Once again, this month brought about lots of great training classes across many great cities. During these sessions, we encounter lots of great ideas, questions, and discussions. Here’s one of the questions we encountered, along with some options for resolving it.
How Can I Control the Next Button?
I guess I should clarify…this question was not asked in a recent training session. This question is asked in every training session! It’s a popular question since many developers have to deal with compliance or legal content, and they don’t want the learner advancing slides too early. Or, let’s face it…some of you are just control freaks.
Like many of the questions asked about Storyline, this one has several possible solutions. Let’s look at some of the more common options.
Option 1: Design Your Own Buttons
Remove the Previous and Next buttons from the Player, which is done in Slide Properties. (Tip: From Story View, you can do this for more than one slide at a time.) Then, you can create your own Next and Previous buttons on the slide itself. These can be adjusted on the timeline to appear whenever you like.
Option 2: Use a True/False Variable
Create a True/False variable and name it something like NextSlide. Then, add a condition to your Next button trigger so that the variable NextSlide must equal True.
From there, use a trigger to adjust that variable to False when the timeline starts on your slide. Add another trigger to adjust the variable to True when the timeline ends. (Tip: If you’re using Timeline Start and Timeline End triggers, you may consider adding the triggers to the Slide Master.)
When we use this solution, we also like to add a layer that creates a prompt for the learner and explains why the Next button is not advancing. Don’t forget to add that “Show Layer” trigger to the Next button as well.
Option 3: Use a Locked or Restricted Player
Locking or restricting the Player will prevent the Next button from working until the timeline of the slide completes. This is the easiest and most straightforward solution; however, keep in mind that it will not allow you to adjust this functionality on a slide-by-slide basis. It’s a one and done solution for your course.
Option 4: Changing the State of the Next Button
One of the great yet overlooked features in Storyline 2 is the ability to change the states of the Previous and Next buttons. You can create a trigger to “Change the state of the Next Button” to Disabled or Hidden when the timeline starts. Then, at some point during the slide (by using the “When Timeline reaches” trigger event) or simply when the timeline ends, you can change the state of the Next button to Normal. So easy and yet effective!
Any of these four solutions could possibly work, depending on your specific need. So, what’s your favorite approach? Do you have another that you like to use? Share your comments below, or ask any questions you may have.
That’s Storyline, and I’m sticking to it!
Update: Please note that the interface of the faster new trigger workflow (in Storyline 360 update 3.33.20625.0 or later) will appear slightly different! While the process is the same, this article uses screen captures from the classic trigger workflow.
Ed Springer says
Great tip! Especially the use of variables and conditions to control the NEXT button. By the way, great class on variables and conditions at Learning Solutions.
Yukon Learning says
Thank you, Ed! We enjoyed having you in class and will look forward to seeing you at the next show.
thanks for the great post
Yukon Learning says
Thanks, James! Happy Articulating!
Melanie Sobie says
I usually only disable/lock the next button on slides that have several objects they need to interact with before moving on. For instance, a slide with five topics/tabs they must click on; each then branches off to more content somewhere else, or displays a layer, and then returns to the slide with the five topics/tabs.
I don’t change the state of the next button at the start of the timeline at all. I modify the next button trigger with a condition, such as:
Jump to next slide
when user clicks
Tab1 state is visited
AND Tab2 state is visited
AND Tab3 state is visited
AND Tab4 state is visited
AND Tab5 state is visited
I love the simplicity of this technique!
Yukon Learning says
Thanks for your comment Melanie. As you have indicated, there is never just one way of building something in Storyline. Learning which way you want to go based on your desired results is part of the art of using Storyline. Having all these options can make building courses a robust experience. I, too, like the solution of adding conditions to the Next trigger. I use it quite often, and when I do, I also typically add another trigger that shows a layer explaining that they need to complete the tasks given first. I do not want the learner thinking the course is not functioning.