[TODAY AT WORK] [UX] Using Camtasia Studio and Step Shot Guides

Turned out to be a very interesting day.

Finally started using Camtasia Studio and Step Shot Guides – two great screen recording and screenshot steps recording apps I had bought at bargain prices at AppSumo (an online deals website for Web Professionals and Entrepreneurs).

Camtasia Studio

I had purchased the Camtasia Studio License in 2015 and found that it was only valid for version 8…the most current version is 9. But still it turned out to be a great learning experience using it.

I had to record the purchasing process on our website of various products and share improvements. Camtasia Studio made it very easy. Though I was not asked to present in a particular format, with Camtasia I could capture the entire flow as a video, edit and mark screens where the experience could be improved using captions and callouts (a sample screenshot above). The learning curve was quite minimal and the interface was very intuitive and quick to use. 

When you export the videos as mp4, the rendering time is a bit steep depending on the length of the video. but worth the waiting time.

The product owner found the video very helpful. Guess videos are more communicative about the actual process than screenshots.

Step Shot Guides

I also decided to capture one of the purchasing process using Step Shot Guides – a very easy to use ‘process and steps’ recorder. I had bought this as a lifetime deal on AppSumo, I think for around $49.

The cool thing about Step Shot Guides was that at every mouse click, a screenshot is taken and finally all are presented to you in a PowerPoint style interface, where you can add your comments on the screenshots you want. A sample screenshot below:

From their website:

StepShot Guides

A neat cross-platform instrument for bloggers, students, and training specialists who are sick and tired of spending hours on explaining how things work.

  • automate process capturing through automatic screenshots and text data generation;
  • annotate screenshots in bulks;
  • Exporting to PDF document or presentation or publish to WordPress to make your guide available online. 

The above two tools are great for UX / customer support /documentation work. I totally got into the flow and optimal zone when learning and using them. I had to give in around 3 processes by the end of the day and managed to meet the deadline.

What tools do you use for your process/screen capture? Would be great to know. Do share in the comments.

[UX] Examples of online down selling

Here is how two online companies – LinkedIn.com (needs no introduction) and DealFuel.com (an online shop for web designers and digital marketers to get great deals on tools and courses), apply the following down sell offers when their customers unsubscribe:

LinkedIn down sell offer:


DealFuel.com down sell offer:


Both of them give a 50% off on the subscription fee for a period or forever which could entice customers to stay back.

How art direction can make a great difference to the idea in the headline or copy

Here are a few examples where I was had come up with creative headlines for marketing communication briefs that was approved by the clients for their on-target content. I’ll be writing down the incidents as I remember them:

Working in an advertising agency, we had account executives who had gathered a brief from the client for a particular product or service. The account executives then tried to convey to us creatives, in the best possible way, what the client wanted to communicate to his target audience/customers.


(TVS-Electronics Range of Dot-Matrix Printers were India's largest selling business standard printers)

One time, for TVS-Electronics range of Dot Matrix printers, the account executive wanted us to come up with a creative headline that could communicate that the TVS-Electronics Range of Dot-Matrix Printers were India’s largest selling business standard printers. After brainstorming with the team and the execs, I came up with “Bestsellers in Print!”

The team liked it and the Art Director immediately started working on a layout. My idea for the visual was the printers stacked together maybe vertically like books, but sadly they wanted to give the layout in the same day and that was the end of it.

This is where tasteful art direction would have complemented the headline and the advertisement would have been impactful.




(MSP 345 gives high-quality prints but at lower ink costs.)

This was again for TVS-Electronics Dot Matrix printers. This time the client wanted to communicate that one of their printers- the MSP 345 could give high-quality prints but at lower ink costs. I came up with the line “Executive Class at Economy Price!” and wanted this line to go with the visual of the side profile of the printer angled like a passenger seat in an air flight and a business executive reclining on it! But no, that was too much work and we had to go with the below 🙁



(TCMS has built wide network of branches founded on time-tested values of reliability, honesty and transparency.)

I came up with this headline for 21st Century Management Services company when they wanted to communicate that they had a wide number of branches and their values were reliability, honesty and transparency). 



How would you as an Art Director or Designer approached the above headlines? Do let me know in the comments. You’re also invited to art direct maybe as an exercise for your portfolio. Do share your ideas.

