Blog Series: Responsive eLearning with Adobe Captivate 2017

In this 14-part blog series, we took a deep dive into how to create responsive courses using Fluid Boxes and customize the properties to suit our requirements.

Here are the links to the posts:

Part 1: Creating a responsive project

Part 2: Resizing the responsive project

Part 3: Adding Fluid Boxes

Part 4: Adding objects to Fluid Boxes

Part 5: Using the fill option for Fluid Boxes

Part 6: Modifying Fluid Box properties

Part 7: Using Static Fluid Boxes

Part 8: Using Optional Fluid Boxes

Part 9: Using responsive text

Part 10: Using Fluid Boxes with master slides

Part 11: Recording responsive simulation

Part 12: Enabling gestures

Part 13: Converting non-responsive projects to responsive

Part 14: Switching to Breakpoint mode

If you wish to watch the videos for each of these parts, here’s a playlist with the videos:

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Responsive eLearning with Captivate 2017 – Part 14: Switching to Breakpoint mode

This is the last part of the 14-part blog series on Responsive eLearning with Adobe Captivate 2017. So far we’ve learned how to create a responsive project, rescale it, add Fluid Boxes to the slides, add objects to the Fluid Boxes, apply background fill, modify the properties of the Fluid Boxes, use the static and optional properties, best practices for adding text, using Fluid Boxes in master slides, recording responsive simulations, enabling gestures , and converting your non-responsive projects to responsive in Adobe Captivate 2017. Now let’s learn how to switch from Fluid Box mode to the breakpoint mode in Adobe Captivate 2017.

Responsive eLearning workflow was added to Captivate back in version 8, but Fluid Boxes are new to version 2017. In Captivate 8 and 9, you could create responsive eLearning courses using the Breakpoint mode. This approach, based on breakpoints, is still available today in Captivate 2017.

You can use the Breakpoints approach if you have an older responsive project to maintain, or if you feel more at ease with the Breakpoint approach rather than with the new Fluid Boxes approach. You can also refer this blog post by Lieve Weymeis to choose between Fluid Boxes and Breakpoints to build the responsive courses.

Watch this video to take a look at the steps to switch to the breakpoint mode:

This brings us to the end of this blog series on responsive eLearning. Watch this space for more blog series on different Captivate workflows.

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Reduce Delivery Headaches for Your Responsive Courses Through “Mobile First” Design

The mobile-first approach is exactly as it sounds: designing for the smallest screen and working your way up. It is one of the best strategies to create either a responsive or adaptive design.

~ Ben Gremillion | A Hands-On Guide to Mobile-First Responsive Design

If an eLearning professional wants to engage end users on a personal level, they must first connect with them on a technical level. And, doing so involves addressing any of a number of technical challenges ranging from internet access to the compatibility of hardware and software. This blog post presents the Mobile First approach that may help address some of these issues through careful instructional design.

Delivery Issues with Multiple Devices

One critical  issue in eLearning surrounds whether or not the courseware you worked so hard on will display properly on the end user’s device. For example, graphics could be truncated on a mobile device or text presented in such a small font that it is difficult to read.

As noted by Lieve Weymeis, Captivate 2017 contains three workflows that enable content delivery on a range of devices using adaptive or responsive methods: Scalable Projects, Fluid Boxes and Break Points. While each has it own unique strengths and limitations, they all provide a means of reliably displaying content across a variety of end user devices and screen sizes.

In addition to the Captivate 2017, another option for dealing with compatibility issues involves designing eLearning courses to avoid them in the first. One such strategy, the “Mobile First” strategy, has been successfully used by web developers for some time and it could prove a useful for eLearning designers and developers.

What is Mobile First Design?

Luke Wroblewski is often credited with coining he term “Mobile First”, but a number of other developers have since expanded on the concept. In short, the Mobile First workflow involves first designing a website or application so that it works within the constraints of a mobile device (e.g., screen size), and then scaling up to other devices, such as a tablet or desktop.

For web designers, and possibly eLearning professionals, the Mobile First workflow has the key advantage of ensuring that content can be successfully delivered to the most problematic device, in terms of bandwidth and visible screen size. Additional benefits include:

  1. Increased Delivery Reach: designing for mobile phones opens delivery to an ever expanding user base. As of August 2018, there are currently 5 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide, and that number continues to grow.
  2. Content Focus: Mobile First forces designers to focus on essential content, leading to a more meaningful and engaging user experience.
  3. Ease in Scalability: from a design stand point, it is easier to reorganize objects designed for a small screen to a larger screen than the reverse.

Figure 1: Mock Up of a Scalable Project Displayed on Smartphone.

