If you’ve ever built a complex interaction in Storyline 360, you know it can involve many triggers, variables, and timeline objects. And when an interaction isn’t working as you thought it would, it can be difficult to know how to suss out where things went awry. So, the next time an advanced interaction isn’t working the way you envisioned it, here’s a list of troubleshooting options to try.

Take a Closer Look at Triggers

Your triggers are a critical piece of any interaction you create. So when troubleshooting an interaction, start by taking a closer look at all of your triggers to identify any potential problems. Some ideas to help you fix trigger problems are:

Check trigger links

Make sure each trigger links to the correct object, layer, slide, state, etc. Sometimes, when I quickly copy and paste triggers, I forget to update the objects or links.

Name objects and variables

When you use clear, descriptive names for objects, slides, layers, variables, etc., it will be much easier to double-check your triggers. For instance, you’ll have an easier time knowing if a trigger is linking to the correct slide if the slide is named “Lesson 6 - Welcome Slide,” as opposed to “Untitled Slide 53.”

Verify trigger order

Trigger order is something a lot of people overlook because they don’t realize that any triggers associated with the same object are executed in order from top to bottom.

As an example, let’s look at the triggers in the screenshot below:

Notice that the “jump to slide” trigger is above the “adjust a variable” trigger. In this case, the second trigger will never be executed—and therefore the variable will never be adjusted—because the “jump to slide” trigger will navigate away from the slide beforehand.

To make this interaction work, you’d need to reverse the trigger order so the variable is updated before it jumps to the next slide. To adjust the trigger order, simply use your mouse to drag the triggers into the correct order, like in the .GIF below:

Undock the trigger panel

Did you know that you can undock the trigger panel and extend it full-screen? This makes it easier to see if a certain object has too many triggers or, equally concerning, too few. 

To undock the trigger panel, simply click on the icon in the top right-hand corner of the panel: 

Disable triggers one by one

If you think that one of your triggers might be the root of your problem but you weren’t able to figure out which one it was after following the tips above, try using the Disable Triggers button to shut each trigger off one by one and checking in preview mode to see if the issue is fixed. Then, once you find the faulty trigger, simply update it to fix the problem.

To disable a trigger, simply hover over the trigger and click on the lightning icon that appears on the left-hand side, as show in the .GIF below:

Display Your Variable References

If you’re using variables in your interaction, a great trick is to display them as “references” on your slide so you can see how they change as you click through your interaction.

To insert a reference to a variable, simply open the Insert tab, insert a textbox, click on Insert a Reference, and choose the variable you want to reference from the list, as shown in the .GIF below:

When you’re in edit mode, the name of the variable will appear on your slide between two % symbols. When you preview, the value of the variable will display on the screen.

Place this textbox with the reference anywhere on the screen that you can see it. It doesn’t matter where because it’s only for testing, and you’ll get rid of it before you do your final publish. When you have your variables referenced on the slide, you can watch your variable changing as you click through the preview of your interaction and make sure that the changes that should happen are indeed happening and at the proper time.

Another tip for variables is to pop into your list of variables and check the “Use Count” field. You want to be on the lookout for any variables that have a use count of 0. Those variables are either not being used correctly or can be deleted because they are unnecessary.

Create Custom Buttons for Testing 

Finally, another great tip for troubleshooting advanced interactions is to create special buttons or triggers that you can use just for testing.

For example, say you’re building a game with twenty questions that learners must answer. You might have a variable tracking the number of questions they answer, which then shows the results slide when the variable gets to 20. Now, if you just want to preview and test how the results slide looks, would you have to click through all twenty questions? No! Because instead of manually clicking through each question, you could build a special button that you use just for testing that simply adjusts the variable to 20 so you can quickly pass through the interaction and review your results or follow-up slides. Then, when you know everything looks and works as it should, you can remove those testing buttons.

These are just a few tips and tricks you can use next time you’re troubleshooting a more advanced or complex Storyline 360 interaction. Looking for more tips to help you solve or prevent issues with your e-learning projects? Check out these great resources:

Do you have any troubleshooting tips of your own? Please let me know in the comments below!

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Sam Lincoln
John Eckhart
Jeffrey Riley