Review: Articulate Storyline 3 or Storyline 360?

As an elearning and etraining developer, I like to keep up with the latest version of business, graphic, and elearning softwares. I decided that  it was time to upgrade from Articulate 2 and was attracted to all the new features that Articulate was offering in their new products. Before buying, I wanted to try out all the bell and whistles.  Below is a review of Articulate Storyline 3 and 360 from my personal experience. In addition, I have provided screenshots and links to the course I created with the products. The course is about 10 slides and should take about 10 min or less to complete.

PRO: Articulate Storyline 360 is subscription based and includes an impressive character library.  It boasts free updates.  If you are an owner of Articulate Storyline (any version) then you get a discount.  If  you are designing a simple class or using a team to work in the cloud then 360 is your obvious choice.  Articualte Storyline 3 and 360 publishing feature is easy to use.  Both products publish to HTML5.  HTML5  is accepted on all mobile devices.

CON: The Articulate Storyline 360 is in the cloud, the cloud does not support a lot of clicking.  The software may stall  or the hosting service may be going through maintenance late at night.  I found I had to wait until the next day-several times to finish tasks.

PRO:  I decided that I prefer the Articulate Storyline 3 product.  I design courses from the beginning to end. Therefore, I change things around a lot and test items. I do a lot of clicking with the mouse.  Storyline 3 supports this because it is a desktop application-no delays.  Once you purchase Storyline 3, the software is yours. It does not expire.  However, the website says it will  update bugs and fixes only for Storyline 3 and not earlier versions.

CON:  The image library is not included in Storyline 3.  However, there are many free and paid graphic libraries available from other on-line vendors. My biggest challenge was realizing I had to add triggers to the forward button (restart course when user clicks next button) on the result quiz slide because the previous and next button cannot be removed.  The next or previous button on the result slide do not automatically restart quiz or course to its initial state without the trigger.  Even though you can remove the previous and next buttons within the software and it previews as removed for the result slide, it did not publish as such in HTML5.  It worked in swf file but the swf file option has been removed.  There is a button that will give the user a chance to retry quiz but it is not in the navigation pane.  It is placed on the result slide. See last screenshot below. This does not apply to other slides just the result slides.  You will need to view the published product in all browers as with any course.

Finally,  Articulate’s success team is second to none.  Articualte Storyline 3 and 360 are winners but the selection is based on the needs of the user.  All e-learning softwares come with a few design issues in publishing to the cloud.  Both allow adding alt tags for all scenes and objects  from one place.   Future request: I would like the button issue resolved, automatic option to add  cc captions like YouTube. I would love Articulate to add natural voices and the  photo content library as a feature for Storyline 3.  This is not a paid or sponsored write-up, just sharing with my readers.  Additional Resources:  Click here for an article on more comparison of  Articulate Storyline 3 and 360.     Guide to designing accessibility in Storyline.

Sample of a Storyline 3 HTML5 –  includes pdf  and script pdf , references.  See live sample on my portfolio.  Click here portfolio. 

  1. Personalized title page designed to relate user’s real world experience to course.

2.  Complaince training-user must click all buttons before proceeding-animation and audio.

3.    Gamification: practice of new learning gives user confidence.

4    Multicultural-reflection and next steps

CRM Title

5.  Results: personalized, animation, exit and next button restart course.


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