Visibooks

Date: February 11th, 2002

URL: http://www.visibooks.com

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Rating: Excellent!

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What are Visibooks?

Visibooks are computer books for visual learners. The simple concept that led to the creation of Visibooks according to CEO Chris Charuhas is less text, more illustrations. Instead of overwhelming the reader with too much text and too much information, Visibooks take the simple “I’m gonna take you by the hand and show you step-by-step” approach.

What audience are Visibooks aimed at?

Visibooks are clearly geared towards the beginner. They don’t expect any knowledge about the topic covered in the book. Each concept is explained in clear, easy to understand language, illustrated with an example, and put into practice with an exercise. As a result, Visibooks are an ideal way of attacking something completely new that might seem overwhelming.

For example, if you’re thinking about creating your own web page, you are probably overwhelmed by this seemingly big and complex task. How do you make a page? What’s HTML? How can I learn it? How difficult is it? With Visibooks, you start with small easy steps that will immediately make sense. By following the steps readers will see instant success right on their screen.

After you have finished the first few chapters, you’ll realize that things are beginning to make sense, that the topic at hand is not as overwhelming as you might have thought, and that it is not that difficult to learn after all. That shows the big strength of Visibooks: Take the initial fear away, help make the first step, and get confidence by having instant success events.

What do Visibooks look like?

 

This sample page gives you a good idea of the layout of the book. The letter-size pages have ample white space, are clearly structured, and use big fonts to make it easy for 6 year olds still learning to read, as well as 60 year olds whose eye sight is not the greatest anymore.

A small but nice detail about Visibooks is that they are spiral bound, which means they lie flat on your desk without you having to break its spine to prevent it from closing or losing your page.

Each item covered in a Visibook follows a certain pattern:

 

  1. State the task to be accomplished
  2. Explain in simple numbered steps how to proceed
  3. Provide one or more screenshots for clarification
  4. Summarize the result
  5. Provide regular questions and/or practice tasks to verify and apply the knowledge just learned

This method helps the reader follow closely and know immediately when something is not quite right, reducing the chances of getting lost and therefore the amount of frustration in the learning process.

What do Visibooks not do?

Visibooks will not teach you how to launch a successful e-commerce web site, or teach you every single menu item to become master of an application, or become proficient enough in a topic to go pass a certification exam or get a job in that field. Only practice and experience and continued studying can achieve that for you.

Conclusion

Visibooks are a great tool for the beginner of all ages to overcome the first hurdle, dismiss the fear of the unknown, get started, have instant results, have fun with something new. They are definitely a good alternative way to learn at your own pace. Currently the selection is still limited, but more books about common topics and applications are already in the works.

Submitted by: Alex “crazygerman” Byron

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