Slides vs. Layers

Oct 17, 2019

So... A very observant person once commented, as your island of knowledge grows, so do your shores of ignorance. (wait! I found him: Physicist John Wheeler! Thanks John). I am starting to really appreciate the thought that went into designing Articulate (Storyline 360 specifically). I figure it might be time to start documenting lessons learned in here - and get even a ton more of feedback, to add to what we already have in here.

Slides vs. Layers
I do not know if triggering Show Layer is faster than triggering Jump to Slide, from an application optimization perspective.
I do know 2 things now:
1. I found if I want to enter Notes on a display, and share them with the user in the Notes Tab to the left, Layers is not a good choice because what goes into Notes on the main slide, shows up exactly in Notes on all the layers in that slide.
2. and... When I am looking at all the scenes I built in Story View, I do not see what layers are out there, until I open the slide in question.

So, going forward, If I want to be able to look over the Story view as a visual outline/flowchart, I best make slides out of the major topics. If I have a ton of info on a specific topic and I need more real estate, Layers is awesome.
Layers = more real estate
Slides = more custom screen-related notes

3. Oh yeah: I can't jump to another slide's layer - I can only jump to another slide - or jump to different layers from within a single slide. Good to know.(note: I stand corrected! See below. Seems like there's always a way!)

My island (and shore) is getting bigger!

comments? suggestions?
thanks in advance for the help!




12 Replies
dave faldasz

Nicely done! huh! Easy to remember too, now that I've seen it.
I should know better than to use the word "can't" when talking about Articulate!

Oh, another thing I learned today: if you answer an Articulate-based email on your phone, all your signature shows up in here as well. Good to know (lol). I went back and re-read the email - Articulate states that will happen.

thanks, Wendy!

dave faldasz

Hi Kira
Slides are better when rework is looming on the horizon.
I am finding that, for editing purposes, if I have a lot of topics and subtopics to impart, and there are audio tracks and notes for each, it is easier to locate and see the topics covered, if I go minimal on Layers. The Scene titles and corresponding slide names act like an outline for me in Story View. I don't "see" layers when I am rolling around on the Story View page. Also, like they clarified above, the slide notes are the same for all layers of the slide - no separate notes page for each layer in the slide. I use the notes as a visual for the user, to augment the audio track. Can't easily have different notes for each layer. but... there are always workarounds with Articulate.

Layers are better for...
That being said, layers are super great for temp popups on the slide, with markers for the trigger to show them. I also use a layer with 50(?) % transparency to gray out the background and focus attention on the popup. I use layers to place an unconnected hotspot on objects so "can't touch that" temporarily. And I can have very descriptive layer names that are visible within the slide when editing. Dozens and dozens of layers on a single slide don't appear to phase the operation of runtime at all. Each has strengths.

While I'm talking rework, I am amazed at the beating Articulate will take and still bounce back functional, where I have deleted, moved, copied, pasted, shuffled, renamed (and even accidentally duplicated names - typically a big bad) the layers, slides and scenes without issues. A lessor program would grind to a halt in sorting things, or worse, flat out crash.

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