End of Adobe Flash and rise of HTML5

09 Jan 2021 Lee Luong 0 Animation and Illustration

As you may have heard, Adobe has decided to end Flash support on December 31, 2020.

Initially created to play videos from web browsers, Adobe Flash has grown into a lot more over its 20 year history. After the video came interactivity. Later, Flash Player made it possible to add games and interactive activities to your site. Previously static web pages could now be much more attractive.

So it's no surprise that e-learning professionals have embraced Adobe Flash. Instead of just static web pages, they could grab the attention of learners in new ways. They could bring interactivity to learners instead of having them download a separate program. It is on this technology that e-learning authoring applications have relied to create interactive learning modules.

So how did a technology so essential to the creation of e-learning content become obsolete?

The decline of Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash was thus praised for what it brought to the web in general and to e-learning development in particular, but it was also widely criticized.

Adobe Flash was a closed system that required real training for developers to use it properly, and this system required users to download resource-hungry plugins. Eventually, malware and viruses emerged that specifically targeted Adobe Flash, leaving learners and developers alike. It became clear that while everyone loved what you could achieve with Adobe Flash, it came at a price.

Finally, the fact that Apple's iOS doesn't support Flash can be seen as the killing blow. After all, if your learners can't take their training on their iPhone or iPad, you need to find another solution. In his biography in 2011, Steve Jobs said of Flash that it was an unnecessarily complicated technology and with poor performance and big security problems. His contempt for Adobe Flash was so strong that Apple ended support for the software before anyone else.

And so, what was once considered the future of the internet has become a technological monster that needed to be replaced. It was good, HTML5 was waiting behind the scenes.

The rise of HTML5

The World Wide Web Consortium ( W3C ) is the organization responsible for updating and maintaining HTML. They see the future of the web as interactive, media rich and multi-device. When they updated HTML, they included a whole new set of standards that allow web developers to add audio, video and interactive elements directly to web pages using the same type of code they were already using. familiar. HTML5 was born.

The ability to add multimedia and interactive elements in HTML5 makes it a top publishing option for cross-device e-learning , as it is supported by all modern devices, not only on desktop browsers, but also on phones and tablets. There is no special application to install to play HTML5, as it is built into the device browser. That's why it's the technology we've chosen for all of Articulate 360's authoring apps.

And then ?

So, concretely, what does this change for you? The Articulate 360 ​​and Storyline 3 apps don't use Flash. So you can rest assured that any training you create will not be affected when Flash is discontinued by Adobe. If you're using these older Articulate products: Storyline 1, Storyline 2, Studio '09, or Studio '13, click here for more information on how this change might affect you .

But what about modules you've already created with Flash? We are like you, we have created a lot too. The best approach is to take a deep breath, figure out how to identify the affected modules, and then start reposting them. We have detailed the process we use here . And if you're not sure exactly how to republish your mods in HTML5, we've covered that topic in this article as well .

Updating existing modules is one thing, but let's focus on the cool things you can create in HTML5 instead! If you're lacking inspiration, check out our incredible collection of e-learning examples . All built without a hint of Flash.

Big technological changes like the removal of Adobe Flash can be frustrating and even a little scary. But rest assured that your training will be even better in HTML5.

BY: Lee Luong

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