Articulate Engage ’09
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: October 8th 2008
Last Updated: February 23rd 2009
Explaining a concept, a process, or even showing a series of pictures can sometimes become so complicated -- more because of what sort of computer program you do the explaining in! When you run across a scenario like that, you will find that Engage, a quick and easy-to-use program that lets you create "interactions" is just what you want!
What I like about Engage is that it does not try to do everything -- it takes a simple approach of being a one-trick pony, and does that exceedingly well. The folks at Articulate, the company that creates Engage like to call anything you create within Enagage an "interaction" -- think of these interactions as small brochure-like Flash movies with rich-media interactivity that can be embedded within presentations, e-learning content, and web sites.
We reviewed Engage nearly two years ago when it was a new product, but now Engage ’09 is even better -- so it's time to do another review.
Engage ’09 is from Articulate, a company based in New York -- Articulate's flagship product is Articulate Presenter, and they also create Quizmaker and other products -- learn more about these products and download a free trial version of Engage ’09 from their site.... Apart from creating standalone rich media objects (RMO), Engage also works with Articulate Presenter.
You can find more info about the new and improved features in Articulate Engage ’09 here...
My contact at Articulate for this review was Gabe Anderson -- thank you, Gabe.
You can download the installer for the full or trial version. Run the setup routine and follow the instructions.
For the first time when the application is launched, you will be asked to activate the product, or use it in trial mode (“Activate Later”).
Engage uses the interaction metaphor to get started -- it includes some default interaction types such as process, timeline, pyramid diagram, labeled graphic, interactive FAQ, etc. Follow these steps to get started with Articulate Engage.
- Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | Articulate
| Articulate Engage ’09.
- This opens Articulate Engage ’09, as shown in Figure
1. Opt to Create a new interaction.
Figure 1: Articulate Engage ’09
Each of the new Articulate Studio ’09 products sports a similar start-up screen that includes links to product tutorials to reduce your learning curve, as well as access to Articulate’s Community Forum, and links to their support sites and company blogs.
- This opens the New Interaction dialog box, shown
in Figure 2. Here you can choose from 10 different
types of interactions. For this tutorial, I chose Process,
and clicked OK.
Figure 2: New Interactions
Note: Each interaction has a different interface screen.
- Now you will see Process interface, as shown in Figure
Figure 3: Process
The Process interface is explained below -- other interactions have similar options:
- Process Ribbon tabs provides properties for the selected interaction, which can be customized as required.
- Properties -- here you can provide name to the process.
- List allows to add tabs or steps, providing titles to individual steps. You also add the content text -- and even edit text properties.
- Audio enables to record and add narration to the interaction.
- Media here you can add media files such as images,
- Once you are done, save the interaction and click the Publish button
(refer to Figure 3 earlier in this page) which opens
the Publish dialog box (see Figure 4 ).
Figure 4: Publish
The publish window enables you to choose different options for various output formats. Choose as required, and click Publish.
You can also access Engage ’09 application from within the Articulate menu in PowerPoint. This only works if you also have Articulate Presenter installed.
- Open any presentation in PowerPoint, choose the Articulate tab
of the Ribbon and then choose Engage Interaction, as shown in Figure
Figure 5: Articulate Presenter Ribbon Tab in PowerPoint.
- This opens the Engage ’09 interaction dialog box, choose Create
New as shown in Figure 6 -- this adds an interactive
slide within PowerPoint.
Figure 6: Engage Interactions
- If you click the Create New button, you'll find that this opens the
same Articulate Engage interface as explained in the preceding section
on this page. However, in this case when you are done, click the Save
and Return to Presenter button to add the interactivity on
the PowerPoint slide itself (see Figure 7).
Figure 7: Articulate Engage Interactivity slide in PowerPoint
The inserted interactivity on the PowerPoint slide can be edited anytime by clicking the Edit in Engage option (refer to Figure 7 above).
Articulate Engage ’09 is priced at $499 -- and it's also part of the Articulate Rapid E-Learning Studio ’09 Pro suite of e-learning products.
Support options include e-mail support, an online knowledge base, community forums, and extensive documentation. Articulate also provides custom on-site and web-based training for a fee.
Articulate Engage ’09 is a compelling product that creates simple Flash based rich media objects -- it works great with Articulate's other tools, and is very easy to use. If you need to get a copy of Adobe Flash to create such interactions, get Articulate Engage instead!