Category: Digital conversion

Migrating from Flash courses to HTML5? Here’s a handy checklist for you

Flash had been the first choice for eLearning courses for long, until HTML5 found its way to the top. Although Flash had several useful features in it, it had its own flaws as well. For instance, Flash could not enable users to read eBooks on mobile devices. With advancement in technology, these flaws have been identified and HTML5 has come up to eliminate the loopholes. With HTML5 around, it is possible to read documents on mobile devices, which has leveraged the experience of the learners to a great extent. If you are willing to move into the eLearning ecosystem supported by HTML5, it is necessary to assess the cost at the outset. It involves a significant expenditure and the most vital part is the planning process.

flash to html5 migration checklist
Flash to HTML5 migration checklist

Before you proceed with Flash to HTML5 migration, you should adopt a definite approach towards the process. Here, you will come across a useful checklist that will enable you to plan the conversion of Flash to HTML5.

Create a list including all the courses to be converted

The first step, where you need to create a list of the desired courses to be converted, is the most important one. Here, one has to identify the courses based on Flash before the conversion process starts. Well, you may be interested in converting a few courses initially, before going ahead with your main project. It is wise to test the response of the learners with a few sample courses. Therefore, you should convert only a few selected courses based on Flash to HTML5 elearning and study the response. If you get the desired response, you can carry on with the rest.

 Keep all the source files in the same place

Gathering the source files is the second-most important task to accomplish. Source files refer to those files that are used by a developer to create the eLearning material. Then, they export these to develop the final course. In case a third-party content digital conversion services provider or an in-house development team develops your eLearning courses, you should ensure that all related source files are compiled at the outset. All your resources, media and text will be included in these source files. When you have all the source files in a single place, it makes the migration process smooth and hassle-free.

Identify what you need-complete redesign or just technology update?

Well, it is necessary to identify what you exactly need. While certain legacy courses need an update in technology, others call for a complete redesign. It is important to evaluate these requirements, before you commence with the conversion process. This has a direct influence in the costs incurred in the process. You should create a chart, prioritizing the needs when you plan for flash to html5 conversion. Here’s a case in point that will enable you to understand the process with clarity.

  • Recently developed courses may not require an entire visual overhaul; you may simply update the technology in these eLearning courses.
  • Compliance courses will be fine with a simple visual uplifting.
  • In case of legacy courses, you will have to restructure them completely. This includes the instructional design as well.

Focus on converting long courses into shorter ones for mobile learning

Learners want the courses to be brief, but with maximum utility. Timecrunch is a concern for every learner, so they cannot afford to spend long hours in reading these courses; this is something you must understand. Therefore, you need to evaluate converting the longer courses to shorter ones while ensuring that all vital areas are strategically incorporated. It should enable mobile learning and that too, in a short time. You must realize that the users assess eLearning materials through smartphones, tablets and other devices. Evidently, a separate approach has to be adopted for them. The learners also access training resources through these devices. This makes it necessary to design shorter but more informative courses in a comprehensive manner. A professional digital conversion company specializes in the same.

When you decide to convert the longer courses to shorter ones, it is necessary to identify the courses that contain more than 50 slides. Generally, the length of these courses is between one to two hours. You need to convert them to shorter courses that are easily digestible by the learners. These are ideal for mobile learning. As the name suggests, mobile learning points towards accessing resources for training on mobile devices that are portable in nature. Besides mobility, these devices have another key advantage for the learners. These can also be used as performance support tools (PSTs) for learners who use multi-devices. It comes handy to them who are interested in improving their skills through learning even when they remain away from training.

Selecting an authorizing tool for responsive eLearning

Developers need a tool supporting responsive eLearning to ensure that the mobile learning courses can be seamlessly accessed by all varieties of mobile devices. Through responsive eLearning, you can ensure that the learners can read the materials from all sorts of handsets efficiently. The screen sizes and other technical aspects may vary, but this should not affect their ability to read the eLearning materials. These are more adjustable in nature and this is why the courses are called ‘responsive’. Tools like Lector a Inspire, Adobe Captivate and Articulate 360 are popular among eLearning authoring tools. Mobile learning is one of the greatest advantages of HTML5 and it has been gaining popularity among the learning community. Evidently, it is important to make the courses available in their devices.

Follow this checklist to achieve most prolific outputs. However, it is always recommended to outsource your requirements to experts when you want to convert interactive swf to html5 or flash to the same.

