Using tools that take screenshots of your screen, window or a specific area has now become a standard practice. Screenshot functionality is built right into OSX however, there are external tools that bring more functionality to the task at hand. These tools tackle this issue in varying ways so that one tool, like SnapN Drag Pro, provides a library of your shots whereas Dreamshot takes your shots and moves them to other apps such as Evernote.
For many, screen shots are often used to try to relay a story about a problem, issue or something useful to do. However, doing it this way using a tool defined for very specific things like storytelling is problematic to frustrating.
A better approach is to use Clarify(http://www.clarify-it.com). Clarify is built fully to tell a story about a problem etc using screenshots and words to describe what’s going on. This is then encapsulated in a file that can be played back.
Clarify the Story Telling Screen shot Tool
In many ways, a lot of what is being communicated about something relates more than to just one screen shot. Frequently, what you are attempting to do is give an overview of something. You could take multiple screen shots to do this or you could use Clarify.
Clarify is like taking a movie that is one static shot to another with its storyline. Let’s say someone asks you about a problem and they send you a screenshot to demonstrate what is happening. You look at the problem and then realize the only way to describe how to get around the problem is taking more than one screenshot and adding to each screenshot text explaining what is going on.
Clarify is an ideal tool for just that one off screen shot you may need or a joining of one screenshot after another with text explaining what you are doing. With such effort, the problem is not only resolved but the recipient has a moment of insight into how the problem was solved.
This technique, is in many ways invaluable, as you are going far beyond just what to do to resolve the problem but explaining how and why you reached the conclusion. For the recipient, they can put this learned info to good use in the future making themselves far more valuable.
Short of a Screen Movie, Clarifies use is Tremendously Cost Effective
Clarify goes beyond the one or two screenshot solution in that it teaches and there is learning going on. The solution has an explanation and might be able to be used down the line. This type of approach justifies Clarifies costs may times over. Clarify actually is not that expensive but when you consider screen shot tools are available with the OS or simple screen capture tools that add value just not the kind that comes with Clarify can be had for little.
The more a person understands why the solution works, the more s/he might be able to apply the learning in other situations. This is tremendously cost effective. In fact, with just a simple screen shot solution, the person might not really understand what to do leading to even more wasted time. Clarify seems to get aroud this problem quite effectively by delivering essential context to the problem.
Enhancing Your War Chest
In many ways, our technology is more approachable than ever. It, at the same time, has added a lot of complexity behind the scenes. To the user, they see a nice, clean solution which is what you want them to see. However, to the person who has to solve the problem, they deal with a new level of complexity that isn’t well understood. Anything that can assist in the learning process, is worth a lot.
If you’re a person responsible for explaining how problems presented are resolved, Clarify is a great asset to have in your war chest. It for many is not a nice to have solution but is a have to have solution. As I said earlier, it’s cost can be easily justified in the right situation and will pay for itself very quickly.