Blender tutorials: please favor using menus to using keyboard shortcuts

The Blender community is so great that many new interesting tutorials are constantly posted a bit everywhere.

The quality of the tutorials vary. Some are well done and very useful for their target public. However, I have one piece of constructive criticism that applies to just about every text/video tutorial out there: it would be much more user friendly to use menus rather than keyboard shortcuts.

Yes, keyboard shortcuts are great. They allow an experienced user to use Blender efficiently. However, it is undeniable that the learning curve to master any 3D modelling software is quite stiff. One of the difficulties is to remember all those pesky keyboard shortcuts. ("Hmmm. I seem to remember that the shorcut was something-M... Shift-M? CTRL-M? Alt-M? Meta-M?...")

Even with the better video tutorials which display the keystrokes and mouse clicks on the screen, a newbie can't help feeling overwhelmed by all the shortcuts used for each single action performed.

I think tutorial makers should ease the learning curve by systematically performing each new action in two ways: first, using the available menus in the user interface, second, using the search menu (spacebar). Using the menus provides a visual aid to the newcomer that is much more easily remembered than a more abstract shortcut. Once the learner knows how to find the tool within the menus, he can see within the menu itself the shortcut he could use next time to perform the same action.

If you are not convinced, try performing this experiment: prepare a simple tutorial and record it in two different ways:

  1. Use shortcuts throughout, as it is currently done in every tutorial.
  2. Systematically use menus and the search function to introduce new tools.

Then gather a group of newbies who could all learn from this tutorial. Separate them into two sub-groups, each group viewing only one of the two recorded tutorials. Then, after having viewed the tutorial once, ask them to perform the whole task demonstrated in the tutorial on their own, from memory. It is an easy bet that the group who viewed the 2nd tutorial above (the one using menus) will be able to perform much better than the other group.

So: many thanks to the great Blender community for taking the time to create so many great tutorial. But please, make them even more newbie-friendly, even more appropriate for your target audience, by teaching them where to find each tool, in case they forgot the appropriate shortcut.