What Are You Looking For?

To continue with what seems to be our theme of the week, I’d like to pose another question to you: What are you looking for in a video tutorial?

When you’re searching around on YouTube or Lynda.com or Kelby Training or wherever for Photoshop tutorial videos what separates the great ones from those that are only so-so? Is it the production values (video quality, sound quality, nice intro graphics, etc.)? Is it the personality of the presenter? Is it the language used (laymen’s terms vs. technical terms, “geeky” vs. down-to-earth, etc.)? Is it the unique nature of the tutorial itself? Is it how smooth the workflow seems to be? What is it?

I know, for most people it’s a combination of all of these factors, and I’m sure it’s true for you too, to a greater or lesser degree. But I’d like to invite you to examine your criteria for judging these sorts of tutorials a little more closely and share with all of us what exactly it is that makes a tutorial video stand above the rest.

At the same time, it’s easy to spot what we don’t like. It may be hard to know why, exactly, but we know it when we see it. Here, too, I’d like you to think about what tells you that a tutorial just isn’t worth your time.

Describe 2 tutorials: your ideal video and what differentiates it from the crowd, and what turns you off straight-away.

As you may have guessed, I’m doing a little market research as I prepare my entries for the So, You Think You Can Teach Photoshop contest. It’s true, that I want to do everything I can to create the best videos I can so I will, hopefully, win the contest. But even more than that, my interest lies in furthering the value of such videos so that regardless of any sort of prize that may be at stake, the videos I produce will help others become better Photoshop users and more effecient artists.

So, any input would be greatly appreciated!

And, again, if you have any techniques, concepts, or sources of inspiration that you’ve always wanted to know how to do, please let me know!


  • Kevin Behringer


    I look for things that are new – regardless of quality.

    There are plenty of “this is levels, this is curves” tutorials out there. When I go looking I look for some more “power user” stuff.

    Part of me also wants to say that I like tutorials that explain to achieve a certain look/effect, and that’s true, but I also like the videos that show the “why” behind the “how.” So, if someone has a video that explains how to achieve a certain effect, I like when they say, “I’m applying this filter because it does this.” It helps me learn Photoshop and not just learn how to follow the authors steps.

    I’m sure that doesn’t make a ton of sense, but it’s crystal clear in my head!

    September 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

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