Articulate Roadshow: My experience and why you should go!

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I attended the Articulate Roadshow a few weeks’ ago in London. I’d attended a couple of London meetup sessions in the past and even though it was good to meet like-minded individuals, the sessions tended to cater towards new users of the software. After reading the agenda for the Roadshow event I felt positive that I’d walk away with some new skills.

I’ve been genuinely surprised at how much I learnt during the two-day event. If you’re thinking of attending an Articulate event in the future, read on to learn more about my experience!

As part of my transition from permie employment to self-employment, I decided that this year I would sign myself up to various conferences, workshops and events to try to broaden my horizons, keep up with the latest trends and hopefully meet a few more like-minded individuals. One of the events on my list was the Articulate Roadshow. I’d been to a short evening workshop earlier in the year and found it really useful, so I decided to sign-up for both days (although you could also choose to attend for one day).

The Event

The agenda was published online before the event, although I did notice towards the end of day two that not everything on the original list was covered (although I did notice later that there was a note to say that the agenda may be altered). It was surprising how many beginners turned up expecting the event to be an introductory training event – it was advertised that this event was a workshop for users who knew the basics of the software (of course they weren’t going to turn away beginners, but this workshop wasn’t designed to teach someone how to use Storyline from scratch).

This was a hands-on event so it was advisable to bring a laptop. The room was quite large, there must have been around 100 people who attended the first day and around 50-ish on the second day. There were three large projectors set up so you could watch the demonstrations and follow along on your own laptop at the same time.

The event was hosted by Tom Kuhlmann, Chief Learning Architect at Articulate and David Anderson, Director of Customer Training at Articulate. Tom is the author of the awesome Rapid E-Learning blog which is an incredibly useful resource and I would recommend any newbie e-learning designers to check this out.

One of the areas that David looks after at Articulate is the E-Learning Challenges section of the E-Learning Heroes website. Again if you’re a newbie, I’d highly recommend checking out this resource and trying your hand at completing some of the challenges.

I’m an admirer of the work that Tom and David do at Articulate and it was one of the reasons I particularly wanted to attend this event. As expected, the presentations and demonstrations were relevant, clear, interesting and entertaining! My main reason for wanting to attend the roadshow was to learn tips and tricks to help advance my skills and increase my productivity and workflow, and I felt that this workshop ticked all the boxes.

Topics Covered

Before the event began, a link to download the templates for the demonstration was distributed – this was so useful! During day one the following sessions were held:

  • 10 Things to Know About Drag & Drop Interactions
  • Build Interactive Scenarios in Rise 360
  • How to Use PowerPoint with Rise 360
  • Create an Engaging Parallax Slider Interaction
  • How to Get the Right Look for Your Course
  • Background Slide Makeovers
  • Using Lightbox Slides in E-Learning

Day two covered:

  • How to Gamify Content Library Templates
  • Getting the Most Out of Object States
  • From Static to Interactive
  • Graphic Design and Image Editing in Storyline
  • Customize Drag & Drop Interactions
What I Learnt

I particularly enjoyed the session that covered parallax, static to interactive design and drag and drop interactions. I also learnt tips on creating a library of backgrounds, headers and footers and quick ways to brand content. I also picked up a few keyboard shortcuts that I didn’t know about that have helped me to speed up some areas of development. I also learnt some cool shadowing tricks that I’ve already applied to some of my new designs.

Left: Polaroid-style photo border with shadowing. Right: Character cut-out style border and coloured drop-shadowing.

A GIF of my “Static to Interactive” content slide created in 15 minutes. I’m hoping to write a blog post that covers this in more detail in the future.

The section about graphic design was really interesting, as often I will use Articulate or PowerPoint to perform some quick and dirty graphic design cheats (for example, to help with layering or creating quick shapes and graphs). I thought this was a great session as it showed just how many other designers do the same thing. Sometimes it’s overkill to have to open up Gimp or Photoshop when you can just export a shape from PowerPoint (anyway…aren’t we often creating e-learning content from PowerPoint anyway?).

Summary

I’d recommend signing up to this workshop, especially if you’ve never attended one of these sessions before. You should really know how to use the basics of the software before attending, as if you don’t you may find it a big learning curve. If you’re a newbie, I’d suggest brushing up on the basics first and there are plenty of free resources out there to help you with this.

This was a paid event, however it didn’t break the bank and was reasonably priced (just to add…I’m not an affiliate with Articulate in any way and I paid to attend this myself).

I’m not sure how much more I would learn if I were to attend again, but if there are big changes to the software it may be useful. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for agendas of future events!

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