Is there any way to make this formatting look better?

Dec 27, 2012


I'm wondering if anyone can help me with an issue I'm trying to figure out. I have created an exercise that has the user answer "Yes", "Somewhat", or "No" for a series of 11 questions about whether or not their organization is currently doing certain things. Based on those answers, it then shows them a "report card" with a letter grade and any suggestions for improvement. The "suggestions" are basically any questions that the user answered "No" to, presented to them again as a list of things they should be doing. In order to accomplish this, I created variables for each question ("Question1", "Question2", etc.) and they are all listed in a text box on the "Suggestions" slide but this is not ideal. Currently, if the user clicks "Yes" as their answer to any question, it changes the variable's value to blank (as it would not be necessary to suggest it for improvement if the company is already doing it), meaning that it leaves a blank spot for that variable in the list of suggestions. Although this successfully shows the correct content, it means that the formatting looks terrible. What I would like to be able to do is have the questions that the user answered "No" to be listed first (and formatted nicely), then have the things the user answered "Somewhat" to listed afterwards as a secondary list (currently, I have differentiated between the two by having two asterixes [**] start a "No" statement and a dash [-] start a "Somewhat" statement but this looks messy and confusing.) If having two lists is too challenging, I am fine with only showing the "No" list, but I still need to find a way to fix the formatting issue. (FYI, the variables in black on the "Report Cards" slide are only a test to ensure that the counters are working and is not part of the design - it is counting 2 points for each "Yes" answer, 1 point for each "Somewhat", and "No" answers do not contribute to the points count but it tracks the total number of "No" answers as they can determine between an 'A' or a 'B' grade.)

My original thought was to use an "if/then"-type statement to tell the "Suggestions" slide to add any questions to the list that the user answered "No" to. Unfortunately, I can't see any way of doing this within the Triggers and, when I submitted this question to Articulate's Support team, I was told that it is not possible within Storyline's current functionality. An example of what I'd like it to do is:

If "Question1" is not equal to "blank" then add "%Question1%" to list/text box

...or something of the like. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could accomplish this? I had considered putting each statement on a new layer and using triggers to show or not show each layer but that would, essentially, create the same result as I am already getting with listing the variables in a text box as you can't dynamically change the position of text boxes on the layers, so it would still be a matter of certain layers being turned off, leaving gaps in the list. Because there are 11 questions that the user could possibly answer "No" to, there are far too many combinations for me to put every possible combination of suggestions on a new layer, so I'm not sure how to handle this.

Does anyone have any brilliant ideas?



30 Replies
Jennifer St. George

Hi Mel,

I took a look at your interaction and may I make a little suggestion?  It may be too late but ... what are you really trying to achieve by asking the questions and then doing the list at the end?  Could you instead give feedback as they answer each question (which if you are the learner you'll think about the question and the feedback together) and then you can still give them the grade at the end.  This should slow the learner down and not let them click, click through to rush to the end also (theoretically).

Also, if you want to give them a 'must do' takeaway checklist, list only those items where they answered No in a list format on a clipboard background (I believe Tom has a clipboard he gave away some time ago) or you could lay the text onto an image of a clipboard.  This way, theoretically, the learner has had ponder moments as they answered the questions to think about what they 'should' be doing (hopefully learning from your course!) and they'll get a grade and a takeaway list at the end of 'must do' items to implement.  The 'nice to do list' should probably just stay with each question as a best practice reminder or something.

Just a thought ...

Mel Ruth

@Mike, @David & @Jennifer,

In this case, what I am trying to do is give the user a list that they can take to the "powers-that-be" at their organization.  These questions apply mostly to pilots who are part of a larger organization (such as airlines) and, although they may not be the owners or the ones in charge of policy-making, they can certainly help to make the organization better by giving these suggestions to their higher-ups, as the list will already be tailored by their individual feedback.  It is because of this that giving the suggestions after each question does not really help as it is not necessarily the pilot who needs this list, but the ones who can put these policy changes in place in the organization.

I started setting things up as per Mike's suggestion and it seemed to be working great!  Because each number of possible suggestions narrowed down which suggestions could possibly appear in each position within the list (ie - with 11 "No" answers, there will be 11 out of 11 suggestions appearing on the list and each suggestion can only appear in one spot.  With 10 "No" answers, there will be 10 suggestions on the list out of 11 possible, so "Slot 1" could have either Suggestion1 or Suggestion2 appearing in it and "Slot 2" can only have Suggestion2 or Suggestion3 appearing in it, etc.  With 9 "No" answers, there would be 9 out of 11 possible suggestions appearing on the list, meaning that "Slot1" could have Suggestion1, 2, or 3 in it, "Slot2" could have Suggestion2, 3, or 4 in it, etc.), I thought that would narrow down the number of triggers required to show each suggestion within the list.  That part was true, however, it wasn't until I started getting into seeing how many triggers would be required to account for which questions the user didn't answer "No" to that it got staggering!  Mike mentioned this fact and he is correct on both accounts - it does work - but it was just going to be too much to try and set it all up once I got into less than 8 suggestions appearing on the list!  Mike's solution works very well if you have less options to be considered, though, so if anyone needs a similar setup with fewer options (I'd say 6 or less), download his example and mimic it, for sure!

I would like to minimize the number of additional slides that the user has to click through for feedback as they have already had to click through 11 question slides and then a report card slide in this single exercise alone, so, although David's suggestion is excellent and would work, I'd rather find a way to put all of the suggestions on one slide.  After playing around with it some more, I have realized that it is going to take even more playing around, so I have moved on to other aspects of the project and will come back to this at the end.  I've been thinking about this issue while going to sleep, in my dreams, when I wake up, while in the shower, while driving, etc! and I think that I have finally figured out a way to make it work.  It is going to involve having a separate slide for each number of possible suggestions (I have already created a variable that tracks their total "No" answers that can be used with triggers to show the correct slide) with each slide having separate layers for every "Slot" in the list.  Then, I can use variables to indicate whether or not each slot is already filled and have triggers on the layer to say which suggestion to show in that slot.  Basically, it will be using part of what I was doing with Mike's suggestion but breaking it down onto more manageable pieces (I hope!).  It is still going to be a lot of work to get it all set up but, in theory, it should work (although the same can be said of all of the other approaches I've tried!)  I will upload my final, functional model if I can ever get it to that point!  Do you guys offer a contest for the most complicated models that people can build with Storyline?  Maybe you should!  Lol!  

Thank you very much for all of the assistance that you have all been offering - it's still helpful to help me figure out different ways of approaching this!

Greg Mellang

I love the use of mind mapping software for creating a course map.  The fact you can add images is an added benefit.  I use it all the time (except when I feel the need to use crayons like Mike Enders).

The mind mapping software allows me to export the map as a bulleted list which I can turn into a menu with css.  One less step in the process.

Great conversation!

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.