Have been since Macromedia existed (Captivate 2?)
I've used Captivate through UI changes, a couple squirelly updates and the long wait for right-click functionality.
So I go at this tool evaluation more than a little biased. Because dangit - change is hard and scary.
Especially changing long-standing habits.
But I have more folks I need to support now. They deserve tools that work for THEM, not just for me.
I was heartened to see Adobe address the HTML5 concerns I had. Still, something in my gut is making me just a little uncomfortable with the way Adobe is headed with this product. And I have never had end-users seem so excited about a development tool. So I had to go take a look at the shiny new thing called Articulate Storyline.
I am thinking that NOW is the time to make a change if I need to make a change. It's the beginning of the fiscal year. I have not purchased the Captivate 6 upgrade yet (though I will need to since I have some folks in the pipeline), and if I have to retire Captivate as a solution - I can do so cleanly with this final version.
I've been spending this past week putting both products through their paces. I created the same quick tutorial (how to use Google Help) with both products. Exact same steps. I won't be sharing the tutorial links here since I haven't asked my bosses for permission.
Below is pretty much a copy of the document I shared with my management team. It is still a work in progress, but at least it gives you an idea of how I am testing. Noticed how I focused on what I need to do NOW vs. shiny "new" features.
Reasons for looking at changing development tools:
- Increasing use of mobile for training.
- Discomfort with Adobe’s mobile strategy for Captivate
- Feedback that Captivate is tricky to learn and not terribly intuitive.
- May be overkill for most eLearning client’s needs
- Unusually positive feedback from Articulate Storyline users during conferences.
- Many of these users were Captivate users
- Other tools do not adequately address software simulation
Decision: (not made yet)
Academic and group discounts available.
Licensing will need to be negotiated
Useability and Technical Comments
Note: Audio tested in a room with a really large air conditioning vent blowing very cold air. This did an excellent job of testing any possible noise-cancelling feature in the product.
- PowerPoint-like interface makes it easier to teach and less intimidating for new users
- Pre-developed interactions very easy to edit
- Default to end of slide vs. having to reset the timing for every object like in Captivate
- Love the scene organization - makes it easier to find and edit sections of the tutorial
- Movies - really easy to create. Best screen-capture.
- Very easy to add objects
- Audio-recording - weakest part of the product. Would be better off using Audacity, then adding audio to the project.
- Have to post any HTML output to test.
- Keeps ALL items separate - resulting item not as large.
- REALLY slow. Especially initial loading. Took a couple of minutes to get the product started. Captivate 5.5 takes about 30 seconds.
- Themes override ANY settings in your presentation. This is a “use with caution” feature.
- The captions not picking up the names of the links. Just gives a generic. Captivate 5.5 did a MUCH better job of naming the links. This will slow down production.
- Screen capture very slightly better on Captivate 6 than on Captivate 5.5. Not as good as Articulate.
- Styles = much quicker caption change vs. Articulate.
- Firefox plugin crashes when posted and tested on PC
- Audio slightly better than Articulate Storyline.
Mobile Test (got rid of the table - HT to @oxala75 for pointing out the display problem)
Note: HTML5 output only displays correctly on HTML5-compatible browsers. Technology not quite ready for prime-time. (I posted HTML and HTML5 publications on an FTP site our team uses for evaluation and testing of online tutorials.)
Note: Tutorials generated not particularly appropriate for phone-size devices. Android test (using Samsung Virgin Mobile SPH-M910
Kindle Fire HTML5Articulate Storyline - Works. Get “Loading Video” in between each screen. Can click on Marker to see what happens next. Is a rollover on PC. Seem to be missing text captions.
Captivate 6 - Get Browser not support content warning. Once get there, works clean. All text captions and audio
Kindle Fire HTMLArticulate Storyline - Works cleanly - better than the HTML5 version. Resizes correctly and get all markers and text captions.
Captivate 6 - Works clean
iPad HTML5Articulate Storyline - Works. Get Play button before start. Can click on Marker to see what happens next. Is a rollover on PC. Seem to be missing text captions.
Captivate 6 - Works clean
iPad HTMLArticulate Storyline - Does not work without Articulate Mobile Player app
Captivate 6 - Will not find the page at all
Android HTML5Articulate Storyline - Takes forever to load. The menu takes up most of the screen real-estate. Baseline tutorial never loaded.
Captivate 6 - Get “no support” message. Baseline tutorial never loaded.
Android HTML5Articulate Storyline - Will not find the page at all
Captivate 6 - Kicks to “get flash player” app but my device won’t work with it - then nothing. Phone used not compatible with the Flash Player app needed.
- SCORM 2004 publish to SkillPort SCORM 2004 - received error. Null reading on a file
- SCORM 1.2 publish to SkillPort SCORM 1.2 publish - clean. Works as expected. VERY fast load time to SkillPort.
- Works the same way as Captivate 5.5.
I have asked Sid and a couple other end users to look at the Articulate Storyline trial. I figure they would give me better input regarding usability. I will use their feedback to help me with my final decision.
Of course - this whole thing brings up the other question of - do I want to have "one tool to rule them all"? Or should I come up with another way of doing this.