Here’s a huge pet peeve of mine: when people don’t clean up the menu in their Articulate Storyline player! What do I mean by clean? Thanks for asking!
Here’s how it looked before.
Notice how messy it looks: some slides are left untitled, and some have duplicate names. There’s no hierarchy or real sense of organization to the menu. Also, the endless slides and scroll bar make the course seem like long and tedious. There are, however, some quick and easy tricks you can apply to your player menus to make sure they don’t fall into this trap.
Give Appropriate Names to Player Menu Items
The first thing you should do is go through your entire project and rename all of your slide titles to have consistent and descriptive names. You want the learner to be crystal-clear about what they will learn on that slide if they click on it. If you use action verbs, make sure they are all the same tense. You should also aim to make the titles short and direct. Strive to keep the menu as clean, lean, and neat as possible, so keep words to a minimum.
You can also consider going into the player properties menu options and setting long player titles to wrap, so they don’t get cut off and display a “...” in your menu. It just looks better for learners if they can see the entire slide title and not have to wonder what the ellipses is all about.
Take a look at how simply giving all the slides short, descriptive names in a consistent verb tense makes a huge difference. Now you know—before you click on something in the menu—what you’ll see on that slide.
Insert Headings and Promote/Demote Slides
Storyline gives you a lot of flexibility for organizing the hierarchy in your menu. In the player properties wizard, you can move slides up and down in the menu, and you can either promote or demote items to make them appear under other slides. You can even pop in headings, which are just titles in your menu, to classify and organize content.
This is how my menu looks inside Storyline’s player properties editing window. The panel on the left-hand side is where I can make changes to my menu, and the panel on the right is a preview of how it looks. The icons along the bottom of the left-hand panel allow me to organize the hierarchy of my slides.
Have a peek at how inserting headings as well as using the promote and demote function lets me organize my player menu:
Minimize to Neaten
Once you’ve cleaned up the titles and organized your slides into a neater hierarchy, your next step should be to go into the menu area of the player properties window and minimize all the groups in your menu by clicking on those slides that have a drop-down arrow next to them.
The way you leave your menu in the player properties window is how it will look in the final published course. So if you leave all the slide groups expanded there, they will all be expanded when you launch your project. I prefer to minimize everything because I find the neater look is less overwhelming for the learner. They only see what they need to see, one section at a time.
Just a reminder, our menu started like this:
And now that we’ve cleaned it up and organized it, it looks like this:
Now which of these looks more organized and more inviting to a learner? Obviously the second one! Do you have any tips of your own for cleaning up for your Storyline player menu to make it more user-friendly? Leave me a comment below!
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