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When it comes to e-learning, starting with the end in mind is priceless, writes Seretha Slabbert Gentles.

Nearly every client request for eLearning demands two things: user engagement…and fast delivery.

At the drawing board, Articulate Rise is great tool for delivering on both asks. Allowing the fast build of great, glitch-free content interactions, showcasing beautifully designed graphics aligned to your Corporate Identity, fully responsive across platform and device, has never been easier. Or so you think…until you showcase the first design iteration.

The most common feedback is usually around the lack of user engagement. (I have come to realise that user engagement is also code for ‘user entertainment’.)

Regardless of the number of scenario-based activities and content interactivities the content developer includes, the experience leaves the client feeling uninspired, when Articulate Storyline is what they had in mind.

Articulate Storyline offers the more traditional experience that we used to create back in the day, using the likes of Flash and writing actual code. (Hats off to every Flash developer I ever had the privilege of working with!)

Articulate Storyline allows for a more slide-based design, with animated events made possible by running a timeline, and more ‘engagement’ (clicks, reveals and knowledge recall and application) with voice-over made possible on all body copy.

But, it is important to note that this requires more of your design and development team – more instructional design time, more graphic design time – and more development time.

Discovering after design iteration one, that you have scoped and costed for rapid eLearning design and development, when your client in fact desires a richer experience, will leave you falling short on timeline and budget in every instance.

Clients with more mature audiences appreciate Articulate Rise development in all its glory for what this Rapid Content Development software has to offer. Clients who require a richer graphic and automated multi-media experience, will opt for Articulate Storyline.

My advice in short: Manage the expectation upfront. Lead with real examples during the initial client engagement. Starting with the end in mind remains priceless.

* Articulate Rise and Articulate Storyline are eLearning authoring tools that allow designers to create responsive courses for any device.


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