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- Web accessibility is an essential priority throughout the planning and design stage to ensure the needs of diverse user groups.
- Take time to plan the screencast. Map out the topic, the audience, and specific goals or objectives.
- Prepare a written transcript, which will be used for recording and captioning. Provide clear audio descriptions of on-screen navigation throughout the screencast.
- Short, concise screencasts are effective. Aim to keep the screencast 1-3 minutes in length, depending on the project. Screencasts that are longer than 5 minutes should be divided up into separate units.
- Ensure a quiet recording environment is available. Close any unrelated applications on your computer.
- Use a headset when recording instead of a stand-alone microphone or webcam, as this will improve audio quality. Check the audio settings on both the computer and within Camtasia.
- Select either standard or widescreen dimensions. Standard dimensions include 1280x960 or 1024x768. Use the same ratio consistently throughout the recording, editing, and production phases. See the screencasting guidelines document for more details.
- Good design incorporates consistent use of callouts and consistent use of complementary colours with a significant level of contrast. The following callout shapes and colours are recommended for most screen backgrounds:
- Callout Colours: Red or yellow to highlight information and red or medium blue for arrows.
- Callout Shapes: Unfilled rectangle (no drop-shadow), simple arrows, and spotlight for text dense forms.
- Use transitions sparingly, but consistently. Fade-to-black or simple fade transitions with a maximum duration of 1.5 seconds are recommended.
- Insert captions. Captions are generated from your script and synced with the audio component. Select the overlay option for closed captioning.
- Save the editing file, (.camproj file extension), and any related files together in one folder. Use the naming convention outlined in the guidelines document (subject-yyyy-mm-username).
- Detailed information on producing screencasts is available in the screencasting guidelines document.