Restricted Navigation

I have a course that has multiple (7) scenes.  We want to use the default player menu pane to allow users to do 2 things: 1) have a visual representation to see where they currently are at in the course progression, and 2) be able to freely jump back to a prior (already viewed) scene/slide for review, if so desired, and then forward again up to the furthest slide viewed.  However, we do not want the user to be able to randomly jump forward to a scene without going through a linear progression.  Because of this, I have chosen "restricted" for my menu navigation option.

Ok, so all that works just fine.  But then, here's my dilima.

With "Restricted" it seems to not only restrict the menu navigation, but it also seems to disable the default "next" button until the timeline ends.  Although we want the user to go in a linear progression, we want the user to be able to advance forward with the next button at any point of the timeline when they click the next button.  

Reason for this: We have audio voice-overs that present audible information for users who prefer to listen to the information being presented.  We also use the notes panel, which contains the written text of the script for those who would prefer to read the information instead of listening to the voice-over.

For those who choose to turn the volume (audio) off and read the script themselves, they often read the text in its entirety before the audio on the timeline has completed. But then, they are forced to sit and wait until the timeline ends before they can proceed.

We could potentially use the seek bar, which would allow the user to click and jump to end of the time line and then click next... but we really do not want the seekbar (for aesthetic purposes) on our player, nor do we want to create extra "clicks" for the user.

I know I can use variables to add a condition to the next button to prevent it from moving forward until that condition is met. So, I thought maybe I could do the reverse.  Maybe I could create a true/false variable "Proceed" and set the default to True.  Then on the "next" trigger, set the condition to allow the user to jump to the next slide when they click the next button if "Proceed" equals "True". 

Unfortanetly, this didn't work for me.

Then I thought, ok, i'll set a slide trigger to adjust the variable to true at timeline start and then add the condition to the next button to allow the user to jump to next slide if the varible equals true.

Again, this didn't work for me.

I really need to figure out how to achieve a hybrid of using the restricted menu, yet allowing the user to advance to next slide when clicking the next button (even if prior to timeline end).

I know we could set up our own navigation buttons instead of using the default. However, because we want to maintain consistency with our course design/layout/navigation; and because we don't want to give up an of the stage "real-estate" in order to build our own navigation, this is not an option for us.  Default player "next" button it is.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!

78 Replies
Wendy Farmer

Hi Bobbi

I found this in one of Jeanette's tutorials

Keep in mind that if you use Locked or Restricted navigation, this only affects your learners' ability to click on menu items to navigate. If your slides include a Previous or Next button, users will still be able to click those to move forward and backward in your course at will.


http://community.articulate.com/tutorials/products/customizing-the-player-menu.aspx

I just did a test in SL2 with two slides

Slide 1 has a 3 min audio track and some shapes on screen — next button is visible and enabled — Slide 2 is disabled in menu

As soon as slide 1 starts I can click the next button to go to slide 2, but I can't click slide 2 in the menu

Menu is set to restricted

Is this what you are after?

Bobbi Bailey

Wendy,

Thank you for the response!  I see the following, in the link you provided:

"Keep in mind that if you use Locked or Restricted navigation, this only affects your learners' ability to click on menu items to navigate. If your slides include a Previous or Next button, users will still be able to click those to move forward and backward in your course at will."

Which is great.  That is actually what I thought "restricted" was supposed to do...  restrict the navigation menu and NOT the next button.  But for some reason, I am having an issue with the next button not working until the end of the timeline, even though I have no conditions set on the next trigger. 

I have just created a demo story to show the settings I have:

Menu navigation:  Restricted

Next button:  No conditions / variables.  Default player button with default trigger of "jump to next slide when the user clicks the next button".

BOTH navigation menu and next button is restricted and will not allow user to advance until timeline ends.

Maybe you can see something I'm missing?

(BTW, I am using SL2)

Bobbi Bailey

Wendy,

Thanks again for taking a look and validating that I haven't lost my mind!

I didn't remember having this issue in SL1, but then again, most of our courses were either truly locked (and we added variable conditions preventing the user from advancing until the end of the timeline), or they were designed to allow the user to have the freedom to jump around.  This new series that we are putting together, though, needs the hybrid.

I'm with you on this one, I think this may be a bug.  Hopefully someone from Articulate will be able to take a look and let me know if it is or not ... and how to fix it or provide a work-around until it is fixed.

Thanks again!

Bobbi

Emily Ruby

Hello Bobbi!

The Restricted navigation in SL2 does restrict the Next button until the timeline ends, and also restricts the Menu.

Here are the SL2 definitions:

  • Restricted navigation means learners can view the current slide and any slide they've previously viewed, but they can't jump ahead or skip over slides.
  • Locked navigation means learners can only view slides in the order you've designed. They can't jump ahead or skip over slides, nor can they go back to any previously viewed slides.

