If you have Office 2010, it’s really worth checking out the Office 2010 ‘Getting Started’ Screensaver. This free screensaver automatically downloads short 60-90 second tips from Office.com (like the one shown below) and displays them when you’re not using your PC.
And if a particular tip makes you want to learn more, a simple click takes you to a web page where you can replay the video, watch similar videos, or read ‘how-to’ articles.
Easy to ignore, yet hard to overlook
The quest to help you get started with new software isn’t new. Remember those ‘tip of the day’ dialogues that popped up whenever you started a program? Weren’t they annoying? Didn’t you close them almost instantly? The problem was that they interrupted you when you were trying to get work done. But what if we took a step back to a time when you weren’t using your PC? Enter the screensaver. The cool thing about screensavers is that they’re easy to dismiss when you have something to do, but they’re there waiting for you when you don’t.
Get ’em while they’re fresh
Screensavers are easy to create, so we decided to do something cool with ours. We coded our screensaver so that it pulls videos from an RSS feed. That way, the tips are always fresh, and you learn something new every day. Using RSS, you see a new video the day we publish it.
Success is in the screen of the beholder
In 2006, Cedars-Sinai hospital tried desperately to get doctors to wash their hands more often. Studies showed that they washed their hands less than 65% of the time between patients. The hospital sent emails and faxes. They put up posters. They even recruited a cadre of nurses to spy on doctors and hand out Starbucks gift cards as rewards. It didn’t work. Then they tried something that did. Turns out, the best tactic had nothing to do with rewards or financial gain. The best tactic was a visual reminder in the form of a screensaver on every hospital computer. (Source: The New York Times)
Screensavers work. And a screensaver with tips and timesavers from Office.com will help you work better.
(You might want to adjust your screen saver control settings to 1 minute initially, so you can get a good look at the tips on offer.)