How would I go about evaluating what is better to develop in: Rise vs Storyline?

Aug 13, 2018

Does anyone have suggestions how I can compare Rise vs. Storyline template to determine  which format is better to use? Better use in terms of learning effectiveness, development time, ]etc. I understand that Storyline is best for creating advanced eLearnings with more complex interactions. Say I was to develop a widget product training for sales teams-  how would I compare using Rise to using Storyline limited to Serentity template. What do you think would be best and why?

8 Replies
Elizabeth Kuhlmann

Hi Tat!  That's a great question.  My short answer is: For most of the courses a company needs, Rise is perfect. It’s quick, the output is beautiful, and the content is inherently responsive. If a company needs courses that include custom interactivity and/or scenario-based learning then they’ll want to use Storyline.  That said, this is a pretty common question!   I found a similar thread here that may help you decide when to use Rise and when to use Storyline!

Tatawan Suto

Thanks for your response Elizabeth! The only trouble is that I am getting pretty  strong pushback on using rise and am pushed to use essentially the Storyline Serenity template but in a different color palette. I feel in this case that Rise is still the better option if it is direct comparison between rise vs limited to only Serenity template in storyline. Has there ever been A/B testing? Also push back comes from Rise is lateral ( down) scroll down movement while Storyline slides tend to be more left to right. I feel that this doesn't have learning transfer impact but is there any evidence that one is better than another? I love Rise due to its more rapid development for my needs but this is a bias assumption.. is there any evidence that points to this? Does the clean look of Rise actually perform better or worse than having the same content in a Storyline Serenity template?




Russell Watsky

Team, I have a similar question to Tat but don't see a response to his question about A/B testing. I would like to be able to present to leadership that the use of Rise and it's vertical, responsive format is as good, if not superior for delivering learning vs. the more "horizontal-Next" format of a traditional online course. Are there any studies that support that? Even anecdotally from companies that have migrated to Rise for delivery of their learning? 


Russell Watsky

Thanks Jane. That was informative. The question that I'm trying to answer came from my VP. She basically wants to know how effective the vertical style of learning is (i.e., a web-based / website look and feel) compared with the more traditional eLearning approach. I would assume Rise courses will be more appealing to millennials, and of course there are all sorts of time-savings building courses in Rise... but she's looking for quantitative facts to support paying an annual subscription fee to move toward Rise. 

Trina Rimmer

Hi Russell. I'd like to be able to provide you with some objective studies that speak specifically to the impacts of different form factors on learning, but I haven't been able to find anything credible, thus far.  I've even checked-in with some industry experts who spend their days compiling such research, and none are aware of any recent studies that address this specific point. 

I can say that, in my experience, no matter the form factor of your e-learning courses, content that's relevant to your learners, well-written, and offers some form of engagement is much more likely to achieve the training objectives. I would argue that the authoring app you choose should be the best one for the job—which is the great thing about having multiple authoring apps at your fingertips with Articulate 360. So if you need something that's quick, beautiful, and fully responsive look to Rise 360. If you need something more custom and immersive, look to Storyline 360.

However, I know your boss is keen on some data here and it sounds like she's looking for an impact on learning. In absence of any studies on this, I think the next best thing you can do is propose a little pilot test (similar to the A/B test you mentioned above). Download a free trial of 360 and use Rise 360 to create a course and Storyline 360 to create the same course. Document how long each course took you to create (VP's love ROI...) and then ask a small sampling of learners from your core audience to review each course. Ask them to review each one on a laptop, and then on a tablet or smartphone to compare their experiences navigating the content. You could use their input, perhaps even compare their scores on a quiz, along with any other data points you can gather to put together your own study. After all, the best quantitative facts are gleaned by looking at how your audience engages with your material and subsequently meets your training goals. 

I hope this is a helpful suggestion! I'm sorry I couldn't locate anything more on point here.


Tom Kuhlmann

Good questions and responses. Jakob Nielsen has a lot of good research in UX/UI design. He may have some ammo for you. 

A few of my thoughts...

The A/B question reminds me of a Malcolm Gladwell presentation where he talked about finding the perfect spaghetti sauce. It's a really good presentation. There really was no "perfect sauce." Instead, there are perfect sauces. 

In the same vein, A/B testing on horizontal versus vertical is probably pointless as there is no binary solution where one is more effective than others. If anything, I'd say that most people consume content online like they would in Rise than they do in Storyline, that is slide-based. Thus, Rise presents a familiar mode of consumption (especially on mobile).

Also, look at the way mobile apps work. They are a good representation of the perfect sauces rather than a single best option. They're all over the place in terms of how one interacts with them. Some scroll, some animate, some go up/down, some flip, some are responsive, some aren't...

When building courses, the goal is to meet certain objectives and the course is a solution to meet them. I'd say to step away from the solution where that is focused on templates and ways to navigate content, and focus on meeting the objectives. From there you'll be able to determine the appropriate software to use.

Places where Rise probably adds more value:

  • Better mobile experience and consistent with how people navigate and consume other content online. It's no less intuitive than clicking prev/next buttons. In fact, that really seems a bit archaic in light of how we interact with content today.
  • Faster production and easier maintenance
  • Form-based structure helps not have to design UI and other visual elements
  • If you want horizontal navigation, use the process interaction to segment content in the lessons.

FYI Here's a demo of a Rise mock up where I used some of the Serenity template to match inserted Storyline blocks that used the template.

Hopefully some of this is useful.

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