360 camera held by hand

When you first read the release notes for Storyline 360° images, it is hard to get past the first bullet point: 

“New: Create immersive learning experiences with 360° images. Add interactive elements, such as hotspots and markers, to engage learners as they explore.”

Like minded camera

This was enough of a prompt to dig out the Insta360 camera Like-Minded bought three years ago (and rarely used) and start snapping some pictures. After downloading the pictures and importing them into Storyline, some pretty cool ideas started forming about how this new functionality could be used. However, before you rush to include 360° images into your project, here are three key things to consider.

1. Don’t underestimate current functionality

The current version of Storyline lets you insert interactive markers with text, audio, and video content to help learners explore the virtual environment. You can also add hotspots where learners can discover hidden bonus content or provide clues and context with hover triggers to immerse learners in the environment. You can guide learner navigation through interactions to make sure they don’t miss anything and add progress indicators to offer feedback and motivation.

2. Image quality is key

If you do go with 360° images, the images captured from the Insta360 worked just fine; however, if you want the experience to be detailed and up close, you’ll need high-quality images. Given the image will be centre stage, getting the depth and detail correct is key.

View of 360 software

3. Be driven by the content not the tool

As with anything shiny and new, it’s easy to get excited and push to include 360° images where they might not be the best option for the content. Focus on using these interactives where it adds value and don’t overdo it. Learners will appreciate the ‘less is more’ factor, and the download size of you project will remain light (as 360° images can be high quality and large in size).

Research shows that combining visual, audio, and text content can dramatically increase learners’ retention. Self-paced discovery and interaction further cement new skills and information. The new 360° images feature makes it easy to create a structured, sequential experience, or allow learners to discover content at their own pace.

For more information about 360° images check out this link to the Articulate community website or subscribe to Devlin Peck on YouTube to see his video on how to use 360° images to build a digital escape room!