Imagine…a cacophony of simultaneous noises and voices competing on the same e-Learning slide. Have you experienced such chaos? From the sounds of it, this blog post may be just for you. So, now imagine…an incredibly simple solution.
During our hands-on Storyline 360 training, we work with audio in various ways. There’s ample opportunity for the aforementioned hullabaloo of overlapping sound and this common “as heard in training” question: “Why is My Audio Overlapping?”
If you peek at our e-Learning example here, we’ve created a common click-and-reveal interaction with audio in each layer. First, the narrator says a lot of valuable things on the base slide—information we really want the learner to receive! Then, interactive buttons appear that each play audio from a corresponding layer.
How do we prevent the learner from selecting the buttons too soon and experiencing the dreaded audio overlap? Read on for a few options that solve this layer interaction issue!
This first method may be obvious, but it’s also an easy and elegant solution.
We can simply wait to reveal interactive objects until the base slide narration completes. Do this by adjusting the timing of your interactive objects in the Timeline panel to arrive after the initial base audio ends.
Learners now won’t have opportunity to select buttons until we’re ready for them to!
What if you want to have your cake and eat it too? Let’s design our interaction so that the buttons appear on the slide as soon as we’d like—and still prevent audio overlap.
Here’s how…using Slide Layer Properties:
- Select a layer (or multi-select layers using the Ctrl or Shift key on your keyboard).
- Select the Layers panel gear icon in the bottom-right corner of the Slide Layers panel to open the “Slide Layer Properties” window.
- Check the box for “Pause timeline of base layer.”
Using this method, learners can open a layer at any time and any layers with this layer property enabled will ensure that the base slide pauses before layer audio begins. (Plus, if the learner returns to the base slide, the base slide narration will resume exactly where it left off!)
States are largely based around visuals, but the states feature can also help control functionality.
Storyline 360’s built-in state, “Disabled,” is not interactive at all. Therefore, we can utilize this state to keep our buttons on the slide (in the “Disabled” state) and then switch them to the interactive “Normal” state once the base narration has completed!
- First, make sure each button has a Disabled state.
- Now, set the object’s starting or Initial State to Disabled.
- Finally, to make the object interactive again, trigger each button to change to Normal when the timeline ends on this slide.
Just like that, both you and your learners are in a happy state of mind.
Tip: This final method is tried-and-true for many developers, but is not ideal if you’re developing with accessibility in mind!
Remember when we blogged about making videos un-clickable? Good times… Well, same concept here! Hotspots can be integral in developing unique and even accessible interactions, but they could also act as a blocking mechanism. We can use hotspots to physically block learners from clicking on objects—from video to interactions too.
Follow these steps to prevent learners from interacting until after the base narration completes:
- Insert a hotspot on top of your interactive items by selecting Insert tab | Hotspot and drawing the hotspot onto the slide.Tip: Verify the hotspot is above your interaction by checking that it’s above your interactive items in the Timeline panel.
- To make our interaction…well, interactive…simply add an Exit Animation to the hotspot! Select the new hotspot, then navigate to the Animations tab. (We chose the “Fade” animation, but since hotspots are invisible to learners, any animation will do!)
With the hotspot standing in the way until slide’s end, the base audio has center stage all the way through!
We did it! Select here to download our Storyline 360 file with these example builds, and go forth protecting interactions from overzealous cursors! Never again shall we deal with audio overlap.
Do you have thoughts or other solutions you’d like to share? Contact us here OR let us know in the comments below!