Designing Content for Storyline

For those of you who have been using Storyline, (how) are you re-thinking the design and development of content for Storyline (versus other development tools like Studio). I know this is a fairly general question, but I'd appreciate any thoughts and insights from those who have been down the Storyline path for a while.


9 Replies
Bruce Graham

Hi Mary, and welcome to Heroes.

I'm not sure it has - however, what it allows is for me to do things more easily and rapidly.

If I want to keep a slide to a minimum, but have information displays, I can now do so using layers, rather than having to fight with hyperlinks.

The timeline allows me to align animations without having to fight with the Studio animation synching, (a MAJOR step forward for me...).

I guess in terms of " design and development..." it allows me to approach courses with a completely open mind, rather than be worried in case the client asks me to do something that will require a "cludge" or workaround.

Once again - welcome to Heroes, see you around the Forum.


Elizabeth Miles

The biggest change for me has been rethinking the use of screen real estate and the way I enter text based instructions.  I'm working on a grant funded project where nursing students will be using iPads in the classroom to navigate cases.  When I looked at my first case in the Articulate Mobile Player on the iPad I realized I needed to change words like "click" to "tap" and I had to increase the spacing between interactive elements to accommodate a finger rather than a mouse pointer.  In looking at the visitor statistics on some of the content that I created in Studio I noticed that a number of people had tried to view it using mobile devices.  So even if mobile isn't your primary goal, if you're putting your projects online it's a good idea to include the mobile publishing option.  I absolutely love Storyline!

Angela Forero

Mary, I think this is a good question! I have been wondering about the same thing. How should I write content for storyline, considering the fact that this software allows us to do more than we could for example in Articulate presenter (my case). In our process we make the instructors write the content, which will be voice over later to be used in the presentation. We are still doing that, but the content is written in a linear way (Instructors have in mind PowerPoint, and lecture type of narrative) So is us, the Instructional Designers who have to come up with ways of presenting that content visually. 

I dont have that much of experience in storyline, so I am still looking for tips and suggestions on how to better design/write content for storyline as well. 

One of the things is that maybe you can use lists of content more interactive, where you present the main point, and giv students the option to click on them to expand on more info. Also, you can build particular examples in separate layers, and give students the option to click on them to learn more about that topic in an applied example. 

I would like to hear your experience, and tips if you have some. 

Bruce Graham

The more I think about this, the less I am able to say.

I think the trick is " your course knowing WHAT Storyline is capable of", and what you are capable of producing.

One thing I recently taught on was "Fantasy instructional design" - i.e. design what you would REALLY like to do, if you could do ANYTHING, then take into account your skills, your budget and the client restrictions, (culture, expectations etc.)

Once you got to that point, you will probably find you can execute in Storyline, but you HAVE to know as much about the product as you can.

Look at as many interaction examples as you can.

Note down what you love.

Note down what you hate.

You will grow with every course you produce in Storyline.


Angela Forero

Thanks a lot Bruce for your contribution! I totally agree with you in that you really need to know your product well enough to be able to produce something that shows a good use of the features of the software. Also, like you said considering your own skills and limitations. And the limitations of the program. 

But in terms of content, do you have any thoughts you will share with your client, or with the person in charge of writing the content for a presentation that will be developed using storyline? Considering the fact that that person doesn't know the program and its capabilities. I mean in terms of general ideas for writing content, have you found some things that work better than others?

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Angela:

Storyline has changed my work process a bit, or perhaps it's more accurate to say, it's added a step. I find myself doing my graphic design in PPT and then bring those assets into SL. I'm not crazy about this extra step, but as an ID tool, SL is hard to beat. I have some experience with the Adobe suite, so maybe my move to Storyline my force me to become more proficient in the Adobe suite. It's much more powerful.

A couple of features I totally dig about SL: increased publishing speed, zoom, all the cool things you can do with markers, variables, screen recordings, iPad and HTML 5 publishable.

Angela Forero

Thanks Daniel for sharing your experience! I used to do everything for PowerPoint before, because we worked with articulate presenter. However, I have always created all my backgrounds for the presentations on Photoshop. This is something I keep doing still for SL. I save the backgrounds I created on Photoshop as jpegs and then bring them into SL where I create my basic layouts in the master slide for a particular presentation.