before & after, storyline

Before & After – Judgment Call Interaction (with Story file)

Presentation1 Back again with another before and after example from the content conversions I’ve been doing.

BEFORE- the original content

This is one interaction from a huge, high-visibility orientation course on workplace attitudes and behaviors initially developed by a junior developer in our group. The concepts are fundamentally sound, but the graphics and flow had opportunity for improvement during our conversion. Let’s review the original (text blurred to protect the organization’s material).

Intro Screen (not shown)

Standard scenario intro setup using an Articulate character: “Meet <name>. He just overheard a conversation between his manager and a home office employee.”


The interaction concept is simple. The main character overhears a conversation where his manager and a home office employee are planning to do something legal, but not consistent with the values of the organization. He has several courses of action he could pursue, but really needs to distinguish between good and bad ideas he is considering. The original designer put in an animation. The left half of the screen renders to introduce the scenario and show the conversation. Then, the right half displays the main character and the interaction. Despite the use of animation, the design falls into the common trap of “flat design thinking” I mentioned in my previous before and after post. The end result is too much on the screen at once. Only half of the real estate is dedicated to the interaction, which is the purpose for this screen. The design of the “idea boxes” was not immediately intuitive to a some users and the boxes sizing did not distinguish them as clear drop targets for the interaction. “Tonight, the role of the submit button will be played by the next button”… On virtually every screen of the course, the right pointing arrow is for navigating to the next slide. One some interactions, the next button suffers this identity crisis. There were a other opportunities to improve the interaction. These are easier to see in the following screenshot: interactionissues [list style=”arrow” color=”blue”]
  • The size of the thought bubbles overflow the drop targets as well as the stage area.
  • Thought bubbles do not need to be dropped on any valid drop target to submit the interaction (for example, you can just drag it over the main character as shown).
  • Once the first item is dropped on a drop target, you can no longer read the name (as shown, you can no longer determine which box was for a good ideas, which one was for bad ideas).


Incorrect feedback essentially says “Incorrect. <Character> should choose a different course of action.” and a Try Again button resets the interaction. So a user possibly need to try every possible combination to get the correct answer to advance in the course. This is a bit harsh in my opinion, considering there is no feedback to help guide users to perform better, and this is one small interaction in a very large course. Despite the issues, there is a great opportunity here. So often in business, we are faced with situations that aren’t black and white and have actions could take and others that we might consider, but really shouldn’t pursue. So, I set out to develop a “Good idea/Bad idea” template that could apply to many business scenarios (I’d attempt to develop a similar interaction for husbands: “good thing to say to wife” vs “do not say this to your wife”, but my bride of 14 years can assure you that I don’t score well on that test).

AFTER – the revision

[button title=”click here to see this in action” type=”linkbutton” color=”blue-lite” url=”” target=”_blank” ]

Intro Screen (not shown)

The intro screen is just a different aesthetic choice using photos and color vs the original white background and Storyline characters.


The setup was separated from the interaction itself. I attempted to create a little ambiance by selecting a photo that makes it look as if you have snuck in behind your manager and stumbled upon the conversation that occurred.

The setup to the interaction was separated from the interaction screen.

Each idea appear one at a time for the user to considers and drop onto a very obvious drop-target area. If the user drops the idea on the incorrect drop target, it returns to the neutral position for quick, instant feedback.

One decision at a time with obvious and generous drop-targets.

Once all of the ideas are dropped onto the correct drop target, a final congratulations message displays.

This ended up on the cutting room floor- so enjoy!

The organization did not select this version of the content treatment, so this template will not be used. Instead of letting it die unused on the cutting room floor, I removed company-specific information, and I am offerring it to you to adapt for your own needs Download the .story file and have fun! More to come!