Storyline HTML5 vs the 'competition'

Hello,

First off, I was once a Captivate user, but turned to Storyline after experiencing some frustrations with Captivate 6. I am now in a new role where I need to investigate the HTML5 capabilities and limitations of using Storyline vs other authoring tools (i.e. Captivate 8). I did hear Captivate 8 has made significant improvements with their HTML5 functionality. I'm also looking at using Adobe Edge Animate to develop and insert some HTML5 animations.

Does anyone have any experiencing publishing for HTML5 with Storyline AND Captivate 8? I'm about to download Captivate 8 trial to test out, but am interested in hearing your experiences and opinions after using both - especially related to publishing for mobile devices.

Thanks!

15 Replies
Michael Hinze

Bryce, I would definitely have a close look at Captivate 8. With its new responsive design option and Android support CP has certainly raised the bar for mobile publishing. You are still likely to run into some bugs, but they will be A LOT less, compared to previous versions. I suggest you create a test project in both CP and Storyline and then test it on as many mobile devices you can get your hands on. Also, I have used the free version of DeviceAnywhere for remote testing on real devices.

Simon Perkins

Michael Hinze said:

Bryce, I would definitely have a close look at Captivate 8. With its new responsive design option and Android support CP has certainly raised the bar for mobile publishing. You are still likely to run into some bugs, but they will be A LOT less, compared to previous versions. I suggest you create a test project in both CP and Storyline and then test it on as many mobile devices you can get your hands on. Also, I have used the free version of DeviceAnywhere for remote testing on real devices.


+1

IMO Captivate was looking a bit forlorn until a couple of years ago. Now, with the recent release of v8 it's beginning to empower mlearning that little bit more than most. The responsive engine is going to be key, especially for those wanting to push content to smart phones. It looks very impressive. I have it installed but haven't got round to testing it yet.

Bryce Gilbert

Yes, I'm currently evaluating Captivate 8. One thing I was surprised to discover is that you can not have drag and drop interactions in a responsive project in Captivate 8. Storyline supports drag and drop on mobile - correct?

Is there a link that shows what types of interactions will or will not work on mobile devices with Storyline?

Thanks.

Nicole Legault

Hey Bryce!

Storyline does indeed support drag and drop for HTML5.

Here is a chart you can refer to, to identify which features are HTML5 compatible (it compares Flash/Articulate Mobile Player/HTML5): Comparing Articulate Storyline's Flash, AMP and HTML5 Output.

Also, this is more just general informative reading about what HTML5 is and some things to know with regards to devices and browsers. You may already be aware of all this, but if you're not, it's good reading! >> Optimizing HTML5 Output for Storyline

Hope this helps a bit!

Ashlee Smith

I have been working with Captivate for a while now & IMO Cap8 is not ~~truly~~ Responsive. To me, responsive would be I design one course and then I can view on various devices and it will resize itself automatically and look great. In Cap8 I am not building 1 responsive Course but instead building three courses at once, a desktopCourse, a tablet course and a phone course. And from what I can see so far in Cap8, as I make the changes to the desktop version, it makes changes to the other outputs and I have not yet understood the relationship or how and why that is occuring. I'm confused by it.

Michael Hinze

Bryce Gilbert said:

Yes, I'm currently evaluating Captivate 8. One thing I was surprised to discover is that you can not have drag and drop interactions in a responsive project in Captivate 8. Storyline supports drag and drop on mobile - correct?

Is there a link that shows what types of interactions will or will not work on mobile devices with Storyline?

Thanks.


Drag-and-Drop works in a 'normal' Captivate 8 project that can be published to HTML5 (similar to Storyline's HTML5 publishing option, which also supports drag-and-drop). Correct, in a RESPONSIVE CP8 project (there is currently no Storyline equivalent), drag-and-drop is currently not supported. Remember, a responsive project goes beyond straight conversion to HTML5. In a responsive project, content is rescaled and reorganized, based on (currently three) screen sizes you specify.

Here is a table that lists Storyline features available in Flash, HTML5 and Player app.

Bryce Gilbert

Nicole - thanks for the reference links!

Danika - I agree with you that with Cap8, there seems to be a considerable amount of time that may be required positioning content based on each responsive layout. Captivate will "push" certain images or buttons off the mobile viewing areas. While there are a lot of options available so you can control exactly how your content will appear on mobile, I'm questioning how much more additional development time I'll need to invest in.

Michael - Thanks for clarifying that with Cap8 I can still have drag and drop as a normal project and publish to HTML5. I guess I still need to spend some time understanding advantages of publishing a Cap8 project to HTML5 vs developing using a Responsive project.

I'm back to leaning towards using Storyline over Cap8...I think

Jerson  Campos

Here is my opinion on developing for different platforms and responsive design. If you're planning to have your training courses available for tablets, PCs, and phones, you will have to design the course for each delivery option. While PCs and the larger tablets can use the same course with little change, the smaller ones have a few options to consider like a smaller screen size. Phones will need their own layout for the course. There is no one size fits all option that will work across all platforms. Responsive designs does not mean that everything shrinks down to size, it means that the User Interface responds to the screen size and changes according to how it was designed. In Cap8, their responsive designs has you build different layouts, I haven't used it, but does it output different projects as well? You could technically do this with storyline and all it would need is a bit of code in the .HTML file to point the user to the appropriate layout depending on the screen. Something that could help us (Instructional Designers/Developers) is doing a bit of research on how web developers create responsive web sites. When they develop for different platforms, they actually design different layouts for each of the platforms. They have been doing it for quite a while now and "stealing" their design workflow would be helpful for someone planning to create a course for multiple devices.

