Tagged: tutorials need screenshots
November 30, 2013 at 9:11 am #76289
I'd like to ask that Studio Press many tutorials, snippets and all the other wonderful things that they write to help us make our sites beautiful and function efficiently would PLEASE use more screenshots in their tutorials to demonstrate what their coding and wording will do. I don't know how to stress this enough! 🙂
I have been through many, many tutorials that I'm sure I must want but I just don't understand what they are referring to. It's incredibly frustrating. I know that I am not the only one who is finding this - especially now that more and more 'ordinary', non-geek people are buying your themes 🙂 Please have pity on us, haha!! 😉
The other thing that is missing from most tutorials is WHERE to put the code they are giving - which file etc. Again, to many of us, that tiny bit of extra knowledge will be very, VERY helpful.
I'd like to finish off by saying that I am so, SO happy that several years ago I bought the developers licence for Studio Press. When hooks came in they completely floored me, as I'd just managed to understand how to edit the files the old way ...I just couldn't understand them. So I wandered off and went to Catalyst, then another one... Happily I now 'get' hooks and am able to fully appreciate the value that SP gives. So a BIG THANK YOU 🙂
Btw, maybe it would be helpful to have links at the top of the tutorial section to sites like this one, which are free css tutorials, and are very good:November 30, 2013 at 10:58 am #76299
I think your suggestion is a good one - there can never be too many resources available, and some people learn differently than others. That said, have you seen the StudioPress video tutorials? I don't think they publicize them enough but they're very helpful: http://studiopress.tv/
November 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm #76326
Yes, I've seen those and they are brilliant. Unless I'm imagining it there seem to be more there than when I last looked several months ago 🙂
Maybe there could be a nav link on this site called Start Here, or Quickstart which would be a page that has every link both inhouse and out that will give people every bit of help that's available.
There's one other thing I want to say and I hope whoever reads this will realise that it's not a gripe but an observation on what I perceive (which could of course be mistaken). I get the impression that answers given are often not as helpful as they could be. I see that the majority of people giving answers are site designers, developers, etc who would understandably prefer to be paid for their knowledge and time. Understandable as it is, it sets up frustration and a - maybe illogical! - resentment on the part of the person trying to learn the info. Many people are not in the position to pay substantial amounts to get the help they need, and very often they just need an exact snippet and knowing where to put it. I'm wondering if some sort of system could be set up where a payment of 10$, $15, or $20, etc... could be easily paid in return for the said snippet and info.
I would have willingly paid 10$ for the info you helped me with yesterday, and which I'd wasted many hours trying to find - and my money situation is drastic at this minute (not for much longer though, fingers crossed! 🙂 All of us have paypal accounts now and it only takes 2 minutes to send money to an email address.November 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm #76329
I think it's always difficult to know where to draw the line, especially when forum support (like you mentioned) is provided for free by volunteers. For example, awhile back someone posted nearly 70 different threads asking for help with specific aspects of a site. That same person is now advertising their "design" services, for which I'm sure they'll post many, many more forum threads and expect other designers to basically do the work for them. I think it's one thing to ask for help with something that's truly stumping you and another to abuse the system (or to post questions that are easy to answer with a Google search). I'm not saying you're doing that, but just mentioning it in general because it happens a lot.
If I can answer a question quickly - looking at a stylesheet to help someone find the right CSS rule, for instance, or pasting in a snippet I already have - I don't mind that at all. But if I have to load a theme on a test site and spend 30 minutes to an hour finding a very specific customization, that's not an effective use of my time. As a small business owner, the time I spend volunteering here is time I'm not earning money to pay my bills, and I'm sure many other devs and designers feel the same way. The Genesis community is great about helping people out but there have to be limits.
When someone needs advanced customization beyond a color change or adding a widget area, many times it's just beyond the scope of forum support (and I tell people that a lot). If someone wants a new engine put in his car or needs open heart surgery, he isn't going to expect a bunch of people on the internet to tell him how to do it himself. He's going to pay a professional. Similarly, StudioPress doesn't promise they can turn everyone into a dev/designer - if people need to do things that are beyond their skill level, they need to become friends with Google or hire someone to help.