What you can do is shorten the length of the timeline, which may not be an option if you use audio, or you can disable the built in next button, in the slide properties, and use a custom made button. I added this to the first slide in your project which is attached.

Hope this helps!

Bobbi Bailey

Hi Emily,

Thank you for responding.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my original post, due to limited stage "real-estate" space, custom navigation buttons are not an option.

I've tried adding a condition that says if variable "Proceed" equals True, then jump to the next slide when the user clicks the next button.  And even added a trigger to adjust variable "Proceed" to true when timeline starts.  This doesn't seem to work either. 

Any other suggestions?

And as a side note... In SL1, the logic was:


"When the Additional Options window appears, use the Navigation Restriction selector to choose one of the following:

  • Free: This allows learners to click on the titles in the course's menu to navigate to any part of the course at any time. They can view whatever slides they wish, in any order.
  • Restricted: This means learners can view the current slide and any slide they've previously viewed, but they can't use the menu to jump ahead or skip over slides.
  • Locked: This means learners can only view the slides in the order you've designed. They can't use the menu to jump ahead or skip over slides, nor can they use it to skip back to any previously viewed slides.

Keep in mind that if you use Locked or Restricted navigation, this only affects your learners' ability to click on menu items to navigate. If your slides include a Previous or Next button, users will still be able to click those to move forward and backward in your course at will."

Quote taken from http://community.articulate.com/tutorials/products/customizing-the-player-menu.aspx

WHY in the world would this have changed???

Emily Ruby

Hello Bobbi!

The navigation restrictions have changed in SL2 to what I had posted above.

Unfortunately the only workaround is to use a custom next button, reduce the length of the timeline, or set the navigation to Free.

I tested variables as well with no luck. It seems the navigation in the player menu over rides the triggers/variables.

I am sure others in the community can add ideas if they have found additional workarounds.

Bobbi Bailey

Emily,

Thank you again for the response.

In my opinion, this is a terrible logic change.  In SL1, the developer could select restricted for the navigation menu, but the next button was not affected.  IF the developer wanted the next button to be restricted as well, then he/she could apply a variable to not allow the next button to function until a the conditions of the variable have been met.  This gave the developer the flexibility to control both the navigation menu and the next button as he/she saw fit for the specific project.  Now, however, with this logic change, SL2 has taken that flexibility away from the course developer, which (IMO) is a huge step backwards.  It would seem to me that the program design would be to allow the developer more design flexibility, not restrict it.

This could very well be a deal breaker for me, and I may have to revert back to SL1, which is very unfortunate.

If anyone else in the community has other suggestions, please, please share.  I am open to hearing them!

Thanks,

Bobbi

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Bobbi,

Super Hero Brian Allen had a workaround here that might work for you.

  1. Set the state of the player Next button to "disabled" at the beginning of the slides timeline
  2. Create another trigger to change the state of the player Next button to Normal using the new "when timeline reaches" trigger

I just tested quickly with a 3-slide story, menu set at restricted. Learners still cannot move forward via the menu, but once the 2 seconds is up they CAN move forward via the Next button.

Bobbi Bailey

Rebecca,

Thank you for the information.

I just tried that suggestion, but it still doesn't seem to be working for me.

I've attached an example story, where I added the suggested disable/enable next button triggers.  Can you take a look?

What am I missing?!  It has to be something simple!

(I'm also going to post this over on Super Hero Brian Allen's thread that you posted above too, in hopes one of you can assist.)

Phil Mayor

I don't think there is a solution apart from switching off the menu and restricted navigation and then doing what Brian suggests.

It is a shame that this has been changed, especially as their is no warning for users taking the course so in effect it looks like the next button is broken.

It would be better if we had an option to restrict menu and restrict navigation based on timeline so we could select what is wanted.

I have clients who want forward navigation restricted but would never want to restrict by the timeline.  

Brian Allen

It might be possible that Rebecca can share the .story file she was playing with earlier.

Also, for restricted menu navigation, it would be great if we had a "hover" state for the player's Next button....  This would allow us to show an info layer if the user hovered over it while still disabled because of the menu restriction.

Not sure if what I just typed makes sense, but it makes sense in my head

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Bobbi, Emily, and Phil,

Drat! You're right, it doesn't work with Restricted turned on. I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention. SO sorry. I'm now deleting the test file I'd created earlier, which I"d saved in my toolbox as a "fix" for situations like this.

Yes, I agree that this change is way too restrictive. I've just submitted a feature request and "borrowed" your wording, Phil, to be able to restrict forward navigation but not restrict by timeline.

