items for our future users; so we can play back that recipe on top of your preferred demo account.
You can see a summary of the talk and find a link to the recording here.
And you can also find a link to the other great questions from the chat below:
- Recommendations for writing good Alt Text for your screenshots
- Does the title attribute on images help with SEO?
- When are product screenshots most helpful?
- When to add images in developer-focused documentation?
- Will AI image recognition help with screenshot automation in the future?
- Recommendations for image file formats
- What is the right ratio of images to text?
- Are GIFs better than screenshots with callouts?