Hello, all. If you’re anything like me, getting excited about any Captivate release is a regular occurrence. However, with the latest major version of the software, Captivate 2019 proves to make your job easier, refine your skills as an educator/designer/developer/etc., and no doubt, wow your audience. In this post I’ll be highlighting the top 5 (among many others) new features and enhancements, selected by me as those I see immediately impacting my work. My top 5 are ordered by the amount of impact they will add to my work.
1: 360° Immersion (New feature) – I doubt I have to inform you of the increasing footprint that the 360° media and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are making across numerous industries, and I am happy to say that Adobe has hit another home run with adding this new feature to the 2019 release of Captivate. I am incredibly excited about being able to immerse learners into a 360° environment. Even more so than the VR publishing option. To clarify, I am not saying I dislike the VR feature (truth is, I love it!), but rather, that the requirement to use a VR headset is not a readily available resource in my neck of the woods – creating training interactions for the corporate masses. So, I will highlight the 360° media element as my top choice of the five. A few notable feature highlights are below:
- Hotspots – Not only does this feature allow learners to better understand and visualize an environment, but hotspots allow them to seamlessly interact with it in real time.
- Hotspot Icon Set – Like you, I have also spent countless time creating a variety of assets for my courses, including clickable icons. The 2019 release of Captivate has a variety of icons built directly into the hotspot feature which promotes consistency in design, as well as ease of development.
- Action – Display Text – With any hotspot, learners will expect something to happen on their screen once they’ve clicked it. “So what?” You might be thinking. “I create advanced actions all the time. What’s the big deal?” The big deal, is that Captivate 2019 has a new action, Display Text, that, you guessed it, displays text once a hotspot is clicked. The beauty here is that there is zero development! Just insert a hotspot, choose the Display Text action, and type your text into the dialogue box (or choose a picture to display). And just like that, you’ve created a hotspot that toggles content to hide/show. No variables. No advanced actions. Just rapid development.
- Imagine the operational impact of building a course to be used during employee on-boarding to hammer home the look and feel, and location of tools at a workstation. Or creating a virtual tour of your facility. I, for one, will be looking to do both of these, and then some!
- Final Feature Note – Hotspots also come with successful click indicators to visually help learners identify which hotspots they’ve already clicked, and those they’ve yet to see. Again, no development required.
2: Simultaneous Webcam and Screen Recording – As my efforts continue to involve video software (Premiere Pro, Presenter, Camtasia, etc.), so too does the burden of exporting, rendering, and syncing assets to one another. I am very excited about this feature for its ability to help streamline media-rich projects, which in our world makes a drastic impact on ROI. A few additional feature notes are detailed below:
- One file, as opposed to separate audio and video files
- Audio and video are automatically synced on the timeline
- No external resources are needed
- Will help to reduce project size having audio, video, and screen captured as one.
- NOTE: Notice the YouTube tab, thus confirming there was no PhotoShop magic tricks. This process was incredibly easy, and with a little practice I’ll be quite polished at this.
3: Interactive Videos (Enhancement) – While the interactive video feature is not new, the folks at Adobe have added a couple rather impressive tools to the existing feature. See the bullets below for an overview
- Overlay slides allow designers to ‘layer’ an entire slide over the existing video to further reiterate a point, to add interactivity, or to merely help break the video up a bit and keep learners engaged.
- Bookmarks can now be added to videos directly in the timeline, and are independent. That is, they are not reliant on any overlay slides that are preexisting in the project.
- A new action has been added that allows for the incredibly robust manipulation of the timeline. After adding one or more bookmarks, create a button and choose ‘Jump to Bookmark’ to see it in…action!
4: Live Device Preview (New Feature) – With so many people in today’s workforce working remotely, and travelling, the need is growing for us to develop learning experiences that that are optimized for viewing on a variety of devices. From desktop and laptop, to tablet and smartphone, devices come in all shapes and sizes. That said, Captivate 2019 now allows for live device previews. See the bullets below for more details.
- To preview on a physical device, Captivate 2019 generates a unique QR Code. Then, just scan the code with the device, and away you go!
- This feature will support the QA process immensely, as more and more of my work is ingested by learners not from atop a desk, but rather, from their hands.
5: Resources on Project-selection Screen – One of the first things I noticed when I cracked open Captivate 2019 was the addition of a new tab on the project selection screen. Rather than seeing ‘Recent’ and ‘New’ as my only choices, I was impressed when I clicked on the newly added ‘Resources’ tab.
- Dozens of items to use and from which you will likely benefit
- Fully operational sample project files that highlight key new features like 360° media, VR, and interactive videos.
- Resources also include many quick and concise feature overview screen-casts, videos, and documents.
- This is the perfect place for the beginner to start! I wish I had these resources when I was brand new to Captivate.
In summary, Captivate 2019 is a must get for the modern trainer, instructional designer, and beyond!
Until next time, Cadets! Go be the YOND!