The course player—or the frame around your slide content—contains helpful controls that guide learners through their e-learning. This includes a course menu, navigation buttons, accessibility features, and more.
And while it might seem like a minor detail, the course player can actually have a big impact on the overall learning experience. After all, if learners can’t access the controls they need or the buttons don’t work the way they expected, learners might wind up feeling lost and confused. And if they’re focusing on how to interact with your course, then they’re not concentrating on your content—which is the ultimate goal.
Thankfully, the modern player in Storyline 360 is super intuitive out of the box. And with all the customization options, it’s easy to personalize the player to fit your needs—and those of your learners.
But which options have the biggest impact on the learning experience? Let me walk you through some key things to consider as you customize the Storyline 360 player.
1. Remove Unnecessary Features
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your course player is to get rid of any features you’re not using. The modern player looks like this by default:
But if you’re not using audio in your course, displaying the Volume icon might just confuse learners. And resources are nice to have, but if there aren’t any included in the course, you should leave that part of the player out altogether.
You should never, however, remove the accessibility controls. These allow learners to adapt the learning experience to fit their needs.
Here’s what the player looks like when you remove the Resources tab and the Volume button:
Removing player controls you don’t need enhances the learning experience by ensuring all the available features are useful to the learner.
2. Hide the Sidebar
One of the key features of the player is the sidebar. This is where learners can view the menu contents—like scene and slide titles—and track their progress in the course. By default, the sidebar is automatically expanded, as shown in the example below.
But if you prefer, you can choose to hide it, like in this example:
This helps learners focus on the slide content, while still having access to the menu when they need it. To open it, they simply click on the Menu icon.
To hide the menu in your course player, select Sidebar Starts Collapsed in the player settings.
This is a great way to keep the menu’s functionality but give your course player a more minimalist appearance.
3. Create a Custom Color Scheme
Another thing to consider is changing the color scheme of your player to match your course design. The standard dark and light theme options are great, but there’s lots of room for creativity to meet branding or design guidelines. In the custom player option, you can select your own accent and background colors. Selecting a player background color that complements your slides will give your course a more seamless appearance and improve the visual experience for learners.
When choosing a new color scheme, be sure to keep accessibility in mind and check for appropriate color contrast.
And remember, you can change the accessibility focus colors as well—even selecting multiple colors using the two-color-focus indicator—to give all your learners a better experience.
4. Choose a Clear, Crisp Font
An important but sometimes overlooked part of the player is the player font. As this article points out, fonts can make a big difference in the legibility and tone of your course. Just as you have options for the font you use in your slides, there are also options for the font used in your course player. Under the Colors & Effects tab, you’ll notice a player font drop-down menu. Here you can select a different font for your player and your captions.
Remember to choose something easy to read—like a sans serif font instead of an ornamental font, which some learners can struggle to read.
Here’s what my course player looks like before and after applying the tips outlined in this article:
See how much of a difference a few simple modifications to the course player can make?
Including only relevant player controls and hiding the sidebar puts the course content front and center, which means learners can more easily focus on the information presented. And because I kept the accessibility controls and used an easy-to-read player font, learners don’t have to struggle to interact with or see the player. Not only that, but the color scheme of the player matches the course color themes, creating a more cohesive design. With these simple changes, the appearance of this course is transformed and the learning experience improved. And by following the tips in this article, you can easily achieve this in your courses, too.
Interested in learning more about customizing the Storyline 360 course player? Check out these articles:
- Storyline 360: Choosing Player Features
- 4 Fast & Easy Changes That Will Make Your Old Storyline Courses Look New Again
- Create a Cohesive Look with These 5 Storyline 360 Visual Design Pointers
Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.