Text Entry in Simulations

Jul 24, 2015


I am working on a system simulation which I am keen to have work the same way at the real system however I'm coming up against a number of stumbling blocks. I have read several discussions and it seems there are no solutions, but thought I'd check in for new ideas or anything I've missed as a number of the discussions are old.

Option 1 for text entry in a simulation is to use a text entry field - the problem with text entry fields are that I can't set a data entry limit and test the entry while still in the field. It won't test until the field looses focus. In live systems there is not always a click after each field is entered and I don't want to add an interaction that isn't in the live system.  I also don't want them moving out of the field until they have typed what I want them to type as I need to stay in complete control of the simulation. 

Option 2 (which I have moved to because of limitations with option 1) is to use the keypress trigger for every character that I want typed and a new screenshot (or part thereof) to display after each keypress.  Sounds simple, eg, I want them to type Sam in the firstname field, type s display image, type a, display image, type m display image. I'm adding 1 to a variable every time I click to make sure the correct letters only works at the correct time (very tedious and a lot of triggers especially if you want numpad upper/lowercase etc to all work - which they should). I then want them to press tab to move to the next field. So I set another trigger (display image x when user presses the Tab key). Unfortunately this doesn't always work. a) I removed all the objects on my page from the tab order so it wouldn't go to other places when they clicked tab, but then the tab trigger doesn't work at all. b) I added some objects (which were in the tab order) (which I can move off the stage later) to make it work again and it sometimes works but isn't consistent. Sometimes it will move to the tab object and activate the trigger and sometimes it will move to the tab object but not activate the trigger and you'll need to press tab another time to get it to work.

I realize I can use a click instead of a tab however for systems that require alot of data entry this isn't very practical (nor is option 2 above unless you've got lots of time and love creating triggers). I believe it's important to make the training act like the system acts, not only from a teaching point of view, but often new training is required for new system and therefore the training is part of the "marketing" of that new system so having to do things in a tedious manner can often have a negative impact.

Long post I know, but keen for any feedback.  Sorry - I can't post my file because of confidentiality and don't have time to recreate right now.


4 Replies
Louise Lindop

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for your response.  To me this is much more a technical issue than a design issue. Storyline's inability to test the contents of a text entry field in system simulations means we need to look for workarounds elsewhere. Ideally we should be able to use text entry for all entry fields in a system simulation, cap them at a number of characters and test against specified acceptable entries prior to or upon leaving the field, and if the contents are not what we want, leave them in field to fix it. Don't get me wrong - I am a massive Storyline fan (much prefer it to Captivate!), but I've been developing system simulation training for 15 years using many products (Authorware, Flash, Swishmax, Captivate) and to produce good realistic simulations that work like the true system in Storyline requires many many triggers. Most people may be happy to compromise however I think training that simulates a system should work exactly like the system. I'm surprised there are not more people asking for this. Would you advise I put in an enhancement request (sorry - I don't know the official term?)


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Louise,

Thanks for sharing those thoughts here and I would definitely suggest sharing your thoughts as well in the form of a feature request here. Those go directly to our product development team so that they're aware of needs/wants of our customers.  

Please feel free to let us know if we can assist with anything else. 

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