Hi everyone, this week’s blog isn’t directly going to be about Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 for Financials but before you dash for the exit, this week I’m going to show you a tool called ClickLearn. ClickLearn is a documentation and learning tool that you can run use with Dynamics NAV for D365 for Financials, basically you step through your process in the system (like raising a Purchase Order) and ClickLearn tracks and records the steps you take and then at the end it can create a Word document, PowerPoint, interactive video (in 3 or 4 different formats) and web page, all in one go!
As someone who has wrote a fair bit of NAV and product documentation, I’ve found this extremely helpful and it’s saved me a lot of time. It does all the “heavy lifting” for you (like taking screenshots, cropping and formatting them) so then you can add some descriptions to it and add some context and then the tool will produce everything for you. In my point of view, instead of creating pages and pages of documentation that people are probably not going to look at never mind take in what you are trying to explain to them, ClickLearn is a much more effective way of teaching a process to someone. At the end of creating the ClickLearn document, you could provide the user will a video stepping through and explaining the process to them, which will be better than the best document you could’ve put together just using Word. Also, what would a customer / user appreciate more, spending time writing documents or building processes which are played back to them?
Just a note – I wish I was earning commission for ClickLearn but I’m not. I just genuinely love the tool and at The NAV People, we’ve used it a lot. I’m sure others out there can make use of it. It doesn’t matter if you’re an end user or a partner, it’s fantastic.
Ok here we go, let’s talk through the basics of ClickLearn.
This is the ClickLearn Studio, the application you’ll be using and it’s where all the magic happens. It installs and run client-side so you have to install it where you are accessing NAV so you can install it on a Terminal Server if you have NAV there or you can install it on your local machine and access NAV / D365 for Financials through a web browser, etc.
By pressing New in the top left hand corner, the recorder will start and then I’ll be able to step through my process in the application. In this case let’s go through raising a Purchase Order. You step through this as you would normally however you have to wait maybe a split second for the green rectangle (ClickLearn) to catch up and to capture what you are doing.
Here you can see that I’m going through the application normally and waiting for the green square to show. Once that has appeared I can either click it to capture that or I can press CTRL + SHIFT if I just want to hover over something and point it out (but without clicking it).
So, skipping ahead I’m going to go through and create my Purchase Order before stopping ClickLearn. To stop the ClickLearn recording you press both CTRL keys on your keyboard and then ClickLearn studio will open again.
ClickLearn captures every point that you either pressed the left mouse key or pressed CTRL+SHIFT to hover over something and when the Studio first opens, you get a description and screenshot per one so you don’t have to be wasting time and formatting any screenshots! As ClickLearn has been built around the application as well, it knows all of the keyboard shortcuts and page captions from the system. For example, when you press a “New” button it will also guide you to press CTRL+N
By adding a “Note”, I have started to add some text to the document to explain things to the user or to provide more information to them. These can be added to any step in the process and you can edit any of the points (steps) the application captures on the left hand side. For example, our first one has cropped the screenshot so it’s only a small area. As it’s the Role Center, the user may benefit from having a screenshot of the whole page so they know exactly where they should start from so in this case, I have to edit the step ClickLearn gave me. I can press the step on the left and then press Group to change this from “group” to “window client area”. When I then press ok, the edit will be applied (and it can always be reverted later).
Adding a note to the document
Editing the step screenshot
If there are steps that are on the same page, instead of having a “Description – Screenshot, Description – Screenshot” layout, you can combine these into one screenshot so it’s a lot clearer for the user. To do this, you could hold CTRL and select the steps and press Group.
Then you’ll get something like this:
When you are finished editing your recording and you are ready to reap the rewards of your not-so-hard work, you can save this and go back to the Recording List. Then when you go to Tools > Preferences you can control what is produced by ClickLearn before pressing “Produce”. In this case I will go for a HTML document and HTML video.
The application will tell you when it has finished and then you can go to View > Web Page to see the end result. The Process Description which you can see below, will guide the user step by step how they can go through and create their own Purchase Order but, what’s really cool is that we have also produced the HTML Video.
When you start the video, it will play through everything we recorded in the system, exactly how we did it and with all of the edits we put in there (like adding more descriptions, etc). The best bit about the HTML Video is that it doesn’t just play and leave the user behind! Whenever we clicked something or hovered over a control to highlight it, the video will wait for the user to actually click or hover the highlighted area in the video so it’s like the user is doing it themselves in their own sandboxed environment!! That is probably my favourite part of ClickLearn, they can learn how to do it themselves without having to access a training company, without needing someone to set them up with an environment or as a user, etc.! Plus – from a user point of view, it’s a whole bunch more interesting doing it this way and not just reading a boring, plain old document!
OK so they are some of the very basics of ClickLearn, maybe we’ll cover some other features like how you can use this to create a Codeunit for testing purposes (which is pretty cool!!) but hey, that’s a whole different subject and let’s walk before we can run 🙂