What is a screenshot?

A screenshot is one of the easiest ways to capture and display content to consumers. A screenshot is a snapshot of what you are seeing on your computer. It can capture some or all of the page. Screenshots are helpful because they orient a consumer in your world and make sure you are both on the same page. You can display your work directly to them, or walk them through a topic or problem using screenshots.

How a screenshot works

  1. Its a frozen image of your screen

    A screenshot takes a moment in time on your computer, and turns it into a photo image. Screenshots are created multiple ways. On a PC, click the Windows button and PrintScreen button simultaneously. On a Mac, hit Shift-Command-4 simultaneously. There are other tools available for screenshots, including the Snipping Tool on PC devices. In all cases, the screenshot is then turned into a .png or .jpeg file stored on your computer.

  2. It conveys information with context

    Explaining to a consumer what is happening on your laptop is much harder without a visual. Imagine it! Think about trying to explain to me what you are doing on your computer right now. Verbally, we will likely run into confusion and misconceptions. At the very least, working through details and clarifying will take time. Now, think about sending me over a screenshot. We are now both looking at the same information and have context instantly.

  3. It enhances your content

    Screeshots are rarely, if ever, striking as standalone content. They are meant to be used in addition to good writing and other strong visuals. They enhance this other content by giving context, as explained above, and additional information that is hard to convey in words, photos or video alone.

Why screenshots matter

  1. They help your consumer out

    Consumers will like you if you make their life easier. Screenshots do this. Explaining a problem, or the value of a product or service, is much easier when you are working off of the same page as your consumer. Screenshots allow consumers to troubleshoot their own problems by seeing how your screen is set up. They are also able to learn how to take advantage of your product or service faster, using screenshots.

  2. They help you out

    Forget about all the happiness your consumer is getting. What about you? The beauty of screenshots, is that they also make your life easier. You can skip out on writing full in-depth instructions. When you hand over a screenshot, you are giving them visual instructions. With a few lines here and there, you are able to convey information that would take paragraphs -- if you were just using words alone.

  3. It sets your content apart

    In the marketing world of today, visual content is king. And according to Forbes, 65% of us are visual learners. Therefore, including screenshots is a win-win. Consumers tend to seek out content that includes visual aids or additions. And, they will be helpful to the natural-born visual learners -- and likely others, too.