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Apr 2017

Authoring tool review: Articulate Storyline 3 is here

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Shaping the future of learning

There has been much anticipation around when Articulate would be releasing the next version of Storyline, especially after the release of Articulate 360 last year. It has been quite some time since we last had a full authoring tool update from Articulate, but after two and a half years since Storyline 2 was released, Storyline 3 is now here!

What’s new with Storyline 3?

Responsive multi-device functionality

Deliver a responsive multi‑device experience

Simply create your course in Storyline 3 and click publish. The new responsive player dynamically adapts to tablet and smartphone screens while still keeping its aspect ratio, providing an optimal view of your course on every device—without you tweaking a thing. It supports touchscreen gestures, hides sidebar menus, eliminates browser chrome, and delivers mobile‑friendly playback controls.

Up until now, Storyline has been left behind when it comes to building responsive multi-device courses, but not anymore. The responsive player keeps its aspect ratio but adapts its height or width to fill as much of the screen as it can, on any device.

Screen capture showing options for responsive playback

Storyline 3 incorporates the ability to preview how your course will look and behave on any device and orientation – so the best viewing experience can be achieved on any mobile device.

Screen capture showing how to customise dials

Storyline 3 now has touchscreen gestures on all HTML5 courses viewed on tablets and smartphones. You can now swipe left and right to move between slides. Pinch or double-tap to zoom in and out and drag to pan and scroll.

Closed captions on video and audio

In Storyline 3, you can make courses more accessible by importing a closed caption file for each snippet of audio or video in the course. Once the closed caption option has been activated (either via the built-in player button or via a custom button on the slide) the closed captions will show throughout the course on any screens with media which have closed caption files attached.

Interactivity with courses just got better

There are 3 main features which have been introduced into Storyline 3 to improve and enhance the interactivity of courses. The first one is the introduction of the dial interaction.

Dial up the interactivity

Let learners manipulate data and slide content with dial interactions. Customise prebuilt dials or create your own from any object, graphic, or image. Use dials to simulate real‑world objects and tasks or let learners explore cause‑and‑effect relationships.

Screen capture showing publishing options

This is a smooth interaction and is a great addition to the tool. The dial up feature helps to expand on the interactivity which the slider interaction opened up in the Storyline 2 release. Dials are similar to sliders, but where sliders move along a straight path, dials move in an arc or a circular path.

You can either use the built-in dial options which come as standard within Storyline 3, or you can simply convert an existing graphic into a dial, creating lots of flexibility and options available when building an interaction using this feature.

Feature number two is the ability to rotate objects to follow a motion path.

Storyline 3 lets you change the orientation of an object as it travels along a non-linear motion path so it's always facing the direction it's moving.

After adding a motion path animation to an object (any motion path except a straight line), go to the Animations tab on the Storyline ribbon, click Path Options, and choose Orient Shape to Path. That's it! Now your object will change directions as it moves along your motion path.

This is a great way to add some realistic elements into your learning, for example, a car going around a race track. With this new feature you will now see the car rotating as it follows the motion path, making it look just like it is driving around the track.

The third feature is the ability to trigger events when objects intersect, when object intersection ends, when objects enter a slide and when objects leave a slide.

The addition of this new feature opens up a world of opportunities when it comes to creating interactivity within a course, including the ability to action an event when 2 objects collide (or intersect). This is a great feature and I can see it adding heaps of value when we’re using gamification within courses or using within a scenario.

HTML5 support


Storyline 3 makes it easy to deliver courses to learners with tablets and smartphones.

HTML5 courses published with Storyline 3 use the all-new responsive player when viewed on tablets and smartphones.

The responsive player dynamically adapts to different screen sizes, providing an optimized view of your course on every device—no extra work required. It fluidly responds to different mobile screen sizes and orientations, hides sidebar menus until you need them, eliminates browser chrome and delivers mobile-friendly playback controls.

The responsive player moves out of the way to maximize the screen real estate for your slide content. Your content will maintain its aspect ratio, but it’ll scale to fill as much of the screen as possible on tablets and smartphones.

The best way to track learners on tablets and smartphones is to include HTML5 output when you publish. Storyline 3 HTML5 output is supported in AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can API learning management systems (LMSs) as well as Articulate Online.

Most features behave the same way in HTML5, Flash, and Articulate Mobile Player output, but some don't. Find out more about the expected behaviour of each Storyline 3 feature in HTML5, Flash, and the Articulate Mobile Player.

And the verdict is

Overall we're impressed with these new and enhanced features within Storyline 3. The features mentioned above are only the beginning and there are many more bells and whistles that have been updated since Storyline 2. All of these updates can be found on the Articulate website.

We're looking forward to creating some exciting new elearning courses with our clients using the new version of the authoring tool!

If you or your team need some authoring tool support or upskilling, make sure you check out our support services for L&D teams.



Shaping the future of learning

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