What are common misconceptions regarding Storyline?

Sep 28, 2013

Hi, everyone: I'm creating some training around Storyline and thought I'd ask if you're aware of (or perhaps at one time held) misconceptions of Storyline as an authoring tool. For example, that it takes longer to develop in Storyline than PPT or Studio.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. --Daniel

9 Replies
Michael Hinze

Hi Daniel,

I hear the following misconceptions sometimes when I talk to clients about authoring tools and mention Storyline (Disclaimer: I don't agree with any of these!):

1. Storyline? Oh yeah, that's the 'add-on thing' that goes with PowerPoint right?

2. Storyline is way too expensive. I can get [insert name of other authoring tool here] for [insert $$ here] less.

3. Storyline is not as powerful and feature-rich as [insert name of other authoring tool here]

4. We rather wait for Studio '13 to come out, then we get all features that Storyline has with our Studio upgrade.

5. I work on a Mac and can't use Storyline anyways.

6. With triggers and layers I can create basic interactivity, for more 'advanced stuff' I need to use JavaScript

7. I'm stuck with the few built-in buttons to create clickable objects.

John Mayfield


I've been using Storyline for about six months now, and love it!  I just completed a training program for a client who was blown away by the content.  I basically updated a previous class they had developed in PowerPoint and Articulate.  They liked their previous class, but can see a huge difference with the Storyline version I created.  For me, it did take a little longer using Storyline than PowerPoint, but once I figured out the details, i.e. layering, timing, etc., it works great and "almost" as fast as PowerPoint.

I do wish it would work on a MAC, but I am using my MAC with windows parallels, and it is functioning fine now.  

Hope this helps, but I will say that the freedom and creativity Storyline offers is very good!

Jerson  Campos

One thing you could also mention is that Storyline isn't the all-in-one solution some think it is.  I may get a few mean looks for saying this, but Storyline does have limitations.  It is a great rapid development tool and for what it is meant to do it does it well. But if you want to truly customize your course (player skin, player controls, animations, Flash like interactions), Storyline won't be able to do those. 

That's something you could also address. Is the things Storyline isn't. Keep people expectations of Storyline realistic. For me, to make this training you provide valuable, you should also talk about the Cons, not only the Pros.

Daniel Brigham

Thanks Michael, John, Jerson, and Lisa:

Misperceptions of Storyline so far (that I might touch on)

  • It takes longer to author in SL than PPT/Studio
  • SL is basically a step up from PPT (seems some people are confused as to how the tools differ)
  • Studio 13 has most of the functionalities that Storyline does
  • With triggers and layers I can create basic interactivity, for more 'advanced stuff' I need to use JavaScript

Thanks again. --Daniel

Sasha Scott

Daniel I would disagree that it's a misconception that it takes longer to author in Storyline - I think that perception is correct. Storyline is great for craftsmanship, innovation, experimentation and creating lovely bespoke stuff, but with a lot of stuff it's not good for rapid "production-line" development (i.e. it's not "cheaper than using Studio"). One time-consuming issue is the currently inconsistent performance between HTML and Flash output, hence the need to test, and tweak, then test again etc. all of which inevitably ends up taking more time. With Powerpoint/Studio, you know pretty much exactly what's going to happen, every time you publish.

One misconception I've come across with potential clients is that Storyline is good for animations (vs Powerpoint/Studio) when in fact it is considerably more limited in terms of animations.

Daniel Brigham

Thank you, Sasha for that point on animations. A few people have now mentioned that to me.

I got used to all the animations in PPT, so when I switched to SL as my main development tool, it took some adjusting for sure. Of course, if there's a must-have animation, I'll just save it in PPT as a video and then insert in Storyline.

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