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What Captivate Features Would You Discontinue?

many red dirty garbage bins against a gray brick wall (copy-space available)

I’m a big fan of what I like to call the democratisation of software. For example, you might have an app for your smartphone that does one or two things well and replaces a much larger application that might cost hundreds of dollars and may only be available for sophisticated devices or PCs. The app for the smartphone or tablet may not do as much stuff, however, for the vast majority of us, it does just fine. Adobe Presenter Video Express is like this for me. I could record my YouTube videos using the Video Demo feature in Captivate and then edit them with webcam footage in Premiere Pro, however for my needs this is overkill. Presenter Video Express suits me fine.

I would like to see some of the older features in the next release of Adobe Captivate removed. Here is a selection that I can think of right off the top of my head:

  • Publishing and preview for Flash
  • Learning Interactions
  • Built-in assortment of image buttons
  • Rating Scale (or make it work with responsive)
  • Roll over captions
  • Skin Borders

Certainly, some of these things can go. Do you agree with me or do you think I’m nuts?  I’d also like to hear what everyone else has to say about the subject.

4 Responses

  1. I mostly like your list, although I have had a client in the last year use the glossary from the learning interactions. If there was a good replacement for the glossary, I think I’d live without the rest.

    I wonder how many people are still using those learning interactions though. I bet that’s what you’d get the most pushback about.

  2. I tend to disagree a lot with that list.
    Lot of courses are still around having used Flash output, some LMS’s do not support HTML5 output. Although Flash player will not be further developed from 2010 on, that doesn’t mean at all that everything will be converted magically to HTML5 output. I would love to see the default Previews being to HTML5 for normal projects, instead of defaulting to SWF output.
    Moreover publishing to an interactive PDF and to EXE has to be taken out as well, since they are Flash-based.
    Learning Interactions: I use them all the time, especially for custom question slides. Just FYI every article I published with tips about learning interactions (and widgets) is still visited daily by Captivate users. Being able to customize the more ‘common ‘ interactions (not the games, which I never use) would however be very welcome.
    Image buttons: as long as shape buttons present problems (compliance) lot of companies do still use image buttons as an alternative. Those are presently also the only type that can be used to have custom buttons on quiz/score slides where shape buttons are not allowed. Do not take that type away, although better management is needed for image buttons. I don’t plead to keep the present included image buttons, which are (as usual) only useful for English Captivate developers, but leave at least some examples.
    Over 80 % of all present eLearning courses are not responsive. Why take out the Rating scale type?
    ROllovers do work on desktop/laptops and on some mobile devices. But why take out only the captions and not the images/slidelets?

    I don’t care about skin borders.

    An old feature, that is a very bad start for each eLearning course is the PPT import. Either take it out, point to a PPT plugin, or make it usable and working.

    Another old feature that is badly in need of updating are all exports to Word. Take those out that never work. Since so much inccompatibility exists between versions, and the templates are outdated.
    I would love to go back to the customizable UI, Adobe branded, which we had from CP5 until CP7. Where the Insert menu was acting like any Insert menu in whatever application.
    I wished I could get rid of that Big Button Bar, or at least be able to move it around and minimize to get out of the way. Getting back the functionlity to minimize each panel to an icon (Adobe style) would make my developing work flow lot easier.

    • Oh by no means were my suggestions meant to be truly exhaustive and universal for all. These were just my personal thoughts. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve used any kind of roll over object at all, I’ve never used the PPT import, and I don’t believe I have ever embraced any of the learning interactions.

      My hope is that this conversation continues and perhaps the eLearning team at Adobe might learn something about all of our needs. I would love a streamlined version of Captivate someday in the future that is lean enough to run on lighter hardware.

  3. Definitely get rid of the PPT import. I’m also still not a fan of the “new” UI but it’s usable.

    The learning interactions – lol – a great idea that just was a fail from the start. Articulate has propsered because of their canned assets/interactions (and quality community support around it). They were clearly professionally designed, unlike Captivate’s.

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