Saturday, May 26, 2012

3 Things I'm Looking Forward To In Lectora Version 11

By Jay Lambert

Trivantis gave a sneak preview of their upcoming Lectora Version 11 release at this week's user conference in Chicago. Many of us have been nervous that Version 11 brings a complete interface redesign (yes, I still fondly remember the old "traffic lights" from before the previous redesign). But the switch to a ribbon format seems sleek and even user-friendly at this point.

Version 11 brings more Social Media integration which will excite many. But truthfully, I'm not sure how that will be received by corporate America.  Twitter and RSS feeds and the like are cool, but probably still off limits in eLearning courses for the scores of companies that still lock out Dropbox. So that seems a little more sparkle than substance at the moment. But I can see the coolness factor.

So what really excites me about the redesign is more on the practical side. Trivantis has finally simplified a few things that have long frustrated us Lectora developers.

For example, here are 3 things that, though smaller changes, will make our lives easier.

Version 11 will allow developers to change the properties of multiple selected objects. No more having to painstakingly adjust properties one-by-one of like objects on a page when a color needs to be changed or a margin increased, etc.

The new Lectora will give us a visual cue when conditions exist for an Action. Currently, you have to open the Conditions tab to see if anything is there. The visual cue is going to make troubleshooting a lot simpler. And it will help avoid gotchas that can happen when copy/pasting existing Actions or inserting them as Library Objects.

And Version 11 will simplify inserting tables. This one has been long requested as the only way to insert a table was by a sub-menu that only appeared when right-clicking within an existing text box while standing on one leg, or so it seemed. Anyway, an easy way to insert a table is great news.

So while these are probably smaller additions than Trivantis will be promoting with the Lectora redesign, they're very welcome changes to me.

I'm sure there will be other pleasant news as we learn more about Lectora Version 11 (such as hopefully further movement into HTML5). But from the preview, these were 3 that stood out. As I hear more, I'll try to post my favorites.

What are you hoping Lectora will make easier?


  1. Thanks for your review Jay! I totally hear you on the social stuff. We wanted to get it in their early before it was too late. So I think users can now take their time to figure out exactly how the social objects can benefit them and their companies.

    Also during development we've been calling it LUX which stands for Lectora User Experience. Most new features are focused on reducing clicks and popups and increasing organization and usability. So while you may not see as many large new features, revamping the user experience on the whole (and I promise not just for pretty icons sake) is by and large the most important feature of this release.

  2. Tim, thanks for the comment and info. I love that idea of focusing on the Lectora User Experience. While Lectora started as an easier alternative to Authorware, it now has the reputation of being the most difficult to master of the current Big 3 authoring tools. Revamping the interface to improve its organization and usability is a wonderful thing.

    I look forward to learning more details as Trivantis releases them.

  3. it may be hard to master, but as a learning designer this also means flexibility! I can make Lectora do almost anything I want except make me the coffe I drink whilst I'm developing courseware. Other authoring tools such as articulate are way too inflexible and rigid; I'll take Lectora any day thank you...

  4. Mark, I completely agree that Lectora is the most powerful tool and I love the flexibility too. But I do think it's taken a hit in market share because the other tools are perceived as easier for the average user. Full-time developers should love Lectora; the redesign might disorient us at first, but will likely appeal to the instructional designer who's been asked to now also develop.


Thank you for your comments.