Welcome to the fourth instalment of our ‘Ask the Articulate Trainer’ blog. This week Helen answers more questions about Articulate Storyline.
Q: What are the best practices for compressing files size, for faster loading?
A: In Storyline & Studio quality settings can be adjusted within the publish settings. The further to the left you move the sliders, the more compression is applied to the output – this will have an impact on the appearance of your course, so you should test this to find your optimal settings.
Another technique to manage course loading speed is to be aware of the type of content you place on early slides in your course.
When an Articulate course launches, the first four slides are processed and loaded. Then, while the learner is working through those four slides, the rest of the course loads. To take full advantage of this, try to limit the inclusion of large media files within the first few pages.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you have a “Menu Slide” within the first three, all the slides the menu links to will be included in the pre-load, as will any slides linked to from custom Player tabs.
Q: Can an Articulate Storyline project be published as an interactive MP4?
A: The option to publish Storyline 360 to MP4 was added in Update 12, on 23 January 2018. The output is not interactive but will include your slide timeline animations and media. Peek & Replay content can also be outputted as MP4.
Q: How do I design with accessibility in mind in Storyline?
A: Storyline has several features to help develop accessible courses, including; tab order, alt-tags and closed captions to name a few. But, a lot of it will depend on the way you design the course.
Key things to think about:
- Colour contrast – dark text on lighter backgrounds (but not black on white)
- Avoid red & green text
- Minimum size 14 text with 1.5 line spacing and left alignment
- Bullets, numbers and tables help structure content
- Include voice overs, alongside closed captions
- Build triggers to support keyboard control, alongside mouse & gesture control
- Consider creating a print alternative
Check out our blog on reducing visual stress in eLearning to learn more.
Q: Why does it take so long to preview a project and is there a way to speed up the process?
A: When Storyline is previewing a project, it is processing the content on the slide, scene or project, depending on which option you choose. The content on those slides will affect preview speed, e.g. video content takes longer than text & images. Also, in Storyline 3 & 360 every preview is creating five different versions, with five different player layouts:
- Tablet landscape
- Tablet portrait
- Smartphone landscape
- Smartphone portrait
If you know you don’t need a particular mobile layout, head to the Responsive Player settings and remove the options you don’t need.