Video content is a popular form of media when it comes to e-learning. It’s a great way to engage your learner, and a nice change from static text and images. In certain cases, you may want to go that extra step and make your video interactive. The good news is: with Articulate Storyline 2, there’s a ton of ways to create interactive video.

One way you can add pizzazz to your videos is by incorporating fun pop-ups that provide the learner with additional information. Here’s an example of that in action:

View Demo

So how did I accomplish this with Storyline 2? Read on to find out more.

Insert your video

The first thing you need to do is add a video to your slide. Head over to the Insert tab on the Storyline ribbon, and under the Video drop-down, select “Video from File,” then locate the video file you’d like to use.

Once your video is on the slide, the next thing to do is to cover it with a hot spot. Why? By default, a learner can click on a video to play and pause it, but if they do, that will throw the timeline and the video out of sync, and the interaction you’re trying to create won’t work. So, since you don’t want to allow the learner to click on the video to pause and play it, you need to place a hot spot over the video.

To add a hot spot, head over to the Insert tab of the Storyline ribbon again and under Interactive Objects select the rectangular hot spot. Place it on your slide so it covers the entire video. The hot spot will automatically create a new trigger in the trigger panel, which you can delete.

Create your pop-up

The next step is to create the pop-up that will appear over the top of the video with the additional information. A quick and easy way to do this is to use a rectangle shape to create the pop-up (you can type your text directly onto the rectangle shape) and use a multiply (X) shape, placed in the top corner of the rectangle, to act as your “Close” button. Group your two shapes together, so your pop-up appears as just one object on your timeline.

Now, timing is important when it comes to adding interactivity to video. Select the Pop-up Group on the timeline, and adjust its timing so it only appears for one second.

As you can see in the image above, the pop-up will appear at the 1s mark. This works for my video, but you might want to have your pop-up appear at a specific time, so your additional information will work with whatever is happening on-screen at the time.

To ensure my pop-up fades in and out smoothly, I also selected the Pop-up Group and, from the Animations tab, added a 0.25-second Entrance Fade-In and a 0.25-second Exit Fade-Out animation to the group.

Add a cue point to the timeline

The next step is to add a cue point to your timeline. You’ll use this cue point to pause the slide and the video when the pop-up appears, so the learner has time to read the text.

Right-click anywhere on the timeline and select “Create Cue Point at Playhead.” This will insert a new cue point on your timeline, which you can drag and place wherever you want. You need to place the cue point so it’s right in the middle of your pop-up group on the timeline, like so:

Add triggers

Now that you’ve placed all the objects on your slide and created your cue point, you need to add the triggers that will cause this interactivity to happen. You’re going to need four triggers to make this work.

The first trigger will pause the timeline when the timeline reaches the cue point.

The second trigger will pause the video when the timeline reaches that same cue point:

Note: You must pause both the timeline and the video, or your timeline will get out of sync and the interactivity won’t work.

The third and fourth trigger both need to be added to the multiply (X) shape you added to your pop-up group. One of the triggers will resume the timeline when the X shape is clicked:

And the final trigger will resume playing the video when the shape is clicked:

You should have four triggers in place when you’re done.

Now you can preview your project and check out how your interactive video is working. If you like what you see, you can repeat these steps further along the timeline to add more pop-ups to appear throughout your video.

If you’d like to take a closer look at a sample file, head on over to the downloads and grab this free template file. 

Got any tips of your own for adding pop-ups to video with Storyline 2? Let me know in the comments!

Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate software? Download a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.

Bill Kelleher
Anne Uldahl
John Backewich

This is amazing. One question - I have paused the video as well as the timeline. I have a trigger that shows a layer with a few pop up text boxes. When I insert a trigger to go back to the layer with the video it starts the video over from the beginning as opposed to where the video (and timeline) were paused. Can anyone assist me please? Thank you John Backewich Supervisor (Quality) SFCC Contact Center Region of Waterloo 131 Goodrich Dr. Kitchener, N2C 2E8 519-575-4400 ext. 3196 (Office) 519-501-8309 (Cell) [cid:image001.png@01D27300.74AC2A40] [Description: Description: serve] The Region of Waterloo provides more than 60 per cent of municipal services to a growing population of 550,000 people. We are committed to creating an inclusive, thriving and sustainable community through innovat... Expand

Anne Uldahl
Anne Uldahl