illustrated hero image of characters celebrating around an HTML5 logo

As part of our more recent product updates, we’ve made vast improvements to our HTML5 output for Storyline. While this sounds great—who doesn’t like “improvements?”—you might be wondering what that actually means for you when you create courses and for your learners when they’re viewing your content.

What is HTML5?

HTML5 is the latest version of HTML, the standardized programming language used to structure content that appears on the web. With the elements and behaviors in this new version, developers can add animations, interactive objects, and more to online content.

Because HTML5 is a web-based technology that’s supported on all modern mobile devices, it’s a popular publishing option for multidevice e-learning. Using it means mobile learners don’t need any special app to play HTML5 courses on their device—they can just use the device’s mobile browser.

Before HTML5, most e-learning used Flash as its publishing standard. But with new devices that don’t support Flash, and the upcoming phase-out of Flash technology, HTML5 is now the go-to standard for many e-learning apps. In fact, HTML5 is our technology choice for all the authoring apps in Articulate 360.

What Updated HTML5 Output in Storyline Means for You

Back in 2012, when we started using HTML5, it was the most cutting-edge technology available, but it wasn’t without its challenges and limitations. Since then, HTML5 technology has become much more advanced and stable. So we decided it was worth the investment to rebuild our HTML5 engine from the ground up to take advantage of the latest web technologies. That means your courses look better, are easier for your learners to access, and support more features than ever before.

Here’s a little more detail:

Improvement #1: Your Courses Look Better

No matter how custom or complex, with our rebuilt HTML5 engine, your Storyline course will always look its best across a variety of browsers and devices.

For example, in the past, Storyline used vector shapes to display fonts. This could result in blurry course content in certain web browsers and at different sizes. The new HTML5 output generates web fonts that render cleanly across the web—so course content is always pixel-perfect and easy to read. Take a look:

comparing the display of vector shapes for fonts versus web fonts in improved HTML5 output of Storyline 360

Improvement #2: Your Courses Are Easier to Use

With the new HTML5 output, it’s easier than ever for learners to access your courses. Especially when you compare the experience to using Flash.

While Flash has historically been a popular publishing standard for e-learning courses, it’s on the way out. Adobe has announced that they’ll be phasing out support for Flash in 2020, and it already poses some serious issues for content developers.

First, Flash content doesn’t work on Apple mobile devices, requiring learners to use another device or find a workaround in order for your course to work. Second, learners using desktop computers are required to install a pesky Flash plug-in. And last, but certainly not the least, if you don’t keep your Flash plug-in up-to-date, you’ll find yourself vulnerable to security threats. For this reason alone, some companies ban Flash plug-ins and content outright.

With HTML5, your courses are more secure and there’s less friction in the process of getting to your content. Learners can access your content on any device, instantly—no plug-in necessary. Plus, we’ve done extensive performance testing of our HTML5 output to make sure courses run quickly and smoothly on any device, ensuring that learners have a seamless experience.

Improvement #3: Your Courses Include More Features

Now you can take advantage of all the awesome features in Storyline when you publish to HTML5—creating engaging and accessible courses for any device.  

In previous versions of Storyline, some of the interactive elements in your course might not work if you published to HTML5 (but they would work in Flash). With the new HTML5 output, nearly all features are supported. Courses published to HTML5 deliver smooth animations and transitions, high-performance media playback, and complex interactivity.

That means your learners will have a consistent experience, no matter what device they’re using. And for learners on the go, HTML5 takes advantage of the latest web technologies, supporting mobile gestures such as swipe, pinch-to-zoom, and more.

Additionally, rebuilding our HTML5 rendering engine has allowed us to make major improvements to our accessibility features. All of these features used to be available only in Flash output (or not at all), but they are now supported in HTML5 output as well:

  • Section 508 Support
  • WCAG 2.0 Support
  • Closed Captions
  • Tables
  • Custom Tab Order
  • Player Font Size
  • Skip Player Navigation with Screen Readers
  • Language ID for Screen Readers

Try Our HTML5 Output

It used to be that all of our publishing options were Flash-first, with an optional HTML5 fallback. Now, we’ve added brand-new HTML5-only and HTML5-first publishing formats to both Storyline 360 and Storyline 3.

Experience the improved output for yourself by trying Storyline 360: Trivia Game Template or Storyline 360: Quiz Game Show Template on your tablet or smartphone.

Want to experience new and improved HTML5 output, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 60-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.

Alex Arathoon
Rebecca Groombridge
Jim Rehmann
lily james
Steve Banks
Alex Arathoon
Ashley Terwilliger
Matthew McClure
Jacqueline Cardenas
Ashley Terwilliger