Web object refreshes when lightbox is opened & closed

Sep 13, 2013

I have a slide with a web object on it, which embeds a Vimeo video. I also have a button that users can click to open additional content over the video via a lightbox. That works well, and the lightboxed slide content appears. However, when the lightbox is closed the web object is refreshed, which restarts the video. Users might be a few minutes into a several-minute presentation so this could be frustrating.

Is this typical behavior? Is there a way to prevent the web object from being refreshed? It's as if the web object is actually removed when the lightbox opens, and then re-displayed when the lightbox is closed. I actually see, behind the lightboxe's translucent black background, that the web object is gone... Maybe web objects are simply incompatible with any sort of layering?

Slide layers aren't an alternative, as the web object is displayed above all other items.

The only thing that comes to mind is to import video files instead of using Vimeo, bypassing the need for a web object. However we have several reasons for using Vimeo versus importing videos (and letting Storyline compressing our files).

14 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Scott,

You mentioned layers wouldn't be an option - but could you put the lightbox information in a layer, that when opened pauses the media? That way the web object stays on the main base layer. Are you able to share your .story file here so that the community could take a look and offer other suggestions? 

Scott L

Hello Ashley, thanks for these thoughts!

My issue with putting this add'l info into a slide layer is that I won't have centralized control over (modifying) it. For example, the info might be re-used by 10 other slides which results on basically 10 instances of that info. If I need to make a change to this info, and it exists as layers in 10 slides, I have to modify the 10 instances of it.

As for pausing the media, that gets tough, maybe not possible (unlike using video that you directly import into SL, which can become very easy to use/pause/play, etc.). It's video hosted on Vimeo, and I'd need to figure out the JavaScript to talk to the Vimeo API directly so that you can pause/play it. With traditional web page development this might be straight forward, but with Storyline doing custom JavaScript with multiple objects gets tough or impossible (but to your point, I'd need to try and figure that out!). If figured out, it's only becomes limiting for me if this needs to get published for the Mobile Player - JavaScript is not supported because the Mobile Player doesn't have a JavaScript interpreter, and so triggers & JavaScript I'd create to pause the video wouldn't work.

The main question was can I prevent the web object from being removed & re-dislayed (refreshed) during the open/close of a lightbox. This might simply be a limitation of SL right now and a possible feature request.

For what it's worth, I attached a test file that demonstrates the lightbox + web object issue.

Michael Hinze

Hi Scott, in the meantime maybe you could display your additional info not in a lightbox but in a new popup window? See here for a quick example. The additional info is contained in a simple HTML page and called from Storyline with a Jump to URL trigger. This way, the info would at least stay in one central place and can be called from any number of slides. This is certainly not as slick as a lightbox, but it may be worthwhile exploring.

Scott L

Good thought, Michael. That would actually totally work around what my concern is, but does have other considerations. I had an eLearning framework that I used in the past in the early 2000's, and it made lots of use of browser pop-ups for things like this. It's a nice idea, however it also required some JavaScript programming for browser window management, so that window focus was dealt with appropriately (if users clicked on a window behind an open window) and the possibility of users opening up 10, 20+ windows, etc (or preventing that). I remember hearing about users who had inadvertently opened up as many windows and didn't know what to do. So the idea has its usability considerations.

If SL's trigger wizard for "Jump to URL/File" could let you name the window that opens, this would let you use/re-use the same browser window and avoid opening multiple browsers. Right now, that would have to be done using JavaScript.

To Michael's point, controlling content outside of SL seems to be the more ideal way for better managing information that might be repeatedly opened by various slide: Creating HTML pages that are opened by whichever slides need them and updating the HTML content outside of SL. Or if need be, linking to external PDF files (in the case of text-based resources), and updating the PDFs that exist on a web server so that change is handled that way without having to open & edit the SL file each time updates were needed.

Thanks all for the suggestions - good ideas here.

Nate Herrema

I am having the same issue as Scott.  I have a rather long video embedded in the course through Vimeo. If the learner opens one of the menu items and closes, it resets the video.  (The video is 40 minutes long, so this could be extremely problematic).  Viewing in HTML5 does not solve this issue for me / is not an option.  Has the SL staff found a solution since this was posted 2 years ago?    

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Nate,

The issue mentioned above was not something that was reported as a bug, but determined to be functioning as designed. Also I'm not certain that the other folks were using it as a web object but embedding the video directly onto the page? If you're able to share some more information here about your set up, perhaps it's a different behavior that we can weigh in on or the community can offer assistance. 

Christie Pollick

Hi, Nate -- Thanks for your response, and may I ask if you are finding the same crashing behavior when you test your course published for LMS within the SCORM Cloud? And I also thought I'd pass along this System Requirements sheet to ensure that content is being viewed in a supported way. 

If issues persist and you'd like to share your file, you are welcome to upload your file or use this form to pass it along for private review -- your choice! :)

Nate Herrema

I don't use Scorm Cloud, as I test courses by loading them into the LMS they will be hosted on.  My system easily exceeds all the requirements to run storyline, so that's not the issue.  I've even tested on my coworkers machines and the issue persists.  It's also worth noting this problem continues across multiple courses, it's not just one course this happens to.  It's any course that has embedded video.  At this point it seems my only option is to remove sections of our menu for slides which contain video...     

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Nate,

I believe Christie recommended SCORM Cloud as an industry standard to test your LMS content and compare the behavior to your LMS. If the same behavior persists at SCORM Cloud we'll want to take a look at the .story file and a copy of the video to see how it behaves. You can include those here using the "Add Attachment" button. 

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