It seems just like yesterday that the team over at Articulate introduced their newest tool, Articulate Storyline. It has quickly become a favorite of E-learning Developers and Instructional Designers because of it’s ease of use and versatility. Articulate Storyline 2 has just been released and includes a wealth of new features. Did one of the best e-learning development tools just get better? Read on to find out.
Storyline 2 includes a host of a new features, with some being minor improvements and others being welcome new additions. Some of the Storyline 2 features include:
As usual, the team of at Articulate has already done a great job showcasing the new features of Storyline 2, so in this review, I am going to focus on the items that I believe are the most interesting and useful.
Updated User Interface
Previous users of Articulate Storyline will probably all agree that version one of the software has an intuitive user interface. It borrows heavily from the layout of Microsoft PowerPoint and is very easy to pick up and learn (which is why it has quickly become a favorite development tool for those in the e-learning profession). Storyline 2 rolls out a refreshed UI that looks very similar to Outlook 2013 with a new “Blue” theme.
The updated UI isn’t drastic though, so once you get used to the new colors and updated menu icons, you should still feel right at home.
The general layout of the previous version of Storyline remains in tact. The biggest notable differences include new icons and the blue accents colors within the UI. One extremely useful new feature is the ability to dock and undock panels. This will allow you to make additional space for working with you slides, and is also helpful if you use a multiple monitor set up (which I highly suggest!).
Another new UI feature is the ability to quickly switch from form view to slide view on a question slide. This new button/tab is located in the Questions properties panel and will allow you to toggle from your slide design to the more detailed properties of your quiz question.
If you are a current user of Storyline, then you know that Triggers in Storyline are one of the most useful features available. While the triggers in Storyline 1 allowed you to build creative interactions, Storyline 2 features some new Triggers that you probably have been wishing were available in Storyline 1. Some of the new Triggers include (Click on each item below for additional details):
This is a trigger I have been waiting for. It will allow you to trigger an event to happen after an animation has completed. This might seem like a simple thing, but trust me, it will open up the doors for a lot of interesting interactions.
You can now change the state of the Previous and Next buttons on the Articulate Player using triggers!
You will now have the ability to Start and Start the timeline with the new PauseTimeline and ResumeTimeline triggers. This is another one of those triggers that doesn’t seem to be very important, but trust me, it will come in very handy in many of your projects.
I’m sure while working with Storyline 1, you have encountered many scenarios where you have wished that you could trigger an event at a certain point on the timeline. With this new trigger, you can now easily do this.
Articulate Mobile Player For Android
One of the more interesting features of Articulate Storyline 1 was the ability to publish content to the Articulate Mobile Player. This allowed your learners to install a native iPad app and view Storyline content. Unfortunately, for the version 1 release of Storyline, Android Tablet owners didn’t quite have the same luxury and could only view Storyline content if it was published to HTML5. Storyline 2 now supports Articulate Mobile Player for Android tablets, so you will now be able to target far more devices.
New Slider Interaction
Storyline 2 includes a new “Slider” interaction. While you may be thinking to yourself, “What’s the big deal?”, this simple little element will allow you to add some creative new interactive elements to your courses when combined with triggers. Some examples include potentially creating a carousel interaction, or letting your learner’s adjust the level of difficulty of the course by adjusting the slider. I can already envision a Articulate Community Challenge featuring sliders (if it hasn’t already been done!).
While I was a huge fan of Storyline 1, I also found myself wishing that I could do more with the animations. With Storyline 2, the team over at Articulate answered my prayers and included Motions Paths and the new Animation Painter tool. The motion path tool allows you to either use pre-set paths or draw your own customs paths that you can have your slide objects move along. Even better, you can also combine these motion paths with triggers to have even more control over your animations.
The animation painter tool will allow you to easily add an animation you created to other items on your slide by simply clicking on them. This works similar to the way the format painter tool works in PowerPoint and Word.
A Worthy Upgrade
if you are a current user of Storyline 1, you may initially think that the Storyline 2 upgrade isn’t significant. I would initially agree, but after trying Storyline 2, you will quickly see that the many new additions are items that will greatly change the way you use Storyline.
The ability to dock and un-dock panels might seem trivial, but for me, it greatly enhances my workflow. The new text formatting options and animation painter are also very welcome additions that help make development that much easier.
More importantly, the additional animation options and triggers will open up a whole new world of possibilities that you just won’t be able to accomplish with Storyline 1. If you use are an e-learning developer and you are looking for a tool that is simple to use yet powerful enough to create just about anything your imagination can dream up, then do yourself a favor and consider Storyline 2.
The Final Verdict
Storyline 2 improves upon Storyline 1 by adding a refreshed UI, improved workflow, additional triggers and more animations and is a must have for any e-learning developer. For more information, visit www.articulate.com.