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First impressions on Articulate Storyline 360

Here at Pathways, we like to always use the most advanced tools when it comes to creating eLearning modules. Of course, that includes using the latest versions of rapid eLearning authoring tools, like Storyline or Captivate.

However, it is always important to explore these tools and make internal tests, before considering using them for clients’ projects. Such is our case with the new Articulate Storyline 360, which was released a few weeks ago, and as part of our day-to-day operation, we set aside some time to test it. Here are some of my first impressions.

First of all, the GUI is very similar to its predecessor (Storyline 2) although in my opinion, some of the options are better labeled, using even small icons to represent them, that weren’t there before. But in general terms, the ribbon style and the different tabs are the same, which is great since they have been using the same style since Storyline 1.

It’s worth saying that this new version of Storyline, really is targeting development of eLearning modules for mobile devices. This effort was started in Storyline 2, but on this new version it’s taken to the next level, allowing the developers to preview the module not only for desktop (the usual preview) but for tablets and phones, in both portrait and landscape modes. It’s not fully responsive, I have to say, but it still helps you layout your design so that it plays nicely on different devices. Also, the output is more focused on HTML5, giving but it also gives the option of only Flash, Flash with an HTML back up (like in Storyline 2), HTML5 with a Flash backup or only HTML5.

One of the things that really caught my attention, was the option to add captions to audio tracks and videos. Gone are the days in which we had to create separate layers for the closed captioning, use JavaScript triggers, and create buttons to enable the captions. It all now comes integrated in the player, and to add the captions, you would only need to create an SRT file and then attach it to the audio or video file, and then Storyline takes care of the rest, adding a button to the player to enable the captions, and overlaying a rectangle with the text on top of the slide.

It is really exciting to see how Articulate is catering to the requests of so many developers. Please stay tuned as we keep exploring this amazing new authoring tool for creating eLearning modules.

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