Storyline Timeline Issue - Wasted Investment in Storyline 2.0

Hi Articulate Team,

I am very sad to have realized it today that my team has not been able to use Storyline 2.0 ever since we purchased it at its launch. 

We upgraded 2 licenses of Storyline 1.0 to 2.0 right when it was launched.

The Problem

The timeline syncing issue is the reason why this product is un-usable.  This is the problem that we are facing.  The solution recommended is not feasible. Here is why:

We have typically 30 or more objects on the screen.  When we sync each object by using “align at cue point”, the timeline gets extended that many times.  Thus, when we are done syncing all objects, the slide lengths goes from say 124 seconds to 3000 seconds. 

The recommended Solution by Articulate

The solution recommended is to manually adjust the timeline.  This solution is very tedious as you can see in the screencast here.  Implementing the recommended solution adds about 2 hours to a 10 slide file.  Furthermore it breaks the rhythm of the designer. 

The key theme of Storyline 2.0 is efficiency and mobile.  It’s sad to know that despite efficiency being the key theme, the team has not been able to resolve this issue for more than 4 months. 

At this point, working with Storyline 1.0 is way more efficient than Storyline 2.0.  I am right now in a fix.  I will need more licenses in the future (we are higher 4 more designers).  However, Storyline 2.0 is useless for us and we cannot purchase Storyline 1.0.

Ideally, it would be great if you could solve Storyline 2.0 problem so that we can use what we purchased.

We have been loyal users of Articulate products since the inception of our business.  And such service is not something expected from Articulate.  In fact before writing this grievance, I cross questioned my team multiple times since it was hard for me to accept this fact that there is such a grave issue that has made Storyline 2.0 unusable.

A loyal but terribly unsatisfied Fan of Articulate,

Payal

Please see this post for the discussion on this topic with one of my team members.

 

7 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Payal,

I just wanted to let you know I was going to share this thread and your comments with our Quality Assurance team who are looking into this issue - as I had previously worked with Nayeem on that thread. Thank you for sharing here and providing a clear, honest accounting of the situation you're running into. 

Payal Tandon

Dear Ashley,

It’s been two months since we last spoke here.  The issue is still there and I have not heard anything about a resolution.  Just to refresh your memory, here is the video that explains the problem.  I understand that you do not provide dates for future product releases, but I do believe that you SHOULD keep your customers informed about potential dates for BUG FIXES, especially when the bugs are in a RELEASED product and are so severe that they render the product unusable. 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WUXtMpQ7vow" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Even though a Storyline License only costs $1500, you must understand that the financial impact of a non-working product is at least 20-25X.  Let me explain:

We have 5 e-learning designers working with 4 subject matter experts on a project.  The average annual cost of each of these individuals is $50K.  Overall we are spending about $40K per month on this project.  We tried to use Storyline 2.0 with the recommended fix to this TIMELINE issue.  But doing so created a whole slew of issues as detailed below:

1.     Added extra processing time in the production process – 10% more time.  Adjusting the timeline on EVERY slide after finishing the slide not only takes time, but also is very frustrating.  Imagine you have 30 objects on the slide and you have painstakingly aligned all these objects perfectly to the cue points.  The last thing you want to do now, is to re-align the end of the timeline.  And by the way need to do so by HOLDING the MOUSE in the RIGHT LOCATION CONTINOUSLY for TWO MINUTES. I will be happy to send my files to you and invite you to try this out on just two files.  At the end of this exercise, I will ask you TWO QUESTIONS

a.      DO YOU STILL LOVE ARTICULATE STORYLINE 2.0, the product that promises efficiency?

b.     ARE YOU HAPPILY WILLING TO REPEAT THIS PROCESS EVERYDAY OF YOUR WORK DAY FOR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS?

2.     Breaks the designer’s thought process.  No one knows this better than you – Designers like to think in scenes, rather than in slides.  However, when at the end of every slide, they have to do this chore (PAINSTAKINGLY ADJUSTING THE TIMELINE), their thought process is broken and consequently we have observed inconsistencies in design language from one slide to another.  This is a HUGE ISSUE since it leads to extensive rework.

3.     Requires extensive testing.  Since now we have to do this manual fix to the problem, we need to do test the file as many times as we touch even a single element on the timeline, which not only means delayed project, but also the need to find resources for project that we had not initially planned or budgeted.

Overall, this has delayed our project by about 35%, adding about $48K to the overall costs (4-month project).  The lost revenue impact is even higher.  Also, I am not taking into account the reduced morale and motivation of the e-learning designers.

You guys were a start-up a few years ago (I remember Articulate was nominated as one of the 25 start-ups to watch for in the NY area).  We are a start-up as well and such delays have very significant impact to our overall goals.  I understand that you have a fantastic engineering team that builds very sophisticated products such as Storyline and those products can have some bugs at launch.  However, it becomes very frustrating when a bug such as the one mentioned above, which is core to the overall functioning of the product is NOT RESOLVED 8 MONTHS after the product’s LAUNCH and worst still there is NO VISIBILITY IF THAT BUG WOULD EVER BE FIXED. At the same time you continue to MARKET STORYLINE 2.0 with the promise of efficiency, when customers such as me have to resort back to storyline 1.0 to finish our project to stay afloat.

I hope that I will get some sort of certainty indicating IF THIS WILL BE FIXED and WHEN IT WILL BE FIXED. We have blindly trusted Storyline for our e-learning needs, invested upwards of $2M of R&D in this product.  I don’t want to have to re-do all that work.

Regards,

Payal

Bob O'Donnell

You can control your issue with a couple of easy steps that shouldn't take any of your designers long to complete. I just tested it out on an existing storyline project with a similar amount of objects and it seems to work fine.  Actually, quite easy in fact. I may use the technique myself in future courses. Assuming your objects get placed on screen and need to show until the end of the timeline.... check out the following note. The objects time will extend to fit your audio track, keep all the cue points as they were set, and more importantly NOT shift your timeline.

After you have inserted your audio and set cue points,  insert your objects in storyline, select ALL and turn off "Show until end". Slide the objects display time down to several seconds. Next, go through and match each of the objects up to your cue points as you were doing previously using "align at cue point". When you are done setting each object to its corresponding cue point, select all your objects again and turn "Show until end" back on.

Voila' - no timeline shift.

david mckisick

I find it best practice to keep slides clean and simple. Focus each slide on one thing. In my opinion, I think you need to break your project into many more slides and spread things out quite a lot. Doing so will A) make the project actually easier for the designer/developer to deal with, and B) make it more cost efficient to fix if things break or if there is new content. In terms of how the thing works, there will be little to no difference.

Jennifer Brown

This problem is still occuring. I recently upgraded, this is happening to me.  I confirmed I have the most recent update.  You can actually see how bad this problem is in the attached file. I also commented in the thread at https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/timeline-problem#reply-389350.