UNATION Boosts Online Support Tools with Articulate Presenter Technology Training

Feb292012
Written by Gabe Anderson Director, Customer Advocacy — Posted in Case Studies, Customers

Articulate customer UNATION is a soon-to-launch Internet company focused on communications tools and social media. The company hopes to change the way
corporations, organizations and individuals interact with their contacts.

As UNATION prepared for its first public beta late last fall, Michael Harrold, technical writer in the company’s training group, was tasked with finding the best solution for quickly creating and distributing help content to accompany the beta release, since the planned help system was not yet ready for prime time.

Pointing to its flexibility in design and the helpful user community, Michael looked to Articulate as the answer.

“We decided that Articulate is the best tool for building this soft launch help solution,” said Michael. “My time at my previous job gave me invaluable experience in the creation and presentation of corporate eLearning content, but the traditional feel of most Articulate modules just didn’t fit for our needs — we needed a progressive and customized vehicle to deliver this help solution.”

The beauty of Articulate Presenter is that it’s flexible enough to meet just about any design requirements, whether you’re building internal compliance training for your corporate colleagues, interactive marketing messages for your prospects, or an engaging help system for your customers, as Michael has done.

UNATION Quick Help Guide

Here’s the help solution Michael created for the UNATION beta users:


UNATION Quick Help Guide
Click here to view UNATION Quick Help Guide

Michael also created the below tutorial that describes some of his techniques, along with this resources download so that you can try on your own:


 

Click here to view the tips

Researching & Implementing Techniques

Michael shared how he found the perfect online help solution in Articulate software:

I accessed a wealth of information within the Articulate Community and my own professional experience with the software to create the finished module. Though I did not do anything that hasn’t been done before, I believe that we explored the boundaries of what an eLearning module can be, and that we pushed both the Articulate and PowerPoint software capabilities to a creative new level.

Michael Harrold

I drew inspiration from Dave Moxon’s Removing the Articulate Player…Completely article, and decided to publish using the custom player skin that hid all of Presenter’s player features. This solved a lot of the issues we were having with getting away from the ‘corporate’ feel, but it left some challenges in the way of navigation. My first thought was to provide a set of menu buttons from the Intro page of the module, but we needed to present the help information in a linear fashion. This issue was solved by adding ‘Next’ and ‘Back’ buttons to the design of the master slide, essentially limiting navigation and forcing users to progress linearly.

Michael continued to detail the tehniques he used in the help module:

Using a system of hyperlinking within PowerPoint (in addition to creative use of design and Presenter settings), we’ve successfully overcome all of our hurdles and put together a module that is engaging, innovative, and still presents relevant content in a structured and linear fashion. I’ve also managed (using hyperlinking) to provide a ‘Zoom Image’ lightbox effect on still PowerPoint slides.

Overall, I am extremely proud of this module. I have combined a number of easy but powerful and creative techniques to create a module that has gotten rave reviews from everyone who has seen it.

We’d like to thank the Word of Mouth Blog and the Articulate Community for providing exemplary product support. Without the resources and knowledge of this community, our help content would have suffered greatly.

Thanks for sharing your story and techniques, Michael, and all the best with your product launch!

6 responses to “UNATION Boosts Online Support Tools with Articulate Presenter Technology Training”

1

Great presentation, Michael! Can’t wait to pass this on to my colleagues.

I am curious if there is any way you could get your audio to keep playing during the hyperlink transition if the user click the zoom button before the narration for the slide is complete.

Kim // Posted at 12:55 pm on February 29th, 2012
2

Kim,

I believe you could save your narration files for each slide individually, and upload them in Presentation Options as Soundtrack files. This would allow you to set the span for each narration file across several actual PowerPoint slides.

If I’m right…this route would allow users to zoom-in and back out of the images on screen while narration (soundtrack) continues.

I hope that helps, and thank-you so much for the kind words!

Michael Harrold // Posted at 5:12 pm on February 29th, 2012
3

Very smart use of the tool. Thanks for sharing! I love the tip about using the colored boxes initially, then making them transparent when you complete the hyperlink.

Joyce Hensen // Posted at 10:58 am on March 2nd, 2012
4

Joyce,

I’m glad you enjoyed this. While I was testing this I published it with missing hyperlinks about 15 times before I thought of leaving my shapes partially transparent until they were linked.

It’s always the simple things that help the most. :)

Michael Harrold // Posted at 2:03 pm on March 2nd, 2012
5

[...] UNATION: Using Articulate Presenter as an Online Help Tool [...]

6

Thanks Michael for sharing this. This has provided some inspiration for a similar project I’m working on right now.

Cathy Ciucci // Posted at 11:37 am on March 5th, 2012

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