Apple.com has a series of video tutorials showing how to use various features of their products. (My critique of this landing page is that it shows “featured videos” first, and the set of videos that appears in the screen seem to have no rhyme or reason as to why they are “featured.” It makes it confusing. Having the page default to being able to search by product would be much more logical and approachable to site visitors.)
That critique was a “freebie.”
I actually wanted to critique a specific video– the iMovie ’11 publishing tutorial.
I’ll start by using Mayer’s Multimedia Principles as a lens of criticism. These are the Mayer’s principles that this video did follow:
- Modality principle: People learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text
- Temporal contiguity principle: People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively
- Personalization principle: People learn better when the words are in conversational style rather than formal style
- Voice principle: People learn better when words are spoken in a standard-accented human voice than in a machine voice or foreign-accented human voice.
- Image principle: People do not necessarily learn better from a multimedia lesson when the speaker’s image is added to the screen
The creator of this video followed these principles, and with one possible exception, they did not egregiously violate any of the other principles. So they are doing pretty well, as far as multimedia principles. However, this video does have a major flaw in content. It does not have a clear thesis that is followed throughout the presentation. The title of the video says it is about how to publish a video “to sharing sites,” and I thought this would mean all the major sharing sites, since none was particularly specified. Indeed, the video opened by showing a list of all the video sharing sites that iMovie publishes directly to. However, as the movie progressed, it focused only on YouTube, and it went into detail about why certain options were shown on the “publish to YouTube” page. This was confusing; it made me wonder if they were there to talk about iMovie or about YouTube. Either they should have skipped the nitty-gritty YouTube details and shown brief shots of the other “publish to” screens as well, or shown all the details for all the other supported sites as well. (Or else they should have changed the title of the video to “Share Your Movie–Publish to YouTube.”)