A series of trailers about JIRA plugins

If your software has more than three buttons, you will surely have noticed how difficult it is to provide an overview of your product—let alone to describe its core functionality. It is really difficult to resist giving in to the temptation of meticulously describing all the details of a new feature that you have spent an entire month developing! But consider for a moment: you see the value of your innovative product because you know the product from the inside out. But what does it mean to a user who has only just heard about it?

The team here at Alconost can solve such challenges: we help developers tell the whole story about their products. We try to place the product in the user's world and to present a holistic picture of it. We try to show how it can solve pressing problems or simplify a user's workflow.

The three product trailers that we made about Teamlead products illustrate our approach. Teamlead develops plugins that extend the functionality of the popular JIRA bug tracker and project management system.

In November 2015 the guys at Teamlead contacted Alconost to order a video about their HelpDesk for JIRA plugin. The client was pleased with our work and entrusted us the project to create videos about two more plugins: CRM for JIRA and Calendar for JIRA.

Video about the HelpDesk for JIRA plugin

This plugin is used to provide technical support directly inside JIRA. Helpdesk for JIRA is convenient for all three parties: the customer, the technical support specialist, and the developer.

To illustrate the functionality of HelpDesk for JIRA, in the video we decided to focus on a specific use case for the plugin. We simulated a conjectural problem, and we showed the complete step-by-step procedure to solve the problem directly in the plugin interface. Thus, we demonstrated how the customer submits a ticket to the support specialist, and how the issue can be escalated from this person to the developer, and then how the answer moves back down the same chain to the customer.

We decided not to overload the video with minor details so that the viewer would not lose sight of the main points. This determined the visual style of the video: a clean background, real screenshots of the service, and conventional characters that did not attract too much attention to themselves.

We liked the plugin so much that we wrote a separate article on our blog about it. The team from Teamlead also liked the video, and we were immediately given the next project to create a video about the CRM for JIRA plugin.

Video about the CRM for JIRA plugin

This plugin allows sales managers to create contact databases directly in JIRA and to conduct the sales process and financing accounting directly from here.

We consulted with the customer, and we decided to make the video about CRM for JIRA in the same visual style as was chosen for the first trailer. We even chose the same voiceover artist who is a native speaker of English to provide the voiceover. However, there were also differences from the first project. For example, in the second trailer we decided to use face avatars instead of the conventional characters. Thanks to this, the interludes with the animated graphics could be better harmonized with scenes that demonstrated how the plugin works.

Screenshot from the CRM for JIRA video:

Screenshot from the CRM for JIRA video

The customer approved the result, and we immediately proceeded to the third video about the Calendar for JIRA plugin.

Video about the Calendar for JIRA plugin

This plugin helps companies schedule work in order to avoid backlogs by evenly distributing assignments among employees.

For the Calendar for JIRA video, we created a detailed character for the protagonist, whereas the minor characters were left as avatars. This represented a logical development in the series: after all, the first video featured only conventional characters, while the second had only avatars. The main character was given a detailed character animation, and the scenes with avatars were given textual speech bubbles. As a result, every scene has something that catches the attention of the viewer and keeps him or her from being distracted.

Screenshot from the Calendar for JIRA video:

Screenshot from the Calendar for JIRA video

The customer proposed two great ideas for the end of the video: place a little ball behind the main character and show icons that symbolize different professions. The customer thought of one of these ideas when the video was almost ready.

Usually substantial changes to the visual component of the video after the script has been approved increases the budget of the clip. But in this case the additional video clip did not cost the customer anything. We were happy to accommodate the Teamlead team. After all, the idea was quite excellent, and we have nothing but positive things to say about the experience of cooperating with the customer.

Customer input

The pace of work and the quality of the result largely depend on the customer. The guys from the Teamlead team did everything possible to ensure that the video projects went as smoothly and efficiently as possible:

  1. They configured a test environment for each plugin and filled it with dummy accounts, tasks, and data. Thanks to this, the screenshots featured in the videos correctly show how each plugin works.
  2. They provided rapid feedback about our work in progress. For example, we received a response to our rough draft of the HelpDesk for JIRA video on Christmas Eve. Thanks to this workflow, we did not have to delay work on the project even during the holidays.
  3. They provided extremely clear comments. Due to this we do not have to spend time on clarifying what the customer wanted, and we were able to make changes as quickly as possible.

Oksana Alekseenko, Teamlead Manager:

We are a small IT company that is really passionate about its products, so we were very glad to meet a team that was just as obsessed (in a positive sense) about their work. First of all, I would like to compliment our project manager at Alconost, Natasha. She is truly passionate about what she does, and she is also a positive and considerate person who is willing to really listen to the customer and take into account their comments and suggestions.

This was our first experience creating these types of video clips. We had almost no initial idea about what we wanted. It was especially pleasant that the guys at Alconost turned out to be professionals. The resulting videos were really quite delightful.

Other success stories

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