Mobile First Design and eLearning

You may be surprised that you see Mobile First designs almost everyday and not just on your smartphone. If you pay attention to commercials displayed on a flat screen tv, you will notice they would also show up well on your smartphone. Such designs share a couple of key features:

  1. Limited Content: content is limited and very focused on key terms and product features.
  2. Large Text: Text is very large and, in general, uses less than 20 words.
  3. Simple Graphics: background graphics are not overly complex, with the content easy to identify. Graphics also lend themselves well to text overlays.

Figure 1 shows a mock up of a Mobile First screen design that would work well with Captivate’s Scalable Project workflow. The content is based on a screen from a micro lesson used during the implementation of a new web browser.  As can be seen, the content doesn’t overwhelm the screen and the text, graphic and navigation controls are easily visible.

In addition, while this Scalable Project is limited to a landscape format, it will display on larger devices. Figure 2 shows a mock up of how this design will look on a laptop. While some might consider the design a bit sparse, it is still capable of communicating the critical content.

Figure 2: Mock Up of a Scalable Project Displayed on Laptop.

The Mobile First approach can also work for responsive workflows in Captivate 2017, such as Break Points and Fluid Boxes. Critical to designing for these workflows, is the careful specification of screen elements (e.g., text box, graphics), as the relative position of the elements will shift depending on the screen size.

Figure 3: Mock Up of a Responsive Project on a Smartphone and Laptop.

Figure 3 shows a mock up of how a responsive Mobile First design could look on both a mobile device and a laptop. For the smartphone, the contents are essentially listed, with one screen element being below the other. This allows the width of each individual element to be as large as the screen width.

However, when the delivery device is changed to a laptop, the content shifts allowing screen elements to position themselves for better viewing in the landscape mode. Pooja Jaisingh has created a nice video “Fluid Boxes with Adobe Captivate (2017 Release)” that shows how you can create this sort of design within Captivate.

Considerations

Mobile First design is not a replacement for existing development models (e.g., ADDIE). Rather, Mobile First provides insight into key decisions and steps that can make eLearning design, development and delivery more efficient and less problematic.

When designing and developing your adaptive or responsive projects, Mobile First design suggests that you consider the following:

  1. Conduct a detailed needs analysis that includes the specific type of devices used by your client.
  2. Create detailed storyboards that include notes on content priority.
  3. Select the simplest workflow in Captivate that will allow you to achieve your objectives.
  4. Develop your project starting with the smallest screen size.
  5. Limit text and use a large enough font size so that it is easy to read on a small screen.
  6. Ensure graphics are not overly detailed and that navigation buttons are easy to see and use.
  7. Test you project on devices similar to what your end users will use.

Conclusion

Mobile devices are now a fact of life and their use will continue to grow in the future. For the eLearning professional, this presents the opportunity to reach more end users and reach them wherever they are located. However, Mobile devices also present challenges that need to be addressed, and a Mobile First strategy can help you design away some delivery headaches before they even appear.

References (In Order of Appearance)

Ben Gremillion | A Hands-On Guide to Mobile-First Responsive Design

Lieve Weymeis | Tough Choice: Breakpoints or Fluid Boxes?

Luke Wroblewski | Mobile First

Pooja Jaisingh | Fluid Boxes with Adobe Captivate (2017 Release)

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How BigCommerce Has Changed B2B Online Retail Trend In 2018

There are a large number of eCommerce platforms coming up these days, but BigCommerce is creating a huge difference in how customer segmentation works. Under this blog, we will discuss trending B2B online retail opportunities to be followed in 2018.

Let’s start with discussing the following topic;

Benefits of choosing BigCommerce over others eCommerce Platforms

Like every industry, even eCommerce is also getting benefitted with the digitization. B2B eCommerce is now considered one of the best models for wholesale dealers and even manufactures. The reason why we are focusing on BigCommerce more than any other eCommerce platform is that it has out-of-the-box offers to ease the workflow in the retail industry. It is a seamless and highly flexible platform, it is scalable and offers n-number of easily enjoyable benefits.

Take a detailed look at following benefits of this ultimate platform for B2B retailers;

1). Flexible payment modes

BigCommerce offers a wide number of payment methods that never miss to benefit you. They have designed everything focusing on B2B retailers and has established all the payment modes that are easy to choose.

Here are few of their payment modes you can choose from:

  • They accept even offline payments like NET
  • You can use PayPal
  • Offers Free-shipping
  • If online payment is now possible, you can even pay in a retail outlet

2). Customer segmentation is the best advantage

As compared to all other business modes, B2B retail organizations face more trouble with respect to the pricing and the merchandising requirements. Hence, it becomes more complex to segment the customers based on the price list.

