Using Storyline for a Newsletter

Hi everyone,

Our firm has been putting out a newsletter for about 4 years, starting with an email, then a downloaded PDF blended with our blog.  For the lastest issue, I wanted to change things up a bit so we did it in Storyline.  

Not 100% complete, but wanted to share to get some feedback on what you think.

http://benchmarkperformance.com/newsletter/2013_WinterEdition/

Thanks,

Steve

15 Replies
steve carlson

I really like it because it is very clear and neat.  All the colors and fonts and everything works well together and the information makes sense to me. I looked for broken links and issues, but could not find anything that would be problematic. Two very, very minor observations. At the end of each of the individual sub-section there are usually one or more boxes that look something like the one below (at the bottom) that says "Workplace Learning." When I see something like that, I feel like I should be able to click on it, but cannot. I did not get the impression you would link them. Perhaps it is just an individual preference, but that was my first impression. The only other thing I noticed was that the cursor does not change to show that there is a link on the main list of options until the second 's' in "Needs Assessment" and in the second 'r' in "Performance Consulting." That threw me for a second.  As I said, there very, very minor things that you may not even care about because the whole thing looks so well done and is thoroughly thought out.  Just my thoughts. 

Steve Blane

Thanks for the feedback Steve.  I hear you on the "also appears in" looking like buttons, but was worried that if I made them clickable then people would end up missing part of the content.  Maybe the solution is to make them look less like buttons (was trying more for a 'tag' look but got button.)

Thanks again.

Sam Lincoln

I really like the idea Steve. The look and feel is professional yet relaxed. Questions:

  1. how long did it take to produce compared to your email and PDF newsletters? Does the undoubted benefit of the format outweigh the effort?
  2. is this something that can only be viewed on the corporate intranet or on personal devices? If SL cannot be viewed on all appliances it might backfire.

I think Stephanie Field produced a complete website using SL which was equally appealing and I think you both demonstrate how SL helps the layman to produce really high quality product.

Congratulations on a terrific demonstration.

Steve Blane

Thanks for the comments everyone.

@Sam.

1. I think the work effort was definitely longer to create this version versus the print/blog versions because it was new, and creating the template and tinkering took time.  The real test would be how long will it take next time to complete now that the template is complete and we just have to fill in the content.  I think that could get down to being a wash.  I am hoping the benefits will outweigh the effort.  I am hoping to grow the platform and kind of use it as our sandbox for trying new things.  There was nothing too challenging for version 1, but future versions I would like to really push our skills.

2. This is a good point.  One that I am slightly worried about to be honest.  You're right, it is best viewed on a computer.  Second is an iPad.  Phone is out.  Our previous versions showed that most people clicked on the links to our blog versus the print version.  The wildcard is how many of those clicks came from smartphones.   We launch this week so I will let you know.

Funny, I thought about doing a version of our website in SL - guess I wasn't the only person to think of that!  I will try to find Stephanie's site.

S

Natalia Mueller

@Steve here is Stephanie's post about her site

Regarding #2 point, you could always attach a pdf version of the newsletter for anyone who wants to print or view in that format. 

I didn't specify before but I love that this makes me want to explore the newsletter versus my usual response of, at best, a quick skim. There's just something about getting to explore that makes me want to. Not a bad element to remember for my courses either. 

I liked that there weren't tons of options on the front page and that each topic opened up into the choice of more detail. I never felt like I got lost in a chain of clicks though.  

Steve Blane

Thanks Natalia.  Stephanie's site is pretty cool, I will have to add a comment to her post!

Thanks for the great comments about wanting to explore more.  That's exactly what i was hoping for.  I am the same, I (at best) skim newsletters that arrive in my inbox - my resolution this year was to get rid of the ones that I don't even skim.  We found that our click levels were dipping in our previous versions, so hopefully people will find this more engaging.

Instead of the PDF, I added the content to our blog - which is essentially our newsletter content online.  I am not too worried about people who want to print - more view from their phone.  http://blog.benchmarkperformance.com