UCL Saves 80% of Time with StepShot - Used for Creating Effective Training Programs, Video Tutorials, and Software Testing

Executive Summary:

We are pleased to inform you that one of our permanent customers is UCL, which successfully uses StepShot software for the rapid development of training programs and technical documentation. We know about this from Jim Tyson, who works as a Senior IT Trainer in UCL. According to him, UCL has managed to solve their biggest concerns about corporate branding, switched to step-by-step documents for creating effective training programs, used StepShot instead of storyboards for sketching out a prototype of video tutorials, and exploited the app in software testing. This has resulted in impressive time saving and optimized onboarding, training, and testing processes.

About the University:

University College London (UCL) is a constituent college of the federal University of London. It is the third-largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrollment and is regarded as one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary universities. The college has a software database and a database with “How-to” guides aimed to train both staff and students to use the software.

Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

University Size: 7K academic staff, 5K administrative staff, 38K students

The challenges:

  1. The Information Services Training Team within the Information Systems Division at UCL was struggling with the development of effective training programs for both off-the-shelf software and in-house systems. Previously, a team of developers in the Information Systems Division worked directly with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to create raw records. In this case, the developers usually edited and polished those records, then added media and other helpful files after. As a result, both parties spent a lot of time on time-consuming and boring record enhancement aimed at creating an effective training program. Constantly coordinating time with each other, both the developers and SMEs felt overstretched and frustrated.
  2. Another difficulty was associated with the production of videos and simulation material for them. Previously, UCL used storyboarding tools to create video tutorials. This was a rather challenging task; even experienced instructional designers found the process difficult at times. Although they used some heavyweight tools, it required a considerable investment to get a product ready for review and approval. There was also no possibility to review the material in the early stage of its development.
  3. In turn, software testing documentation is known for being time-consuming and, to be honest, quite a boring task. It frequently requires recording the steps a developer has to take to reproduce the problem and, consequently, fix it. Application developers and testers in UCL often used a range of different tools for this purpose, thus, needed to switch between different programs and contexts each time they had to take a screenshot, edit the image, annotate it, or compose a video tutorial. Another time-consuming procedure was connected with user acceptance testing which required the formation of scripts in various applications for relative formats production.


“If you have ever done these jobs, then you might have combined several tools, for example, a screenshot tool (Windows has one built in), Word, an image editor (Paint or Photoshop), with a workflow like this: take all your screenshots, insert them into Word editing, cropping etc as you go, adding explanatory text. Stepshot brings all this together in one tool.”

StepShot has proved to be a unique all-in-one solution in this case. UCL found many uses for StepShot services. They began to use our app first to solve two of the aforementioned challenges. StepShot allowed them to save 80% of their time in creating an effective training program or a video tutorial. The users from UCL report that no one currently using it has had more than a two-minute informal introduction to the product but people seem to pick up its basic use very quickly. What’s important, they also compliment the option of image and template enhancement which makes it easy to align all StepShot documents with corporate branding.

“StepShot is a really good tool which saves 80% of our time. It doesn’t do everything you would get from storyboarding software, but does it with much less effort and with far less difficulty you can produce an alternative to a traditional storyboarding script”

Later, the benefits of the program were used by the developing team in the process of software testing. In this case, StepShot tool was found to be useful for software documentation at different levels of its development. With StepShot, application developers and testers in UCL can attach either an annotated image or a video tutorial to their bug reports to demonstrate how to repeat particular actions so that their teammates can check whether the bug exists, fix it, and conduct regression testing. In addition, they use StepShot to record testing sessions and to document user acceptance testing, and so generate printed test scripts for beta testing.

“StepShot is doing its job really really well. With StepShot, you can achieve immense time saving accompanied by simplicity of use. The benefits of the app comprise rapid prototyping, the simplicity of workflow, the possibility of branding, ease of use, the high value of the product, and its fair price.”

Taking into consideration the number of UCL staff and students, we understand that the process of effective training program development is essential for successful and effective onboarding and learning in a timely manner. Similarly, quality assurance needs an effective productivity tool which reduces time spent on capturing bugs with screen recording software or writing scripts with several tools instead of one. While UCL still uses Oracle’s UPK, Adobe Creative, TechSmith, and Camtasia for other tasks, StepShot has become an integral part of their documentation toolkit. After StepShot had been used to solve the three challenges described above, other members of the UCL staff began to utilize the application for creating knowledge base articles and recording process for business analysis and process review.

“Everyone jokes here that I’m some kind of enthusiast of the product. But the product is really easy to be enthusiastic about.”

Wondering about other ways to create effective training programs or video tutorials and make software testing documentation easier? Our team can provide you with robust solutions for helping you streamline these processes. Please contact us and we’ll get back to you with fresh ideas in no time!


We are proud to say that, apart from UCL, staff and students from many other schools and universities use StepShot, including: Stony Brook School, Duke University, Columbia University, Chicago University, Yale School of Management, Stanford University, Royal Commission Yanbu Colleges & Institutes, Purdue University, Johns Hopkins University, Temple University, University of California, Australian National University, and others.