When I’m prototyping or storyboarding a client’s Articulate Storyline course, one of the things I like to do is spend some time walking through slide-level behaviors so we can factor those settings into the design plan and, hopefully, avoid rework.
For the most part, this conversation is pretty straightforward. However, I’ve noticed there is one behavior that consistently prompts discussion: how should the slides behave when the user revisits them later? For most content slides the question of what the slide should look like when it’s revisited isn’t really an issue. But for slides with media or interactive elements, this can be a source of client confusion and second-guessing.
Fortunately, Storyline allows you to easily customize these options in the Slide Properties panel. You can specify the behavior from slide to slide or for all the slides in your course. Let’s walk through each of these “when revisiting” options, and then I’ll share a simple trick I use for explaining the behaviors to others.
Accessing Slide Properties
As I mentioned, the “revisit” slide behaviors are controlled from Storyline’s Slide Properties panel.
You can access the Slide Properties panel from Story View by clicking the slide(s) you wish to modify and then selecting the options under “when revisiting” in the lower right.
Slide Properties can also be accessed from Normal View by clicking the gear icon to the right of the base layer name in the Slide Layers panel.
This action displays the Slide Properties panel in a floating pop-up.
Explaining Revisited Slide States
By default, Storyline sets the “when revisiting” option to “Automatically decide.” This means Storyline will choose whether to resume the slide or reset it. Storyline’s logic boils down to this:
- If the revisited slide contains only simple objects and/or audio but no interactivity, Storyline resets the slide to the beginning of the timeline each time users view it (i.e., reset to initial state).
- If the slide contains any interactive elements (e.g., buttons, characters, or any object with a visited or selected state) Storyline will resume your slide’s current state (i.e., resume saved state).
So here’s my trick for explaining this logic to clients: I use the metaphor of a hotel maid. My slides are my hotel room, Storyline is the maid service, and I’m the guest. As the guest, I can request that my maid, Storyline, automatically decide for me if my room should look just as I left it (resume saved state) or if it should look just like it did the first day I checked in (reset to initial state). Storyline will decide this for me after taking a look at my room and assessing what’s in it—either a few simple things that are easily tidied up or a more elaborate assortment of personal effects that are best left as-is.
I can also instruct Storyline, to let me decide one or the other—either to clean up my room and return it to its initial state or leave it untouched so it’s preserved just as I left it.
The “when revisiting” options under Slide Properties give you one way to control what users see when they revisit your slides. But what about the revisited states of individual objects, quiz questions, layers, or the entire course?
For more information on these behaviors and how to customize them, E-Learning Heroes is full of rich discussions, advice, and how-tos. Here’s an assortment of a few of my top picks for further reading:
Do you have any go-to metaphors or client-friendly tactics you use for explaining behaviors? If so, please share them with us in the comments below.
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