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making a tutorial

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This is a tutorial on how to make a tutorial. Tutorial-ception anyone? (Okay, I admit, I ran out of ideas, but scrambling to make those three tutorials opened my eyes to the issues that need to be addressed in the creation of these things.)

This won’t be a step by step process, but more of a list of tips and tricks to making tutorials relatively painless.

  • Do your tutorials as you do your assignments. Honestly, kill two birds with one stone. You’ll just have to do the same assignment twice if you don’t. If I could do DS106 over again, I would definitely just make tutorials as I did assignments instead of letting it pile up.
  • Keep tutorials simple, but not overly simplified. There’s no need to document every click and move of the mouse. Just make sure you say enough for someone else to be able to figure it out on their own. Ask yourself, if you had no idea what you were doing, what would you need to be told and shown to figure it out?
  • Show, don’t tell. You can save yourself a lot of words and the people who use your tutorials a lot of confusion with a screencap. For example, instead of something like, “On the top left corner of the screen, find the ‘Layer’ menu and click, then find the…” it just goes on, you can just use a screencap.
  • The point of a tutorial is to make it easy for someone else to do something. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be fine.

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