I first used Vyond to create explainer videos shortly after it rebranded from GoAnimate in 2018. While I had access to the tool, I built the portfolio entry “The Perils of Jolene” to practice and then demonstrate some of the key elements that I like about Vyond.

Vyond has a full library of templates, backgrounds, characters, props, and background music that allow designers to quickly build the look that they want for scenes. With just a bit more effort, it’s possible to upload your own media to use as well. For example, in this video, the voice track was recorded using Audacity and then uploaded to the project.

In the First Day screen I used a template that included all of the background, including the people sitting at the conference table. Those people had some animation to give the scene a sense of liveliness that works great for short scenes, and the template put it all in place quickly. In longer scenes, the repetitive motion can start to seem silly or annoying, so it needs to be used with caution. Note that once you have a background like this in place, you can often make swaps to the characters, clothing, or activities as needed. The main character of Jolene moves onto the screen with an entry animation. While Jolene is mostly a static image at this point, her eyes do blink, making it more lively and matching the animated background.

The text “First Day!” was built without a background, but some other nice options for adding text include sliding it in on a sign or whiteboard or having it drawn in with a marker or even a hand holding a marker.

To keep the content engaging, a different layout is used for the list of onboarding tasks. This functions as an advance organizer that could be used throughout an onboarding program, providing a quick introduction to training modules that are presented in a classroom, webinar, or even eLearning provided via a link at the end of the video. The text is completely customized, as well as check marks to mark items the learner has already completed and an underline to show what’s coming next. Providing a schema like this for training with multiple pieces helps the learner to organize new information in a useful way as it is presented.

In this scene, Jolene’s manager enters and talks to her about the upcoming training. During this scene, the manager’s mouth, head, and hands all move as he speaks while Jolene nods and moves as she listens. Since I used voiceover, the mouth doesn’t synch to the audio. There is an option to have character mouths synch to audio as part of the higher priced packages.

Vyond is not an inexpensive solution, but it does have high impact and can be a great value. When I used it in 2018, I built a series of videos for one client as part of a change management effort as they moved to SAP. We had a five-minute introductory video explaining why SAP was chosen and how it would benefit the company at a macro level. Then, there was a series of 90-second videos that followed, each covering a specific topic. These short videos rolled out to learners in email messages and provided important context for deeper-dive training, while promoting a positive and engaged attitude toward the learning. For a second client at the same time, I built a series of two-minute videos that each focused on a different challenging situation regarding negotiating pay with a direct report. These microlearning videos were meant to provide the company position and approach to things like comparing salaries with each other, with other positions in the market, and with salary websites. In addition to being pushed to managers in advance of annual reviews, this small library of resources was made available for just-in-time refreshment when needed. I was able to find a quarter-long subscription package with Vyond that gave me plenty of time to draft these videos and to shepherd them through cycles of reviews and edits to a sparkling HD final product.

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