Insert Button vs Using States

Sep 05, 2019

We have Storyline 360 that has the easy intert buttons that you can set triggers for. The tutorials show you how to use shapes and states.  Why would I use states when there is an easy button-tool?  Is there a situation where you should use one over the other?

Thank you

2 Replies
Ned Whiteley

Hi Nancy,

Using buttons to activate triggers and triggers to change states are two of the key components of Storyline that make it an interactive and engaging experience for your users. They each have their uses and are not really interchangeable and how you use them is very dependent on the outcome you are trying to achieve.

Where states come into their own is through the visual feedback that they can provide. For example, even your buttons have different built-in states, which is why they change when the mouse hovers over them and change again when you click on them and also when the mouse button is released. It is these changes of state that give the user the feedback that makes them feel that they have just clicked on a button rather than a flat 2D shape.

State changes can also be used to signify that the user has already visited a particular part of a menu or, conversely, can be used to show which menu item to select next by disabling or hiding other options.

As shown in the tutorials (, state changes can also be used to change the expression or pose of a character based on the user's selection, which adds to the visual feedback to the user. At the end of the day, we want our courses to be engaging, otherwise the users won't bother with them and all those hours we devote to building them will have been wasted.

The attached file provides a very basic example of how the effective use of buttons and state changes can alter the user experience. The interaction on the left is flat and bland, whereas the same interaction on the right is brought to life with a few state changes, which affect both the button and the character. As a result, the user is aware that they have correctly clicked on the button, they receive positive feedback that they have visited the text layer and closed it down correctly and finally the button changes state again (colour) to show that that layer has already been visited.

There are many more ways that you can make use of buttons and state changes, but hopefully this has given you some ideas.  If you have any further queries, please don't hesitate to post them here.

Brian Allen

Great question! I also love the easy buttons in Storyline... they already have all of the states I need for interaction and they're easy to add triggers to.

There are times, however, that I need to create custom buttons for a course and the default "easy buttons" just don't fit what I need.

In this situation it's super nice to be able to create my own buttons using shapes/images and states, and I can do some really nice custom development that really integrates with the overall course theme.

This is just one example of when I'd use shapes/states over the easy buttons....

Hope this helps,


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