As the days grow shorter, we start searching for ways to add more light to our days. As our eLearning development progresses, we start searching for ways to add excitement and innovation to our courses. Lightboxes are one way of doing that. A lightbox, outside of the eLearning world, is a method used to bring more light to an object in isolation. Most commonly you see it in a doctor’s office when looking at X-rays, but it is used a lot by folks selling products online who want to take good photos without the expense of a studio. In the eLearning world, a lightbox is similar in that it’s a method used to bring focus to a slide while remaining on the current slide. When the lightbox appears, the background objects are dimmed.
Lightboxes are useful when you want to create a slide (or series of slides) that can be accessed from anywhere in the course. Rather than creating a layer that needs to be duplicated everywhere it’s needed, you can just create a separate slide and then call that slide with a trigger.
If you want to trigger a lightbox from a slide, click the New Trigger button, then the dialog box shown above appears. Set your action to Lightbox slide, determine if you need the slide navigation controls (Previous, Next, Submit) to be visible on the lightbox, choose which slide will be your lightbox, and then set what action will trigger the lightbox.
Because a lightbox is a call to separate slide, you can include video, animation, states, audio… in other words, anything you would include on a regular slide. In fact, a lightbox can be a series of slides with their own navigation buttons and branching. In that case, you would just need to choose the first in the series when creating the lightbox.
In the scene shown above, selecting slide 3.1 Affective for your lightbox means that all the slides in the scene will appear as the navigation links on 3.1 are clicked. The lightbox appears with a small red X in the upper right corner. When that X is clicked, the lightbox disappears and you are back at your original slide.
To create a lightbox that can be viewed at any point in your course, you need to create a tab in your Storyline player.
Start by clicking on the Player button on the ribbon to bring up the Player Properties dialog.
Under the Player Tabs section at the top, click the New Tab button (shown outlined in Red above).
This brings up a dialog box similar to the one used when setting the trigger.
Then just set the parameters like you did when setting up the trigger from a slide.
Once you’ve set the parameters and you preview or publish your slide, you’ll see the new tab at the top of the player window.
Since the new tab is part of the player interface, it is available throughout your course, so your learners will always have access to it. Some great uses for this type of lightbox would be: a reference guide with math equations in an Algebra course, a slide with pictures of company leadership in a new hire course, and a map of the area for a sales training course. Of course, there are dozens more uses for lightboxes in Storyline 2, so I’m sure you’ll find plenty of places to use them.
And, if you’re interested, the presentation used in this blog was created exclusively with our stock images and cutout people. So it’s not just our templates that can make your course look amazing, but you can look through our thousands of images, video and audio to help give your course some extra polish.
Now, go light up your eLearning with lightboxes! Happy creating!