If you wanted to create a brochure-like site with Adobe Flash, you'll soon discover that something of this sort requires a learning curve. Not only that, you'll have to be well versed with scripting and graphic technologies -- and then if you want these small brochure-type movies to be included in an e-learning platform, you'll soon discover that's something easier told than done!
So, it has to be quite an amazing product that will walk the balancing rope for all these possibilities -- and that's what Articulate's new Engage tries to be. Does it succeed? Read more to find out.
New York based Articulate creates Engage. You can learn more about their products and download free trial versions from their site.
Articulate Engage creates small brochure-like Flash movies with rich-media interactivity that can be embedded within presentations, e-learning content, and web sites. It also works seamlessly with Articulate Presenter. Engage provides default interaction types such as process, timeline, pyramid diagram, labeled graphic, interactive FAQ, etc.
My contact at Articulate for this review was Mark Schwartz -- thank you, Mark.
You can download the installer for the full or trial version. Run the setup routine and follow the instructions.
For the first time when application is opened, you will be asked to activate the product.
Follow these steps to get started with Articulate Engage.
- From the Windows Start menu, choose Start | All Programs | Articulate | Articulate Engage.
- This opens Articulate Engage, as shown in Figure 1. Opt to create a new interaction by choosing the
Create a new Interaction.
Figure 1: Articulate Engage
- You will now see the New Interaction dialog box shown in Figure 2, where you can choose
from ten different types of interactions. For this tutorial, we chose Media Tour, and clicked OK.
Figure 2: New Interactions
Note: Each interaction has different interface
- Now you will see Media Tour interface, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Media Tour
The Articulate Engage Media Tour interface is explained below:
- Interaction Properties provides properties for the selected interaction, which can be customized as required.
- Items has options to import or add media, delete, move, export media, and to preview the current item.
- Properties allows to provide a name to the interaction and choose a color scheme.
- Media shows list of media items added with a preview.
- Caption allows to add captions to individual images, and there are text parameters like font, font size, style and hyperlink that you can tweak.
- Audio allows you to import any audio file, and record your own voice or narration.
- 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.
In the example above, we used the Media Tour interaction -- Engage provides several other interaction types that may suit your requirements better.
You can also access Engage application from within the Articulate menu in PowerPoint. This only works if you also have Articulate Presenter 5.1 or higher installed.
- Open any presentation in PowerPoint, and then choose Articulate | Articulate Engage Interactions, as shown in
Figure 5 below.
Figure 5: Articulate Presenter menu in PowerPoint.
- This opens the Engage Interaction dialog box, choose Create New as shown in Figure 6 -- this
adds an interactive slide within PowerPoint.
Figure 6: Engage Interaction
- If you click the Create New button, you'll find that this opens the same Articulate Engage interface and option's as explained
in the preceding section on this page. However, in this case when you are done, and click the Save and Publish option, you'll 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 Edit in Engage option.
Note: Such inserted interactivity cannot be viewed within PowerPoint -- for that you have to publish it using the output options in Articulate Presenter -- read more in a separate Articulate Presenter review.
Articulate Engage is priced at $399 -- and it's also part of the Articulate Studio Pro collection of e-learning products.
Support options include e-mail, knowledge base, community forums and documentation. Articulate also provides a premium support level.
At $399, Engage does provide a good price:performance ratio.
At this price point, Engage is a great product for end users who want to incorporate Engage content in an e-learning platform -- and also for simple web designing needs.