Step-by-step tutorials made easy

What is the easiest way to explain how to get around a task to someone? To show it to them in person, of course. But with hybrid work and busy schedules, this method doesn’t always help. The next best thing is recording yourself. Recordings are scalable, as you can send them to as many people as you want and it’s a way to permanently store the knowledge.

While recordings are very easy to make, they may not be the most practical to use. To understand each step, the person must rewind the video over and over and the person watching the video can easily get lost, especially if the video is long. Another issue is keeping them up-to-date.

Meet Tango

Tango is an exciting tool which makes preparing step-by-step tutorials quick and convenient. Tutorials in Tango are (almost) as effortless to create as videos, but they are much more convenient to maintain. In my opinion, they are also easier to understand.

Here’s an example of a “Tango” (click)

I was really impressed when I first used it. Tango is super easy to use by both sides – people preparing the docs and people using the docs.

Tango makes your screenshots look alive by adding a slight animation just after you see them for the first time. This helps users to focus on what you’re showing them.

How to create a Tango yourself

After you sign up, just press a button and start presenting. Tango will capture every screenshot along the way.

After you’re done, just “stop recording” and Tango will prepare the workflow for you. You can then copy the link to the Tango and send it to anyone you’d like.

You’ll probably still need to alter some descriptions to make your tutorial really on-spot, but that usually doesn’t take me much time.

If you make a mistake during recording and capture some unwanted steps, you can easily delete them and “re-record” just the missing parts. Editing Tangos is dead easy.

Tangos make you proud. I’m very happy when I publish a new Tango tutorial because it looks really nice and people tend to like them as well.

Comparison

Here’s a short table comparing Tangos with video recordings:

Video recordingsTango
Easy to make
Capture audio
Automatically capture step descriptions✅ (with your voice)❌ (manual)
Easy to maintain
Easy to access🤷‍♂️ (you need to upload them)
Easy to understand❓ (lots of rewinding)
You store the entire file❌ (it’s online, exporting is available)

Both Tangos and videos are easy to make. Tango makes editing fun and effortless. Tangos are immediately available for access and users see any updates immediately. They are easy to understand as users can study a single step for as long as they want, without rewinding.

It doesn’t come without some drawbacks, though. Tangos are purely visual – there’s no audio. While recording videos, you “automatically” provide the descriptions with your voice – in Tangos you need to manually describe the steps (if necessary). Your voice also adds the “human factor” to your tutorials, which is something you have to work hard to achieve with Tango.

Tango is free for up to 25 tutorials, then you need to subscribe. And you don’t keep the original files – you can export the flows to PDF or HTML, but that removes the animations and you’re back to paper tutorials…

While I had to mention it, these drawbacks really don’t outweigh the benefits that Tango brings. The time saved, the ease of use, the nice format, and the impression people get when they see your tutorials are priceless, but let’s put that in perspective.

The ROI

The pro license is affordable – for 16 USD/mo you can create as many Tangos as you need and you also get some nice perks on top of it.

Practically everyone’s total hourly rate is higher than 16 USD/h. In my experience, every 5 tangos I create save at least one hour per week (and that’s excluding peak demand when onboarding new employees). You get 25 tangos free. This means that Tango starts paying off, even before you start paying for it. Isn’t that the best deal you can get? 🙂

Conclusion

Tango is my best friend when it comes to sharing knowledge and creating tutorials. Tutorials in Tango are fast to create and easy to maintain. People like using them. That’s why I’m highly recommending it.

This was my first tip in my new Documentation series. Let me know how I did 🤞 on LinkedIn.

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