BigCommerce has many inbuilt features for the same and that makes it more powerful for segmenting the customers with an ease and accuracy. It helps in offering the best competitive price to their customers by organizing them appropriately.

It is easy to sort potential customers through better pricing segmentation.

3). They are Better at coding and this helps in better performance.

The reason why BigCommerce is preferred by a large number of B2B retailers is that they have really strong foundation code, so it has a good API, and this keeps on getting better because they keep it updated in regular intervals.

Through better code, they can easily customize everything according to the changing trends.

Why better coding in important?

The reason is; BigCommerce is good with connecting with many ERP, CRM, and accounting systems, and at merchant end, it becomes easy to manage whole business process using their existing work process. A developer who writes codes find it convenient to build a high-end software for the target audience.

BigCommerce has SEO optimized framework, that is the best thing to use and also helps in mobile conversions. It is ‘Stencil’ that helps BigCommerce with faster loading, better performance, and ultimately helps in giving best customer satisfaction.

4). A plethora of B2B customization possibilities

BigCommerce is a wonderful platform that can be customized and extended at the same time depending on the various different business needs. You can actually modify your web design, can change the SEO, or any other modifications to meet your customer’s need in a best possible way.

5). Make the most important information visible to B2B customers

As we already discussed that BigCommerce can segregate customers based on pricing and other categories, this segregation also allows customizing the information that your customer is seeing at the first glance.

You can show the most relevant information to your customers with an ease. Here are few examples for the same;

  • Restrict some specific payment and shipping options to particular customer groups.
  • Display some specific product to specific customer category
  • Hide or show the payment options, shipping options according to the destination of the order or warehouse.

Last, but not the least.

6). You can customize the Checkout out process

Unlike other popular eCommerce platforms, BigCommerce allows you to customize the checkout page according to the ease of customers.

Importance of customizing the checkout page- Checkout page is the place where all customers finalize their purchase details, adds their favorites to the cart, choose a shipping option, payment mode and finally confirms their orders. If you customize the checkout page according to target customers and allow them to complete the purchase without any hassle, you can gain a loyal customer. Few examples of what you can do for check out customization include;

  • Uploading the PDF of your customer’s purchase order during final checkout.
  • Letting them choose their preferable shipping and payment options
  • Saving all the purchase options.

With BigCommerce, both the content as well as the pricing can be customized easily and this makes the B2B online retail business easier like never before.

Conclusion

All these benefits of BigCommerce that we discussed today make B2B retail business much easier, and you will not be able to enjoy them while using platforms that don’t have so many customizing options. With BigCommerce, any kind of segregation and customization is possible. You can actually show the best you have got to your potential customers and achieve your business goals with an ease.

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Responsive eLearning with Captivate 2017 – Part 13: Converting non-responsive projects to responsive

In this Part 13 of 14-part blog series, let’s learn how to convert your non-responsive projects to responsive. So far we’ve learned how to create a responsive project, rescale it, add Fluid Boxes to the slides, add objects to the Fluid Boxes, apply background fill, modify the properties of the Fluid Boxes, use the static and optional properties, best practices for adding text, using Fluid Boxes in master slides, recording responsive simulations, and enabling gestures for responsive courses in Adobe Captivate 2017.

With the new Fluid Box responsive workflow in Adobe Captivate 2017, you can convert a non-responsive Captivate project created using version 8, 9, or 2017 to a fully responsive project.

Watch this video to learn how to convert your non-responsive projects to responsive:

This simple workflow will allow you to easily convert your legacy desktop-only courses to fully-responsive courses.

To learn more about the guidelines and best practices for converting the projects from non-responsive to responsive format, refer the following blog posts:

Guidelines Part 1

Guidelines Part 2

In the next and the last part of this blog series, we will learn how to switch to the breakpoint mode in Adobe Captivate 2017.

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Responsive eLearning with Captivate 2017 – Part 12: Enabling gestures

In this Part 12 of 14-part blog series, we will talk about enabling gestures for your responsive eLearning courses. So far we’ve learned how to create a responsive project, rescale it, add Fluid Boxes to the slides, add objects to the Fluid Boxes, apply background fill, modify the properties of the Fluid Boxes, use the static and optional properties, best practices for adding text, using Fluid Boxes in master slides, and recording responsive simulations in Adobe Captivate 2017.

One of the things that characterise the mobile experience (versus the desktop/laptop experience) is the touch screen. Owners of mobile devices use their fingers to interact with their devices by performing various gestures like swipes, taps, double-taps, pinches, and so on. The Mobile Palette feature in Captivate gives you the ability to leverage the power of those mobile gestures in your projects.

