We’re thinking about doing video overviews of major teardowns. We’ve created Animoto video slideshows in the past, but I’ll be the first to admit they didn’t add much value to our written teardown. For this video, we tried a completely different take: MJ (one of our technicians) shows you through the entire disassembly process.
This video is not a repair guide. Rather, it’s a quick overview of how to get inside the Kinect. Videos are really good at communicating context and repair difficulty, providing someone who’s never done it before an overview of the process. They’re not nearly as good at teaching repair—it’s incredibly frustrating to follow a repair video, constantly starting and stopping it to keep track of where you’re at. At the same time, the detailed repair manuals that are so useful when you’re doing a repair can be very intimidating when you’re first considering whether or not to fix something. I like to think of videos like this as a gateway drug to repair. We’re going to give you enough of a taste to get you hooked on the exciting possibility that you can fix your own hardware, then give you the best resource available to help you do the actual repair: a step-by-step photo guide.
In this sense, a video like this isn’t any different than our teardowns. We take apart every new gizmo to raise awareness that they can be fixed! The repairability score we give every device is serious business: it’s critically important that we consider how we’ll take care of the things we have before we buy them.
There’s one other problem with videos: they’re not a wiki! Our community has made dozens of improvements to the Kinect teardown since we published it yesterday, and it’s a much better document now. Repair manuals need to be living documents, getting better over time as more people use and improve it. That’s theoretically possible with videos too, but no one has written a video wiki yet! We’re going to continue to invest most of our resources into documentation that acts as a starting point for continual improvement.
In summary: We’ll be posting videos to make repair more accessible to new audiences, but they are not a replacement for step-by-step photo repair guides.
Now that I’ve gotten the background out of the way, MJ and I would love to know what you think of the video! What have you always wanted to know in our teardowns that video could convey effectively? Do you see anything we could do better? We’ll work your feedback into our next video.