Creating Hoverless Courses for Mobile Learning

The company I am at hopes to one day deliver content via mobile devices and in anticipation, does not want to use hover states in any courses so that the same courses can some day be used on mobile devices.


While I don't necessarily agree with that strategy, I am open to finding ways to not use hover states. Unfortunately, they can be used in so many great ways. Has anyone shared a similar experience and did you find any tricks or things that worked well to design courses not using hover states yet still maintaining quality, effectiveness, visual appeal, etc.?

17 Replies
Nicole Legault

Hi Walter!

Interesting question... Maybe you can still consider using hover states as long as they aren't necessary to viewing content. What i  mean is, you can still use a hover state on a button and then it will appear to people using a computer, but it won't appear to the users on the tablet. That's fine because it doesn't impact the course one way or another. It just becomes a problem when you're using the hover state to show important information or something necessary for the learner. I think you can definitely do a hoverless course and still maintain quality and visual appeal. Fun challenge!



Andy Whitman

Hi Nicole,

Thanks for your input! I think you're right in still using hover actions, just make sure it doesn't display important information. It will be a compromise, but at least I won't have to eliminate hover states altogether. In the mean time, I'll also try to come up with creative alternatives to the important hover interactions.

Kevin Thorn

Careful design with current limitations and you can maintain hover states for desktop viewing while still having a similar experience on tablets.

First, the hover state behavior on desktop behaves as expected. That same state on a tablet becomes the 'down' state. When a finger taps on a button the hover state appears. A quick test with a few buttons proves that it's not that much of a concern.

Secondly, the concern lies in the user experience design. Provided your buttons/objects are intuitive that invites a mouse-over, that same visual design will arguably invite a finger tap. If you're showing a layer as when a user mouses over an object, that same layer will show when a finger taps and holds a button/object.

Remember, hover states are a visual reaction to an event (mouse over). The motivation begins before the actual event. Using the same approach that motivates a user to mouse over an object would essentially be the same to tap a button/object. 

Rachel Barnum
Walter Coolman

While I don't necessarily agree with that strategy

This is kind of interesting to me. I don't find that hover states (besides the ones where they aren't necessary viewing the content and are just for visual cues) give me more value than just clicking to reveal something.

As Kevin suggested, you could easily make it so that the selected or down state and the hover state are the same thing. That way if you're on desktop, you can just hover, but it doesn't prevent people from being able to click on it on their phone. 

Kevin Thorn

In Storyline you don't have to do anything additional with object states for mobile use. Create a normal button with a hover state. When you publish and view on desktop, the visual feedback of the mouse over will show the hover state.

That same button viewed on a tablet will display that same hover state but now behave *as* as down state when tapped (because you can't hover  your finger over).

There's nothing extra you have to do.

Jacinta Penn

I've never used hover in Storyline because my very first client with it, was planning to have ipads. I never miss the hover state because I've never used it. I have always designed info to show when clicked on. I think it will be a challenge for you at first, but you will get past it. Its kind of a mindset change.