Comparison and Selection of Authoring Tool – Adobe Flash Vs. Articulate Storyline

Comparison and Selection of Authoring Tool - Adobe Flash Vs. Articulate Storyline

Adobe Flash and Articulate Storyline are the two most popular authoring tools used to develop eLearning courses. Both the tools allow you to create quizzes; scenario-based content; simulations; animations; and other simple-to-complex interactivities.

The question arises when you have to choose one among these two tools for your eLearning courses” I would say it depends on two factors – one is what project you are working on (like soft skills training, technical training) and the other, ease of development.

In this blog post, I would like to share the special features of each tool so that you will be able to select the tool that fulfills your requirement.


ParametersAdobe FlashArticulate Storyline
Instructional DesigningWe can have complex strategies like Avatars and storytelling and role pays.Graphical User Interface can be extensively customized based on the course requirement.Can have features like Glossary, Resources, Job Aids, Print Scripts.Static characters that can be used in the course.GUI is simple with common features like help, exit, glossary and menu.We can only change the colors and positions.
InteractivitiesWe can have complex interactivities and navigation within the course.For example:

  • Branching scenarios
  • Complex simulations – especially in software simulations where the user has to “Try”.
  • Use of Flipcards
There are default and basic interactivities such as:

  • Click on Tabs, Click on images, click on numbers
  • Slideshows
  • Simple Scenarios
  • Information on click, rollover etc.
AssessmentsHighly interactive games can be used to evaluate learning.Assessment can vary from single select, multiple select, drag and drop, crosswords etc.It has 10 default assessment type templates. Single Select, Multiple Select, Drag and Drop, Drop Down, match the following, etc.These are enough to evaluate the learners but complex games are not possible.
AnimationsMultimedia rich animations. Your eLearning can look like a great movie. Any animation is possible.We have 5 default type animations that are available in PowerPoint.Fade in Fade Off, Zoom in – Zoom out, Fly in – Fly off, Spin and Spin & grow. Also we have only 8 directions available.
CustomizationEntire course can be built as per the stakeholder’s expectations.There are limitations in terms of what can be customized within the tool.
TranslationsIt takes as much time as English eLearning development.Very easy to get the translation template to translate content and easy to produce. It take half the time as English Development.
CompatibilityIt is compatible with PCs, laptops and almost all browsers.Programmer needs to physically make this course SCORM or AICC compatible.It is compatible with PCs, Laptops, iPads and some Smartphones. Compatible to all browsers.SCORM or AICC output can be generated on a click.
Development TimeFor a 1-hour course, if we have a high-end requirement, time would be anything between 6 and 10 weeks.For 1 hour course, if we use the basic templates available, the time needed would be 2-4 weeks.
Cost2 times X daysX days
Future up gradation and MaintenanceIt is complex as we need only flash developers and programmers to edit these courses.If the tool is available with the stakeholder, a little knowledge to how to use it is easy to make the edits.


Our Preferred Recommendation

ParametersAdobe FlashArticulate Storyline
High Impact and High Visibility TrainingsYesNo
Software TrainingNoYes
Process TrainingYesNo
Device CompatibilityNoYes
Cost EffectiveNoYes
Quick turnaroundNoYes

Adobe Flash and Articulate Storyline are unique in their own ways and bring their own advantages to the table. Just to get an idea which tool is ideal for your requirement, you have to consider your developer’s skills, project time frame and required level of interactivities. I hope the eLearning development comparison gave you a hint to choose the right tool. If I missed some important points in the comparison, please do share.

View E-book on How to Select the Right Rapid Authoring Tool