Using button sets and audio files in Storyline

Button sets are a good option to use in an interactive design as the logic of the button set permits only one button to be selected at any one time – so when the learner selects one object from the button set, the others automatically become deselected.

In this example I used button sets, layers and triggers to allow the learner to listen to individual sound tracks one at a time from the one slide.

Here’s how I did this:

1. Create the base layer

Firstly, I added a background image and seven images/objects to the base layer.  You could use the standard Storyline buttons here – or any image/object you like.

2. Create slide layers button/object and associated audio file

Then I created a slide layer for each object on the base layer and inserted the relevant audio file (to be associated with each of the objects on the base layer) onto each slide layer.  I also added a descriptive callout to each of the slide layers so you are able to tell that you’re on a different layer when you select an object.

2. Add the objects to a button set

Storyline generates a default button set automatically for every slide.  You can use this set, or you can create your own button set.  This is explained in detail in this article by David Fair.

I created my own new button set and named this “sounds”.

When you add objects/buttons to a button set, a “selected” state is automatically created for that object or button.  You can edit this selected state the same as you can edit any other states of an object or button.  The default format for this selected state when you use button sets is a “glow” based on one of your theme colours.

3. Add the triggers

There are two types of triggers I needed to include in this design.  The first trigger was the “show layer” trigger, assigned to each object on the base layer to show the relevant slide layer “When the user clicks” the object.

The second trigger was a “Play media when the timeline starts” trigger added to each of the slide layers.

4.  Check the slide layer properties

The last thing I did was to tick the “Hide slide layer when timeline finishes” visibility option in the slide layer properties .  This probably wasn’t really necessary for this design, but it pays to check these options, depending on what content and media you have on your slide and slide layers.

If you have audio (eg narration) on your base layer, you will need to select the base layer option “Pause timeline of base layer” to pause the audio narration in the event that the learner clicks on any of the objects/buttons that will take them away from the base layer and on to one of the slide layers before the narration finishes.

Some Tips

You don’t need to use the standard “buttons” in Storyline to use the button sets feature – you can create button sets from any object.

You can add objects/buttons to a button set at any stage – just follow this same process of selecting the object/button, right-clicking and choosing the relevant button set.

Depending on the type and/or length of the audio you’re including in your layers, you may want to consider adding a “close” option so that the learner can leave the layer if they don’t want to listen to the audio to the end.

The Result

Here is the final demo I created whilst writing these instructions – click on the image below to view the demo.

2 thoughts on “Using button sets and audio files in Storyline

    1. Thanks Daniela – yes, my graphic designer kindly supplied two files, each with his eyes looking in a different direction – and then I created a .gif file from these two files. I really think I need to give him a name instead of referring to him as “the owl” – what do you think?

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