When designing online content such as e-learning, it can be a challenge to account for the wide variety of screen sizes and resolutions viewers will use for your course. Even if we set aside mobile devices, which merit their own conversation, there is a lot more variety in the monitors displaying your courses than ever before.

Fortunately, both Articulate Storyline and Studio ’13 let you control the response of the course player when it’s launched on browsers of various sizes and resolutions. While there is rarely a single, perfect answer, understanding how your player size settings affect the display of your course will help you decide what will work best for your audience.

So the question is: to scale the course player based on the size of the browser that opens it, or to lock it at its optimal size, which is your presentation size plus additional width and height to accommodate controls and features on the player? Here’s a little more about each option:

1. Scale player to fill browser window

This option will make your course fill the web browser window while maintaining its original aspect ratio. This means your course can be scaled up or down from the optimal size. While this type of resizing can help avoid a course getting cut off on smaller screens, the trade-off is that you may notice a loss of clarity when the browser is maximized on really big monitors.

2. Lock player at optimal size

This option ensures that your published course will always display at its optimal size. No matter how large or small your learners size their browser window, the course display will not change.

More info about optimal size:

As mentioned above, the optimal size is whatever you set the presentation size to plus any additional width and height to accommodate the course player. Depending on the features and controls you’ve included in your player, the player adds 20 to 260 pixels to the width of your course and 20 to 118 pixels to the height. You can check out this tutorial to learn more about the features and controls available for your player.

To adjust the player size setting in Studio ’13, go to the Articulate tab on the PowerPoint ribbon and click the Player button. When the Player Properties window appears, click Other.

For Storyline, the process is the same, except you’ll find the Player button on the Home tab.

What about you? Do you consider screen sizes and resolutions as part of your audience analysis? What have you found to work best in your environment?

Post by Mike Taylor


If you want to try this yourself but don’t have Studio ’13 or Storyline, no problem. Just sign up for a fully functional, free trial. And don’t forget to post your questions and comments in the forums! We’re here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

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