[IDEA/THOUGHT] What we can learn from the humble spring

Manifesto of the Spring

Spring of Life

The basic building block of life – DNA, is spring shaped. 
Thus the very nature and essence of life is being springy and positive.
Springs (springy people) are positive thinkers.

Spring of Knowledge

The coil inside a light-bulb is spring –shaped too. It gives light. Thus, Springs are naturally creative and Eternal Learners. They are an extension of “the kingdom of God is within you”. Their springy attitude makes them fast learners, quick adapters and intuitive thinkers. They share their learning and inspire people to achieve.

Spring a Surprise

Springs never fail to surprise. Having maximized their creative potential, they are able to manifest multi-facets of their intelligence. Their thinking is not closeted to a narrow path.

Spring Board to Success

Springs are flexible and adapt easily to pressure. The more pressure you apply, the more energy they gain and the more higher they shoot up. Whatever be the situation, they use it as a Spring Board to Success.

So the next time you feel weighed down by situations and circumstances or if you’re already in such a corner, remember the pressure on you is actually silently powering you up for a great leap forward. Just stay positive and breathe!

Spring Cleaning

Springs are constantly spring-cleaning their minds and hearts of all negativity.

Spring Action

Springs are the Here and Now kind. They are not lost in the past nor dreaming about the future. Their conscious awareness of the present helps them spring into action, seizing opportunities that come their way

Walk with a Spring in your Step

Springs are full of positivism, enthusiasm and have a natural zest for Life.
You’ll find them walking around with a spring in their step.

Be the Spring in Someone’s Life

Spring is the season of joyful sunshine, flowers and happiness. Such positive vibes spring out from shiny (should we say ‘springy’ :-), happy people?—?the Springs. Their enthusiasm for Life is infectious and they inspire people to bring out the same.

You are a Natural Born Spring.
Your very physical fibre of creation (DNA) is a Spring.


Written on a sudden inspiration in 1998–1999.
Drawing of the Spring Man done using the drawing tools and shapes in Microsoft Word.

[THOUGHT] The Human Experience – Scenes from the Metro

Every weekday morning, walking to catch the metro to office, inside the long Metro station corridor I pass by people hurrying on.

But certain scenes stand out.

A kindergarten toddler, hardly 5 years old, in her school uniform frock, wearing a backpack, holding onto her father’s hand toddling along trying to keep pace with his longer strides. I could hear her asking him in Hindi, “Daddy, when will we go to the beach again?”.

I don’t know about you but this broke my heart. The picture of that little girl running trying to keep pace with her dad who was obviously in a hurry to reach her to school and then get to work, and that little girl’s thoughts were elsewhere, she wanted to be free, at the beach. Maybe the beach would have made a better institution of learning than the walled ones we go to.
This gives me an idea, a moving school where classes happen in natural environments like parks, zoos, beaches, gardens. What schools were like in a previous age, before we lost ourselves wrapped in this complex sophistication of our modern age.

The other scene that plays out regularly. The same long metro station corridor. Same morning time going to work. People passing me by, I pass by people and these two pass by me. A man in his thirties, probably an elder brother, dragging along a boy with special needs, maybe in his teens, wearing a backpack, uncomfortably trying to keep pace, not looking too happy. Probably getting dropped at a daycare. The same rush. The world is turning non-stop and we have to keep running to stay in the same place.

This third scene, a more recent one. Same morning time. A middle-aged middle-eastern woman in a black abaya with her head covered, pushing with one hand a wheel-chair carrying a 12-year old differently-abled kid and with the other hand pulling a trolley-schoolbag. The kid is in uniform and asleep. The lady pulls along with a grim determination and will.

One day, when barely managing to get a place at the entrance in the crowded carriage, found myself face to face with a father standing with a pram (baby-stroller) in which a 8 month old baby was sitting and looking up in wonder at all the faces crowded around and looking down at it. My hand holding my mobile phone and bag was at its reach. It tried tugging at my mobile and the father tried to distract it with his mobile. Early morning at the metro, I have seen parents carrying babies and toddlers, some half asleep to affordable day cares in my area.

And today, a heart-warming one, in the long metro corridor leading to the ticket booth and turnstiles. A middle-aged couple, both obviously going to work, but walking at a more leisurely pace. The man, was carrying his kindergarten kid in school uniform on his shoulders – a joy ride for the kid.

Somewhere at the back of my mind, Paul Young’s version of “Love of the Common People” plays. The human experience, love it or hate it but you can’t escape it.