Articulate Storyline Best Practices - do you have documentation on this?

Jul 20, 2015

Hi all,

I just joined a team where I am the main e-learning/Articulate Storyline expert. I will be creating a best practices list to hand out after I do general training with the rest of the team. I was curious if anyone already had even a partial list going (no need to recreate the wheel).

Example items:

"Use states whereever possible rather than triggers" - for example, I've noticed that in one of the courses I'm editing, the previous developer would add in a trigger that said "change state of X to 'hover' when user hovers over X" - when that's completely unnecessary.

Other things would be like when best to use hotspots (e.g. a hotspot isn't necessary when you can just add a trigger to the shape/button/image), using cue points, etc.

- Or even if you have any ideas of what to add, let me know :)

2 Replies
Meredith baker

I would be interested in knowing when is it better to go to a lightbox slide versus triggering a show layer on the same slide?

I use lightbox slides to show a question that displays when a user clicks a button on a gameboard.  Then feedback lightbox slides to let them know if they are correct.

Should I be using layers instead?  It seems alot of the templates available "out there" use layers instead of slides....

I am new and am developing learning e-games.

Thank you for any help on best practices.  It is so important!  I am too new to contribute!

Michael Burns

Hi Rachel, so far I've found 1 HUGE thing when developing more complex projects (the fun ones!): keep it clean. When I experiment to find something that works, I almost always rebuild it with less triggers, layers, and sometimes even slides.

More specifically, if I can't keep track of the states of objects on the base slide, I ask myself if I could separate them into layers instead - makes them easier to label and see their effects (not to mention formatting/editing). Also (this just works for me), if you're using a branching scenario, try to keep it to a single slide. I build the "correct path" first - click here to show this layer, and so forth - and then build in the mistakes and consequences (i.e. going to the "incorrect" layers).

Another guiding principle for me is: copy and paste is your best friend. It's so much faster to copy an object/trigger/slide/layer than to recreate it manually. For instance, if only one word/color/variable needs to be tweaked in the 2nd version, then copy and paste and change that detail. This is helpful when adding a bunch of layers with similar behavior (i.e. "Reset to initial state"), regardless of content on the layer.

It seems obvious, but I didn't use Master Slides for a long time. If you find yourself repeatedly copying objects onto different slides, ask yourself if you could add it to the Master instead. And when using layers on the Master, make sure to check that they don't hide other layers - unless you want a layer on any slide disappearing when you access a layer from the Master. Hope that makes sense.

Hope this helps! If you do end up putting something together on this, or finding something out there, I'd love to see it.

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