Creating tutorials or screencasts is no longer difficult, but with so many tools available for just about every platform you can imagine, a tutorial is no longer about just getting the steps involved. They’ve gotten more complex, and an interactive tutorial is probably your best bet at engaging your audience. iorad is an amazing web application that lets you create excellent tutorials using just your internet browser. As opposed to installing applications, this app works through your browser but can record actions in any application installed on your system. Strictly speaking, the app is not a screen casting tool. With every mouse and keyboard movement, it automatically takes screenshots of each action and its resulting effect or outcome, adding a brief description for each. Actions such as typing, scrolling and clicking are all recorded, with the added feature of encrypting the text you type to protect your privacy. The tutorial can be edited once it’s done, so you can further annotate and delete the screenshots that you feel are unnecessary. The app is excellent, although a bit slow, and requires the latest version of Java to be installed on your machine.
Signing up for a free account isn’t necessary, but probably a good idea so you can always go back and edit any of your tutorials. Once signed up, name your first tutorial. It is best to launch the app that you want to create a tutorial of beforehand, so iorad can detect it. The app can capture your actions within your browser as well.
The web page will prompt you for additional permissions since it will be accessing other apps installed on your system. Once the next screen loads, select from the dropdown which app window you want to record, and click the little blinking red dot button on the right.
Once you select the window you want to record, the web page will capture and resize it in a frame at the center of the screen. Click Record and start creating your tutorial. The tutorial can be paused at any time, and when you’ve completed it, click Save at the bottom right of the frame.
Once saved, you can modify your creation. Click Edit and wait for the editor to load. As you move through the slides, you notice that the app has already annotated the click and scroll actions. You can use the buttons at the left of the frame to add additional annotations and actions. The annotations aren’t just to show you what action was performed; rather, they trigger the next slide when the viewer clicks on them.
The benefits of this app are twofold; not only does it automatically snap your screen each time an action is performed in an app, but also automatically captures the action that triggered it and lets you edit it. The end result is a highly interactive tutorial that can give a step-by-step explanation of just about any process. The app only captures actions in other apps, and if you’re trying to create a tutorial for perhaps a Mac or Windows operation, you will need to turn elsewhere. Other than this, iorad is, by far, one of the better options available for creating interactive tutorials.