My Latest "Music Video-Like" Experiment [Demo]

Need some feedback on a prototype that I'm working on . . .

For my former employer, I have a small Storyline project to develop a module on leaders as developers of their people.  The company recently instituted development planning for all employees (separate now from annual performance planning) and this new module will be part of the new resources for management to help get them up-to-speed as developers of talent.

During the Storyline beta, I did two music videos for fun.  But I've always wanted to take that experience and, if possible, in the right circumstances, apply what I learned in a e-learning course in a way that works.

So I've been playing around with the following introductory "music montage" piece as a first prototype for my client.  I've seen the technique done before and am not sure what it is called (a type of mash-up?).


Normally I start a course and get right to the WIIFM to, among other things, encourage learner engagement and to get things moving.  This is a more "leisurely WIIFM," almost "reflective shock and awe" to get the learner to buy into why this course's topic is important. 

Questions--does the intro work?  Is it too much? I wanted it shorter but it "felt right" to be as long as the musical piece that I'm using. Normally I might use something like this at the end of a course instead of the beginning.

I like the fact that a Storyline project can be effective without a lot of fancy programming--just the right choice of material and some timeline and simple graphics magic to tell a message.  I could have done this in PowerPoint and exported as a movie but I wanted to do as much as I could in Storyline itself.  Also, the timeline was a life-saver.

(Disclaimer:  My client has not seen this prototype yet so it may or may not be something they approve or adopt.  However, everything used in the intro is public knowledge.)

Thanks for any feedback.

[Updated May 23:  Link to Demo v2 - thanks again everyone for all the wonderful feedback.]

41 Replies
Gerry Wasiluk

Thank you, Jill.  Much appreciated.   Great food for thought.  Like a lot of the suggestions.

The personal connection to the learner immediately follows after this.  That's kinda against the rules but I'm going to go "wide" with the mash-up and then "smaller" and personal after.  Don't want to mix them up for now.

It'll be a day or three for me to get back to this as I need to now finish two Articulate Presenter projects for a different client.  (After using Storyline for so long, going back to Presenter is almost "painful".   )

Again, thanks for the feedback and support.

Gerry Wasiluk

Thanks again all.

Yes, Marty--I'm considering this more like a forward to a book, or like the opening introductory movement to a symphony.

Anyway, in case anyone is interested, here's the latest version, along with the first few content slides in the course.  Again, appreciate all the great feedback that helped me to here.

Demo v2

Pam Jones

Like this concept which I've used before in courses - acts a mini trailer for the course and works well to invite the learner in from the word go.

I agree with some comments made, that have less text on some screens and make it bigger.

I would have chosen a different music track - although soothing, it was kinda sending me asleep. Perhaps someting a little upbeat which lifts the demo and is line with the subject of the content "Leaders".

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Gerry, I very much like the changes you've made. The larger text and removal of some of the extra movement on the screen (less text animations, fewer photos moving in and out), combined with what felt like each screen remaining for a longer period, made me feel less distracted ... like I didn't have to hurry up and read before I missed something else going oo or this screen would move to the next (using the word screen loosely here, obviously). TX for sharing.

Gerry Wasiluk

Belen Casado said:

Thanks a lot for sharing, Gerry.

I saw demo and thought: "is this possible?", and then I saw demo2 after reading comments and I'm really amazed with your work.

I think that less text and more emphasis on data is better.

Anyway, how long (aprox.) did it take you to build the first version?

Thanks again, 

Hi, Belen!  Thanks for the question.

I think it took me around 6-8 hours.  But a lot of that was due to . . .

1.  I first went in just to experiment and "play around."  So I had no script and storyboards to start out with.  More organic, which sometimes often takes longer.  About halfway in, I thought this could be good and valuable to the client and then I started getting "serious" with the work.

Then I also did things to get feedback from folks, which I adore--helps me learn.  I wanted folks to suggest changes and then try them out.  So that added some time.

2.  Lining things up to certain music cues and passages in the music and be "perfect" was a little exacting.

3.  The design and current limitations in Storyline made it a bit longer once I got into editing and making big changes.

Because this had to be one slide (since music cannot span slides yet) and Jeanette made the excellent suggestion of using the timeline, this meant one slide with no layers so the seekbar could work and be accurate.  If I could have used layers, which I've done before, that would make things easier.

So, right now, I've got over 50 objects on the base layer, so making changes often means show hiding and then unhiding objects since things are stacked on top of each other.

If there is anything the timeline needs is a quick way to "hide all/show all objects" on the timeline.  One of the first things I sent in a feature request on.

Gerry Wasiluk

Ari Avivi said:

I am just learning and a question

1. is that whole first slide a combination of triggers and timelne?

Hi, Ari!

Per my last reply, it's just one slide with no layers right now.  Most of the "magic" is timeline and animations.  Only three triggers and that's on the 3 buttons at the end of the slide.

Gerry Wasiluk

Marty King said:

 We are about to embark on an organizational developemt path and I will be developing similar soft skills training. Your course is good inspiration. Thanks for sharing Gerry.

Thanks! Glad it helps. 

Be interested to see what you develop, if you can share.

Actually, the client really likes the intro but wants a few minor changes:  a tad shorter and a few different quotes.  Here they are, if it helps:

Organizations that support managers in developing their employees can see, on average, an increase in employee:
• effectiveness of 25%
• retention of 40%
• engagement/commitment of 29%

As indicated by CLC’s most Q4 2011 Quarterly Global Labor market Briefing, 63% of candidates actively seeking employment see valuable professional development opportunities as a differentiator when deciding to accept a position.

Rebecca Hay


You did a great job putting together this intro. It really did feel a lot like a video intro.

I think the length is good--not too long nor too short.

I went ahead and looked at the slides that you included.

I noticed a glitch (by accident) when I clicked on the McKnight principle, then I enlarged it to read it.

Instead of clicking on it to minimize it, I clicked on the "X" in the upper right corner of the lightbox.

This closed the lightbox but left the enlarged document open on top. Couldn't do anything to close it or navigate to any other slide. I'm guessing this is a Storyline issue.