Considering time to market, what is best for software product documentation: videos or manuals?


I'm in the process of publishing my product which is ready for beta testing. It has some level of complexity, therefore guidance is required. But I don't want to spend (yet) a couple of months writing detailed documentation.

So, to start with and based on your experiences, what option would be the best?

  • Basic written documentation/manuals (with screenshots, callouts, etc.)
  • Introductory videos for overview and the main features

NOTE: This is to learn the usage of my product, not for marketing promotion.

Software Video Documentation

asked Oct 10 '11 at 14:48
Nestor Sanchez A
690 points

1 Answer


I'm not sure what level of technical sophistication you were expecting, but guiders.js is a great open-source package that makes it easy to build step-by-step walk-throughs and tutorials into any web application. It is fairly easy to setup -- but the main benefit is that it allows you to add documentation directly inside your application, rather than showing screenshots inside separate media like videos or PDFs. This makes it very intuitive and user friendly.

answered Oct 10 '11 at 15:05
Hartley Brody
1,317 points
  • +1 for addressing all the questioner's needs in a single solution. – Kenneth Vogt 12 years ago
  • is there something like this for Java? – Kim Jong Woo 12 years ago
  • Thanks for the suggestion, but the mine is a Desktop app. – Nestor Sanchez A 12 years ago

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Software Video Documentation