Screencast and Comic Documentation

Flipping through the Google Chrome documentation my brain was screaming–“This has to be Scott McCloud“. Turns out it was. Scott was a big deal back in the dot com days with his book on “Understanding Comics” and it’s applicability to designing web sites. I actually saw a great talk from him back at the Web 99 conference in SF. (That would be 1999). Nice to see him crossing back into the web world again.

The Chrome documentation is one of a number of new documentation styles I’ve seen recently. Screencasts are also becoming a popular way to do documentation and not just for high profile Web 2.0 frameworks but small internal IT apps. One consultant told me he had started doing all the documentation for their custom IT apps as screencasts. The customers love it because they can figure out how the app works quickly without running painful conference rooms of training sessions. And the flashiness of it is a bonus as well. To top it off it generally only takes a few hours for the developer to put it together. He mentioned the Peepcode screencast by Geoffry Grosenbach on Screencasting on the Mac was one of the best investments he’s made in a while.