HTML5 - While both Cap8 and Storyline's html5 output is impressive, I still find it quite limited as far what HTML5 can do. If you truly want to build something with HTML5 as the intended output I would do some research on HTML5 applications such as Adobe Edge Animate or if you have a Mac, Hype 2.0. They can both create HTML5 content without any limitations other than what the browser's will allow.

Alexandros Anoyatis

Jerson Campos said:

Here is my opinion on developing for different platforms and responsive design. If you're planning to have your training courses available for tablets, PCs, and phones, you will have to design the course for each delivery option. While PCs and the larger tablets can use the same course with little change, the smaller ones have a few options to consider like a smaller screen size. Phones will need their own layout for the course. There is no one size fits all option that will work across all platforms. Responsive designs does not mean that everything shrinks down to size, it means that the User Interface responds to the screen size and changes according to how it was designed. In Cap8, their responsive designs has you build different layouts, I haven't used it, but does it output different projects as well? You could technically do this with storyline and all it would need is a bit of code in the .HTML file to point the user to the appropriate layout depending on the screen. Something that could help us (Instructional Designers/Developers) is doing a bit of research on how web developers create responsive web sites. When they develop for different platforms, they actually design different layouts for each of the platforms. They have been doing it for quite a while now and "stealing" their design workflow would be helpful for someone planning to create a course for multiple devices.

HTML5 - While both Cap8 and Storyline's html5 output is impressive, I still find it quite limited as far what HTML5 can do. If you truly want to build something with HTML5 as the intended output I would do some research on HTML5 applications such as Adobe Edge Animate or if you have a Mac, Hype 2.0. They can both create HTML5 content without any limitations other than what the browser's will allow.


Many of the points Jerson made are valid 100% pertaining to Captivate and Storyline. However I think there are issues beyond that, that haven't been raised yet.

If we are to compare the tools, we have to decide on the grounds. Do we treat them as code generators? Are we looking at ease of use versus final output? Both SL and cp are getting better, no doubt, but I feel we are making both vendors a disservice if we compare how they fare in relation to a spec that potentially changes 54 times a year (Mozilla & Google release cycles for their respective browsers). That's >10x faster than Articulate could handle in relation to SL and I'm sure faster than Adobe could issue their OTA updates through their Creative Cloud.

IMHO the issue isn't really which tool does a better job. It might be Storyline, it might be cp8, but the tables can turn faster than one can say "rapid-elearning"...

To me the real questions are :

  • Is Adobe's latest headline feature a real game changer or is it just a business decision to try to take a slice of the pie back from Articulate?
  • Who will be the first to offer HTML5 only output, how, and when?

and finally,

  • (If and when the 2nd question is realized) will the use of offline software really be the answer to this rapidly evolving landscape?

Just my 2c,
Alex

P.S.: I am curious to see how Adobe fares with the latest version of Captivate, but trying to mix cross-browser, cross-device, cross-dimension and cross-technology (Flash/HTML5) functionality in one package is extremely risky in my book.

Jerson  Campos


P.S.: I am curious to see how Adobe fares with the latest version of Captivate, but trying to mix cross-browser, cross-device, cross-dimension and cross-technology (Flash/HTML5) functionality in one package is extremely risky in my book.


I honestly think it's going to give a lot of people some headaches. Some individuals are going to assume that because they have the software to design courses for different platforms, that they CAN actually design courses to be responsive. There is a lot of information out there on proper design for mobile devices like tables and phones. Take a look at this info provided by Google, I think its a good guideline to follow. You should also visit the Mac design guidelines for the Ipad and Iphone.

Responsive design for websites didn't happen overnight. It took a while to get solid design principles and anyone who wants to design for mobile devices should look at what has already been developed in that area and see how they can transfer that to what you are trying to develop. My opinion is that most courses will not transition well to a small tablet or phone. If someone is using a phone for learning, it's usually for quick bits of info, not a full course. Just moving or scaling objects won't cut it. Redesigning a course as a reference guide for the phone would be better suited.

Ryan Simons

I actually did extensive research on all of the latest software for an eLearning Dev team. Here are five quick hits about what I found out: 

1. Understanding your content will help you decide which way to go. 

2. If you really want fully responsive HTML 5, then you are going to have to code it out. 

3. Articulate, is more dependable than Captivate or Lectora for most projects.

4. Larger projects (which I'm hoping people don't make too often; I'm thinking you should be "chunking" things up), should be broken up. If you must proceed, try Articulate first, then Captivate or Lectora. 

5. LMS' do not like large courses, especially those from Captivate! ( we experience a lot of issues with loaders and preloaders in Captivate). We often get callers complaining they are not able to access courses that were developed in Captivate. This relates to all current versions!