One of my favorite things about spending time with my fellow Articulate Storyline 360 users is that I always learn something new. Sometimes I snag a clever workaround or a timesaving trick. Other times I just get a little more insight into some of the challenges people face as they’re getting up to speed in Storyline.
In this article, I’ll tackle some of those challenges—reframed as frequently asked questions—and give you a few quick answers and plenty of links to resources for more learning.
1. How do I get started with learning Storyline 360?
Storyline 360 is a powerful app, but also easy to learn and use. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself building all sorts of cool, custom projects in no time.
Here are some of my favorite tips and resources for getting up to speed quickly.
- Check out our Storyline 360 user guide!
- Register for Articulate Live online training webinars. Webinars are held weekly and delivered by industry pros Tom Kuhlmann and David Anderson. Live webinars cover tips and tricks for working with the apps and resources in Articulate 360, including Storyline 360.
You can register for as many Live webinars as you’d like! And even if you can’t attend, we’ll send you a recording of the webinar as well as any handouts or other resources so you can learn when it’s convenient for you.
- Check out the Articulate 360 product hub on E-Learning Heroes for articles and tutorials that walk through all the apps and resources in Articulate 360. The Storyline 360 tutorials are particularly helpful since many of them include practice exercises to get you up and running quickly. Just look for the green box like this:
- Some folks learn best by digging into an existing project and reverse engineering it. There are two easy resources for finding finished projects you can take apart and learn from.
- Download and insert some Content Library interactions. Content Library slides are fully functional out of the box. They even have placeholder text that’s full of instructional design tips to help you get the most from each layout.
- Another great resource is our Downloads hub on E-Learning Heroes. This is where our super-generous user community shares their work. You can scroll through and find all sorts of interesting projects to learn from.
You can also learn from your fellow e-learning pros by sharing your questions in our Building Better Courses forum, or in our Storyline product forum. These forums are a great way to connect with others, find inspiration, get help, or lend a hand to fellow newbies.
2. How do I disable the Next button until the learner has clicked through everything on the slide?
Sometimes subject matter experts or stakeholders want us to prevent learners from clicking the built-in Next button until they’ve viewed all the content or listened to all the audio narration on a slide. This is an especially popular request for compliance training.
Thankfully, disabling the Next button is easily done in Storyline 360. You’ll just add an object trigger to the Next button to change its state. The built-in Previous, Next, and Submit buttons all have normal, disabled, or hidden states to choose from. For example, in the following gif, you'll see I've already added a slide trigger to disable the next button when the timeline starts. Here's what it looks like to enable the next button by changing its state to normal when the media (in my case a video) completes:
If you want to learn more about working with triggers to control your learners’ navigation in Storyline 360, don’t miss “How to Temporarily Disable or Hide Navigation Buttons.”
3. When should I use a layer and when should I use a state?
Slider layers and object states are two of the most powerful features in Storyline, and they can be used to achieve similar outcomes. So how do you know when to use which?
Generally speaking, changing an object’s state is best used when you need to change the appearance of a single object on your slide—like a character or button—based on actions the learner has taken.
When you need to add more information, provide feedback, or want to change the appearance of multiple objects, layers are the preferred method.
My fellow community manager Allison LaMotte wrote a great article on this topic. Be sure to check out “How to Build Your Course Faster and More Efficiently Using States, Slide Layers, and Slides” for more food for thought.
4. How can I remove items from the course player menu? Will removing items from the menu remove them from my project as well?
The built-in menu in the Storyline course player is a great timesaver over building a custom menu. But what if you don’t want every screen of your course to appear in the menu? How can you customize the menu and what impact will that have on your project file?
Removing a title from the menu is done by selecting the scene or slide title and clicking the “Delete heading” button below the menu. Any scenes or slides you remove from the menu will still be part of your published course; they just won’t appear in the menu.
Likewise, reordering menu items only changes their sequence in the menu. To change the actual viewing order in your project, you’d need to edit the navigation triggers for your slides.
There are loads of customization options for the built-in menu in Storyline 360—both in the modern player and in the classic player. You can learn more about them in this article, “Storyline 360: Customizing the Menu.”
5. Is there a way to publish just a single slide or scene of my project?
No matter the type of design process you follow when you’re building e-learning, it’s not uncommon for there to be some iteration—a little back and forth with a subject matter expert—to try and get a slide’s layout or functionality just right. Publishing and republishing the entire project in these situations can be tedious and create distractions for your busy reviewers, who might not be able to resist the urge to point out things they’d like you to change on other slides!
Keep your reviewers focused on the task at hand by publishing just a single scene or a single slide of your project instead of the whole enchilada. Here’s how:
- On the home tab, click Publish.
- On the Articulate 360 tab, click the hyperlink next to Publish Properties.
- Choose the radio button next to “A single scene” or “A single slide” and then use the drop-down menus to pick your scene or slide for publishing.
Here’s a quick animated gif demonstrating these steps:
Pro Tip: The option to publish the entire course, a single scene, or a single slide is also available for Video, Web, LMS, Articulate Online, and CD output.
6. How can I change the styling of the Next button in the modern player?
With the modern player, you’ve got a nicely unified experience across devices. But one feature that tends to be a little under the radar is the option to choose different styles for the navigation buttons—the Previous, Next, and Submit buttons. These buttons can be styled with icons, text, or both icons and text. (Note: When viewed on smartphones, navigation buttons will always be icons.)
Here’s how to find those style settings:
- From the home tab, click Player.
- On Player Properties, make sure “modern player” is selected from the Player Style drop-down.
- Click Colors and Effects.
- From the Button Styles Navigation drop-down, choose an option: icon, icon and text, or just text for your button labels.
- Click OK.
You can learn even more about modern player features and customization options in this handy article, which also includes a video: “Storyline 360: Introducing the Modern Player.”
Are you new to Storyline or transitioning from another authoring tool? What would you like to know more about? Share your questions with me by leaving a comment below or by posting your thoughts in the Building Better Courses forum. I’d love to hear from you!
Want to read more helpful tips, tricks, and ideas? Follow us on Twitter and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more advice on everything related to e-learning.