One Slide Concept and Nixing the Next Button

Feb 18, 2014

I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of making my course look like a single slide and eliminating a next button.

My manager is challenging our team to move away from the PowerPoint design look to create what looks like a video.  He thinks we can accomplish this look by using animations to bring text and images on and off screen. I think in combination with layers we can mostly accomplish this. Eliminating the NEXT button is a bigger challenge in my mind. I’ve done this in a course by using layers and using an “X” button with a trigger to advance to the next slide. I guess you can do this also using a trigger in combination with hotspots and markers.

I conduct a monthly Lunch and Learn for our design team and the topic this week is the One Slide and no NEXT button concept.  I’m looking for some examples of anything close to this that I can present in the meeting. I’m also interested in your feedback about this concept. It is doable? Does it make sense? Is there another way to accomplish this look?

5 Replies
Dawn Chamberlin

The concept does make sense. I use this concept for YouTube or infomercial type training for quick hit concepts. I use Articulate Presenter and the Advance Automatically feature to move from screen to screen of animation and audio.

A software simulation demonstration is also a good venue for this concept where you just want to show how to use a particular aspect of a software app to familiarize users with a screen before they actually do a hands on practice session.

Hope this helps to generate ideas.

Steve Flowers

Hi Marty - 

In my last job, we tried this with mixed results. Rather than a next button, a presentation would be gated in a couple of ways. The first was with a challenge gate. This posed a question or scenario with a choice. The choice was followed by feedback. The feedback was followed by the next part of the presentation. The second was a natural language cue / button that appeared in a consistent location.  "Now that you understand X, let's kick it up a notch"

I think in a sequential presentation, removal of features that strategically place plateaus and offer more control over the procession of the presentation can cause problems. The next button has become a mindless escape mechanism and the butt of more than a few jokes.

I am enamored with the one-page website as well.

The simplicity and potential for adaptability are really keen. I don't think we've figured out when this type of presentation format works best But I do think it has promise. The downside of this type of a setup is that most e-learning development tools aren't tuned to make stuff like this efficiently. You can fake it with slide state changes, but most e-learning tools are built around the conveyer of content model that ends up looking a lot like PowerPoint in a fixed slide dimension. This isn't a bad thing in some / many cases. Linear presentation is a great way to convey the construction of concepts when linear conveyance is the design that best fits the audience's needs. 

Kineo has a framework for adaptive / responsive page display that's designed for mobile. This could probably work in some cases.

I started to build a framework a couple of years ago when I was still doing heavy development. I'd chuck mine in favor of one like Kineo's that someone else is already maintaining. These require some level of HTML + JavaScript understanding to pull off. Fun to tinker with but not as user friendly as a development tool.

Here are a few other examples that you might explore for inspiration:

Marty King

Good stuff Steve. Thanks. We've looked at the Broken Worker course but not for the one page concept but as a good example of designing scenarios. After looking at it again, it is close to a one-page course and uses arrows instead of next button. The Ryan2point blog article was interesting to. Most of our courses are locked down and linear. The Kineo example was very interesting. I'm thinking we can use an arrow to navigate with and use slide transistions along with text and image animation to create the look and feel of a one-page design even though it will use many slides and layers. The goal is to convince the learner that he/she is watching an interactive video and not a slide show. One of our reasons for this is dispell the idea that all training does is create PowerPoint presentations. Of course good design and learning experiences is what our ultimate goal.

Arturo Aguilera

Two key words here: sustainability and troubleshooting. When creating a single-slide module, you need to think what will happen down the road when you need to update the course. Can anybody else do it? Having multiple layers is a good idea; however, if you give it to someone that doesn't understand how it was built, you are taking a huge risk. I have worked with modules with more than 40 layers and I can tell you, it is a challege. In fact, I would spend 15 minutes alone trying to isolate the layer that had a typo or incorrect image. That's when the troubleshooting part comes into place. Have you thought about replacing the Next button for triggers? Just a thought.

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