Hiring and briefing a designer or a programmer can be expensive, burdensome, and time-consuming, so teaching yourself the skills necessary to get the job done is often a more desirable approach. The Internet is a great place to turn for any information and resources you might need to finish a given task. With just a quick search, you’ll find pages and pages of search results on any topic under the sun. Moreover, because graphic designers are so savvy, graphics-oriented, and open to sharing within their community, their field is well-covered. In that way, designers are better off than many others who wouldn’t as quickly or as easily find solutions.
Common sense dictates that you shouldn’t treat every article or tutorial you read or watch on the Internet. To crib a phrase from Ronald Reagan, “trust, but verify.” After all, when putting together a bookcase, you would want to recruit a carpentry-minded friend who has the know-how; not just anyone’s advice should be taken as seriously. The same principle should be true for how we select video tutorials. Find a trusted source and you can rest assured that you’re being educated well.
Some have argued that with video tutorials since there’s no give-and-take involved, it’s difficult to learn a skill (or a trade) without being up close with the instructor. The writer says that “Video tutorials don’t really take into account the needs of the learner. Instead, videos are done in the style and pace that works best for the teacher.” We’ve all experienced lectures or lessons from bad teachers in our day, but the difference is that online we can click to the next tutorial instantly in hopes that the next one will be better.
Personally, I have found tutorials essential to learning programs like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Photoshop, particularly at times where in-person tutelage wasn’t available to me. In a different era, I would have had to cough up money and time for the same information. Now, you can literally be anywhere in the world and have access to answers from skilled specialists. We all work at strange hours from time to time. At times like those, turning to the Internet for guidance is beneficial and will make you better at doing your job. With just a few minutes and some intuition, you can find your way around setbacks.
Thankfully, some novel answers exist out there. Skillfeed, a new business that commissions high-quality video tutorials from experts on a variety of subjects all in one place, painstakingly recruits and screens its instructors to ensure that they are all top notch. Because Skillfeed rewards its educators with a share of the profits on a per-watch basis, instructors are incentivized to share lessons that are both informative and engaging. Otherwise, they may lose out on their share of the earnings. It’s a unique payout structure that allows the site’s users to decide collectively and automatically what tutorials deserve recognition, recommendations, and top billing on the site’s homepage. Essentially, the most popular instructors can earn the most.
One of the loudest complaints about tutorials is that they’re laborious or dry, and it’s difficult to find the one, small thing you need. Skillfeed breaks its courses up into smaller components, offering step-by-step, digestible parts with well-thought-through curricula. You can pause or re-watch courses, as desired.
Designers and other creatives should be able to reliably depend on others, whether directly or virtually, to educate and inform them. Tutorials are geared toward the realities and sensibilities of the self-starters among us. If there’s a shortage of good information out there today, people should speak up about the best alternatives.
Rest assured, good video tutorials can be found. You just have to know where to look.