Storyline 360: Accessible Authoring

Article Last Updated

This article applies to:

Articulate exists to empower people to live better lives. One way we do that is by helping e-learning developers create accessible Storyline 360 courses that all learners can enjoy, regardless of their abilities.

While authors can create accessible courses, the authoring experience itself is only partially accessible. Using Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) as a framework, here's where Storyline 360 authoring is currently accessible.

User Interfaces Follow Accessibility Guidelines

Although portions of the Storyline 360 interface don't currently follow accessibility guidelines, some UI elements have a visible focus indicator, can be accessed via keyboard navigation and shortcuts, and are announced by screen readers.

As of 2020, we've committed to building UIs for new Storyline 360 features (e.g., the expanded quiz tracking features) according to UI accessibility guidelines.

Editing Views Are Perceivable

Storyline 360 renders alternatives for time-based media during authoring sessions. For example, authors can view closed captions in the built-in caption editor and when they preview the slide. Authors can also edit audio tracks using the audio waveform and play the audio in the built-in audio editor.

Editing Views Are Operable

Storyline 360 has keyboard shortcuts to make authoring more efficient and accessible to authors with mobility or visual disabilities. Specific timings aren't required for individual keystrokes. Authors can also press the Alt key to display keyboard shortcuts for ribbon commands and even create their own Alt-key shortcuts by adding commands to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Most windows in Storyline 360 don't trap the keyboard, but a few windows can't be closed via keyboard commands—the audio editor, the video editor, the media library, and the screen recorder.

The Storyline 360 editor doesn't autoplay content, thereby protecting authors who are easily distracted or have seizure disorders. Videos may autoplay when previewing content if authors have set them to autoplay.

Speaking of previews, Storyline 360 renders content with an in-market user agent widget (Chromium) so authors can experience content the same way learners will. For details, visit our accessibility conformance report for the learning experience.

Storyline 360 has a search feature to help authors find text, except alternative content, on slides and layers. (Find/replace messages aren't screen reader accessible.)

Editing Views Are Understandable

To help authors avoid errors, all authoring actions are reversible using the Undo button or keyboard shortcut. And for some tasks, such as deleting slides, Storyline 360 asks authors to confirm the action.

Storyline 360 settings are also reversible. Even software updates are reversible, so authors can return to a previous build of Storyline 360 if necessary. Storyline 360 authoring features are fully documented in our online user guide.

Automatic Processes Produce Accessible Content

Storyline 360 output supports WCAG, per our accessibility conformance report. Some accessibility criteria are fulfilled without the author's input. For example, semantic formatting and well-formed HTML code are automatically rendered during the publishing process. For other accessibility criteria, authors must make decisions to conform to guidelines, such as using readable fonts and defining a meaningful focus order.

Storyline 360 preserves accessibility information when publishing web and LMS output. Accessibility info is also preserved during the authoring process when Storyline 360 is both the source and destination of copy-paste events and when optimizing content (e.g., compressing audio and video assets).

Authors Are Supported in Producing Accessible Content

Storyline 360 empowers authors to create accessible content. For example, the media library makes it easy to edit alt text and closed captions for all media assets in a project. Also, "Accessibility" is a common option on context menus.

Storyline 360 lets authors define accessibility properties. For non-text content, authors have multiple ways to add and edit text alternatives. Those alternatives are saved so authors can reuse assets without entering the same alternatives again. Authors can also edit or delete alternatives for each instance of an asset.

Authors can create Storyline 360 templates and share them with their team, reducing development efforts and the potential for errors. Authors can identify accessible templates by adding "Accessibility" or a similar keyword to template titles or the folders in which they're stored.

Authors Are Supported in Improving Accessibility

The media library in Storyline 360 helps authors improve accessibility by revealing assets missing alt text or closed captions.

Accessibility Features Are Promoted and Integrated

Accessibility features in Storyline 360 are enabled by default so authors are more likely to use them. And where applicable, accessibility features can also be turned off and on easily.

We encourage authors to create accessible content by providing helpful resources and examples in E-Learning Heroes and our knowledge base. The Storyline 360 user guide documents all features, including accessibility options, and makes them easy to find with an interactive table of contents.

We view accessibility as a journey rather than a destination. We're continually working on accessibility enhancements and new educational resources to help authors create accessible learning experiences.