83% faster localised screen simulations in Articulate Storyline

Case study

We saved one client 83% while developing screen simulations localised in three languages.


Description:new software simulation training
Total number of tasks:12
Total number of screens/steps:300
Number of languages:3
Simulation types:View mode & Try/Test mode


According to Articulate Storyline, the textbook approach is basically:

  1. Perform a screen recording
  2. Insert step by step slides for View mode
    1. Customise the slide captions
    2. Add information slides and captions
  3. Insert step by step slides as Test mode
    1. Customise the slide captions
    2. Add information slides and captions
  4. Export text for translation
  5. Duplicate course for each language
  6. Import translated text

We challenged ourselves to find a faster way to localise each course. Our goal was to:

  • Eliminate the need to duplicate the Storyline course for each language
  • Enable users to switch between languages within a course
  • Quickly and easily alter caption text without republishing
  • Reduce the number of simulation slides to build and maintain
  • Speed up development to meet short project timeframes between UAT and rollout.

Leveraging the success with our Simulation Plugin, we created a Translation Plugin that achieved all our goals and more:

  • Reduced the total number of simulation slides by 83% (from 1,800 to 300).
  • Reduced the number of Storyline files by 66% (from 3 to 1).
  • Reduced maintenance time by potentially 83%. Now, when a screen needs replacing it only needs to be changed in one location rather than 6 (1 x view + 1 x test for 3 x languages)

The solution comprised the following elements and deliverables:

  • Storyline template
    • Slide Master layouts & triggers
    • Feedback Master layouts & triggers
    • Reuse of common files
    • Minimal and simple triggers on slides
    • Variables
    • Just a few slides, like menu and simulation start, that are localised using layers
  • Simulation Plugin for Storyline
    • The controller for View and Test simulations. Built using custom external JavaScript
  • Language Plugin for Storyline
    • The controller for presenting text in different languages. Built using custom external JavaScript
  • Language file
    • Caption text for all languages in one easy to edit and maintain JSON file
  • Language validator
    • To ensure language file matches required JSON schema
  • Quick Reference Guide / Translation Export / Storyboard
    • Dynamically generated view of simulation caption text
    • Select language/s to view
    • Download option
    • Link to Storyline simulation
  • User guide
    • Non LMS version of course for refresher training or reference
  • External Resources
    • Sounds
    • Images
  • Windows Batch file
    • To quickly merge external files with published course