Tx, all, and apologies again ;(

Bobbi Bailey

Phil,

I most certainly agree, it really is a shame the program developers changed this. They have removed our flexibility as course developers and have limited our ability to meet the needs of our clients.

My problem is I need to utilize both the standard player navigation menu and next button.  The navigation menu should be restricted, not allowing users to jump forward in the navigation tree.  Yet, I still need users to be able to click the next button before the timeline ends, instead of being forced to wait for audio (timeline) to complete.

I am sure I already know the answer to this, but as I'm trying to look at this from all angles, I'll ask anyway.... 

Instead of focusing on getting the next button to work with a "restricted" menu, is there any other way to restrict the menu without using the "restricted" option? 

(Yes, I'm grasping at straws here!)

Jill McNair

Hi Bobbi,

Not sure if this will work for you, but one workaround could be to make your base layer blank and put all your slide content in a layer.  You would need a trigger to show that layer when the timeline starts (and adjust any other triggers that launch other layers).  With a blank base layer, you can set the timeline as long or short as you want.

I tried it on the sample file you provided and it works great. 

If your slide layouts are not too complex, this might be a something you could try. 

Hope it helps!

Jill

Mike Cohen

I started a thread about this a week or so ago. Same situation - the new default restricted nav in SL2 forces the user to let a slide finish before being able to click next. I wonder how many developers requested this change, or if Articulate just decided it seemed like a good idea. Seems we really need a 4th type of navigation called free-restricted which works like the SL1 restricted

Our developer figured out a clever workaround. Set navigation to "Free" and then create a true/false variable for each slide, as follows:

Slide 1 - variable 1

set a trigger to say "set variable 1 equal to True when timeline reaches 1s"

Slide 2 - variable 2 - same trigger

etc

Then on slide 2, set a trigger:

Jump to previous slide

When timeline starts

If Variable 1 is equal to False

In other words, the user needs to be on a slide for 1 sec in order to move forward, and as such cannot skip ahead in the menu since the slides that are being attempted to skip have not elapsed 1 sec yet

If a user clicks ahead in the menu it simply restarts the current slide. Not as perfect as the SL1 version, but better than nothing

So the "free" nav allows the user to click forward without waiting, but the trigger prevents skipping ahead

This method does not prevent clicking the very next menu item, however that is basically the same as clicking the next button.

You can always extend the time of the trigger if you want to force the user to view certain content on a slide.

Mike Cohen

let me rewrite one line of my above message:

In other words, the user needs to be on a slide for 1 sec in order to move forward, and as such cannot skip ahead in the menu since the slides that are being attempted to skip have not elapsed 1 sec yet

should be

In other words, the user needs to be on the immediate previous slide for 1 sec in order to click ahead in the menu, and as such cannot skip ahead in the menu since the slides that are being attempted to be skipped have not elapsed 1 sec yet.

Very confusing to describe, as workarounds usually are!

Bobbi Bailey

Mike,

Thank you for this information!!!

You have sparked an idea for me, which I am working on now using my example file attached in a previous post in this thread.  It is kind of a mix of your suggestion and a prior suggestion.

As soon as I get it worked out (or close to), I will post the example.

Thanks again!

Bobbi Bailey

Mike,

I was able to accomplish restricting the menu, using your work-around (example file attached).  Thank you!  This will get me past my immediate roadblock.  In my case, I am setting the variable to change very quickly (.25 seconds), because i never want the user to actually see that the next button didn't work (even if only for a moment).  My main goal is only to force the user through the slides in chronological order (not be able to jump from 1 to 4 to end, etc. with the menu).  How quickly (or slowly) the user clicks the next button on each slide is not critical, as long as they actually lay eyes on the slide.

Brian,

As I am changing my variables very rapidly, I am opting to keep the slide properties at "automatically decide" when revisiting.  This is also important for me because if a user gets through the first scene (module) and then decides he/she needs to go back and view a particular slide in that module (or a previous one), I want the slide to start from the beginning.

However, I did test your theory of setting the properties to "resume saved state" and it too worked like a champ.  So, depending on the goal of the designer/course, this is definitely a viable option.

To the community at large,

I am still looking for ideas to stream line this, as this workaround basically requires a unique variable for each and every slide.  With my project having >100 slides, this is going to create quite a lot of variables!, which I'll deal with for now (as something is definitely better than nothing!).  However, I'm thinking that somehow, there has to be a much simpler solution.  Maybe with only a couple of variables. I have the idea in my head, but can't seem to work it out logically.  More or less, what I'm thinking is:  If variable01 = true, then jump to next slide when user clicks next button, but jump to previous slide if variable02 = false.  Then, at some point, change both variable01 and variable02 for next slide, and start the cycle over.

Thank you to everyone so far for your input!