Didn't mean to post a mini rant on your thread, and I'm certainly not griping at you. I agree with what you're saying - the current system doesn't always work well. But it does work fairly well when the questions posted are within the scope of user-to-user forum support and not someone expecting us to code an entire custom theme for them. 🙂
November 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm #76337
Your mini rant was fine ...hope mine was too 😉
You're right about googling and it's something I often forget to do, not for coding but all sorts of other things too, then my daughter suggests it and ...of course!
I googled just now, out of interest, to see what it would bring up about the slider border problem I had but nothing was relevant there - though I had to laugh as the first serp return was from someone getting irate at a fellow who he said 'was answering without answering' which is just what I was complaining of.
Instead of wasting my time and theirs, much better to just say something like "Yes, I can give you this info and it will cost x$. Here's the link to pay, once you've paid send me a private message and I'll give you the info".
Anyway, thanks for helping to talk this through. I know the system is not too bad but like most things it could be improved on so both the asker and the designer get their needs met in a way that leaves both of them happy and satisfied
Best wishes!November 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm #76340
CSS questions are usually fair game - you can't typically google those because the answer will be specific to your site and what else you've got going on in your stylesheet. But someone else just asked how to change the separator on breadcrumbs and I literally googled "genesis change breadcrumb separator" and got plenty of relevant answers. That's the kind of thing that becomes frustrating.
I'm not sure how SP would feel about people charging openly for help... Especially when there are some people who would take the money and have no clue what they're talking about. I've had a few people contact me privately and ask to pay for a certain fix, and I will occasionally offer to log into a site and look at something if the person is comfortable with it, but I have a feeling that sort of thing would be frowned upon simply because it opens SP up to complaints if the transaction didn't go well. Hopefully others will post their experiences - I'm interested to hear what others think about these issues.
November 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm #76347
Well, what you say above could be a problem but on other sites for vaguely similar things there is a clear disclaimer that the site (SP in this instance) has no responsibility for any transaction between customers and designers and customers buy info from designers at their own discretion. I haven't worded it very well but you get my gist.
I've thought of pming a designer on occasions but always steered clear because I feel they will wop me with an unreasonable price that I wouldn't be willing or able to pay. A bit of a no-sense attitude I could do with changing now I come to think of it.January 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm #85992
I've openly posted before, that if someone wants to buy an hour of my time, then I'd go through and fix their problem, and tell them how I fixed it (if they wanted to learn), plus whatever else I can do in that hour.
The forums here are for the community - SP has little involvement or interest here (see the number of threads on the Forum Bugs and Suggestions board, on repeated topics, that have not been acted upon, or often, even commented on) other than hosting them.
You did identify one particular problem though speedmouse - the expectations of a user posting with a problem, often do not match the expectations of someone competent enough to answer it correctly, in certain areas:
- The level of technical ability of the user versus the explanation of the solution provided.
- The understanding of the problem, to know whether it's a simple fix, or something that requires more in-depth development.
- Whether the solution is small enough and easy enough to provide out of kindness to fellows in the community, or whether the user should be expected to take it off board (only coming back to provide a summary of the solution for others) and hire the developer.
Regarding that last point - my hourly rate for coding (the more expensive of my two rates) is $140 per hour, so a $10 PayPal payment, minus fees, is about 4 minutes of my time. Most posts in a thread probably take that long to type, let alone figure out a working solution. But like anything, if the user isn't willing to invest in their website (professional developers willing to work with other site owners don't give a monkey if money is tight - if it is, then don't expect professional help), then the help they get will be poor.
Regarding tutorials with screenshots (oh, hai topic!), I agree that visual learners will find them more useful, but some tutorials don't lend themselves to screenshots. "Remove secondary nav" - you want a screenshot of where it used to be? "Move post meta" - you want a before and after? Want a screenshot of the code that already in plain text? There's also the effort factor to consider, which SP can often appear to lack when viewed from outside the company, as they work on other brands of Copyblogger Media.
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