The Gestures option is not limited to the Responsive Projects only. You can use Gestures in any standard project as well, but they will function only if you publish the project in HTML5 format.

Watch this video to learn how to enable gestures for responsive and HTML5 courses:

In the next part, we will learn how to convert non-responsive projects to responsive in Adobe Captivate 2017.

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Responsive eLearning with Captivate 2017 – Part 11: Recording responsive simulation

We are almost at the end of this blog post series. So far we’ve learned how to create a responsive project, rescale it, add Fluid Boxes to the slides, add objects to the Fluid Boxes, apply background fill, modify the properties of the Fluid Boxes, use the static and optional properties, best practices for adding text, and using Fluid Boxes in master slides. Now let’s learn how to record responsive simulations in Adobe Captivate 2017.

The steps to record a responsive simulation are the same as a normal simulation. The only difference is that you cannot start the workflow from creating a simulation directly. You will first need to create a responsive project and then add simulation slides to it.

Watch this video to learn about the steps to record and edit responsive software simulations:

In the next part, we will learn how to enable gestures for responsive and HTML5 courses in Adobe Captivate.

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Responsive eLearning with Captivate 2017 – Part 10: Using Fluid Boxes with master slides

In this 14-part blog series, so far we’ve learned how to create a responsive project, rescale it, add Fluid Boxes to the slides, add objects to the Fluid Boxes, apply background fill, modify the properties of the Fluid Boxes, use the static and optional properties, and best practices for adding text in responsive projects. Now let’s learn how to use Fluid Boxes in master slides. Also learn how they are different from Fluid Boxes added to the Filmstrip slides.

When you apply a Master Slide to a slide in the project, it inherits the Fluid Boxes from the master slide.

Fluid Boxes on master slides work almost the same as the Fluid Boxes on filmstrip slides. Here are a few differences:

  • You cannot name the Fluid Boxes on Master Slides.
  • When a slide is associated with a Master Slide, the Fluid Boxes from the Master Slide are inherited by the slide.
  • These inherited Fluid Boxes cannot be deleted, but they can be resized.
  • Along with these inherited Fluid Boxes on the slide, new Fluid Boxes can be added and subsequently deleted on the slide.
  • Question slides in Captivate projects also inherit the Fluid Boxes from the associated master slide. And the same differences will apply to the Fluid Boxes inherited from the Master Slides on the question slides.

Watch this video to learn more about Fluid Boxes in master slides:

In the next part, we will learn how to record responsive simulations in Adobe Captivate 2017.

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FREE WEBINAR – Working with Image in Adobe Captivate

DATE: Wed 29th August 2018

TIME: 12.00pm AEST

REGISTER NOW: https://adobe.ly/2MRe4Ji

So we know how to insert an image, but what about all the other fun and time-saving things we can do with images in Adobe Captivate . . ?

What about using animated GIFs? Or working with images in responsive projects? Do images behave differently when designing a responsive project?

Those are great questions and we’re glad you asked!

In this webinar, we’ll examine image behaviours, tips and workarounds. We’ll also look at the inbuilt Adobe Captivate editing functionality.

Not only will we delve into editing images from within Adobe Captivate, but we’ll explore using an outside image editing program, like Photoshop, or even MS Paint (I know there are fans out there..) and importing back into Adobe Captivate.

Don’t know how to insert an image at all? You’ll learn that too!

We hope you can join our webinar @12pm (AEST) Wednesday 29th of August.

REGISTER NOW: https://adobe.ly/2MRe4Ji

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Microlearning in the Workplace – 15 Amazing Examples to Make Your Training Exciting

A lot of organizations are now seeing Microlearning as an important tool for both Formal and Informal Learning. Due to the diminishing attention spans of employees, organizations find it tough to engage them in learning. Hence, the usage of Microlearning in the workplace has now come to the forefront.

As the name suggests, Microlearning is a short, focused training. It is normally 2-5 mins in run length (normally not exceeding 7 mins). Although it is short, it is designed to meet specific learning outcomes. It is characteristic of multi-device support, rich media formats, and is action-oriented (wherein learners learn, practice, or apply for the job.

Microlearning in the workplace can be used for formal training, to supplement formal training, and as Performance Support Tools (PSTs) or job aids. The following infographic shows the various types of Microlearning formats that can used at the workplace.

Microlearning in the Workplace - 15 Amazing Examples to Make Your Training Exciting

I hope this info-graphic gave you an idea of how you can use Microlearning in the workplace to enhance your training. Once you implement this strategy in your organization, either for Formal or Informal Learning, you will see an improvement in the way your employees learn during training.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/microlearning-in-the-workplace-15-amazing-examples-to-make-your-training-exciting/

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