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Top ten things one should remember while attempting eBooks formatting

EBook formatting requires the concerned to take care of several things. Different tips are followed by experts to achieve the desired level of perfection and precision. Ten of the most prominent among one are brought together here.

ebooks

  1. EBook development and web development are completely different things

Web developers are professionals who are excellent at developing web sites, which are meant to be displayed in web browser. However the job of eBook developers is to design books that need to be read on eReaders and other similar devices. The technologies involved with electronic book reading are very different from the Web. More often than not, what may suit the Web might not go well with an eBook at all.

In simpler words, a person hired explicitly for conversion of EBooks should be well versed with the specific technologies involved in eBook designing.

The process required in electronic book development is not fun by any means; it’s dreary with endless styling and clean-up that needs to be done manually by a professional regardless of the efficiency of software programs being used. Hence, if anyone is interested to convert their electronic book manually, they need an ebook developer and not a web developer.

  1. EBooks without a fixed layout-the silver lining

Reflowable eBooks make it possible for the reader to resize the book’s font or reorganize the book. It is possible to increase or decrease the size of the text. Whether you’re reading landscape or portrait, the book’s contents will get restructured as per the specifications selected by the reader.

A different type of format is the ‘fixed layout’ format that is helpful for the publisher or author in individually defining the pages of the book. In this format type, readers cannot alter the font size and the book’s images also do not change as per the preference of users. Fixed layout ePub conversion is very well suited for tablets but doesn’t necessarily at times work well with iPhones.

  1. Un-enforceable nature of the stylistic elements

EBook dropcaps

Dropcaps, an essential part of every text is almost impossible to control, as far as eBooks are concerned. One can try and exercise control with the help of CSS, and they still won’t be well suited for every instance. This is in fact one of the basic eBook formatting tips.

This happens because, even if one programmes the code with dropcaps, all devices have a different style of displaying them. 80% of the time it will be unsuited, especially in case of readers with overriding settings. All devices constitute a font size difference and have different line heights, which in most cases is likely to intrude with the display of dropcaps.

EBooks and hanging indents

One cannot force the hanging indents in an eBook as one is compelled to make the use of negative indents or what is called- padding, in order to make them work. Electronic book readers are not very efficient at handling those. In the CSS, it is not possible to instruct the making of a hanging indent and fails to work on most devices, when tried.

EBooks with headers and footers

In an electronic book, one may not be able to spot running headers and running footers. As eBooks lack the concept of what are called fixed pages, the pages of the book reflow as per the device being used; hence one cannot do so, other than by using a fixed layout which is not suited for eBooks at all. And keeping the style in mind, one cannot use headers and footers. Most readers have their custom standards and cannot be overridden.

EBooks and Body Fonts

Most e-reading devices, such as kindle, iBooks or other softwares used for eReading let the reader decide the preferred font for the book.

  1. MOBI is more suited to Kindle as compared to Word files

Earlier on, Amazon only accepted the MOBI file for publishing in Kindle Bookstores. Now, when it comes to formatting eBooks for kindle, one can submit a file from Word to kindle eBook store and it is accepted. The only issue however is, on auto-conversion by kindle, the result may be what you wanted or it might go wrong. If one was to look at it with a realistic approach, a word file needs to be worked on majorly, if it has to be auto-converted by Kindle and companies offering professional kindle conversion services always do that . Additionally, if one uses the Kindle’s auto conversion process in order to make submissions to Amazon, they shall also have to make way to get their EPUB, if they want to publish to the Apple store as well. A version for print will have to be designed additionally.

  1. Standard requirements

International Digital Publishing Forum has the responsibility to ensure that the EPUBs are valid as per the specifications. Platforms create different problems as they all have varying criteria. There is some randomness and alchemy in the process.

  1. Testing EBooks

There are some practices one must follow to ensure things don’t go wrong when loading an EBook on iPhones. Experts who are professionally indulged in formatting eBooks for publishing are aware of all relevant procedures.

  1. How are eBook covers design different from Print Covers

As far as EBooks are concerned, the cover is a separate file and is also inside the book at hand. However in a print book, the files on the interior and the cover are submitted separately.

  1. Adding multimedia and videos

One can screencap a video and further link the picture to the video, that is displayed on the internet, anywhere else. If one wants to embed a particular video, one cannot take the help of servers that are external. EPUB does not permit this. One can’t, for example, use the iFrame technology on Youtube. The video has to be present in the book, in order for it to work. Javascript, similarly cannot be called to servers external in nature.

  1. Table of Contents

A system of table of contents is included in the eBook, so as to enable the readers to see a drop-down menu, inclusive of the table of contents. In an eBook, there is no presence of tactile setup of pages like normal books that one can physically touch. To simplify the process of getting to a particular section of the book, a table of contents is much needed, even if it is a short story or just a lone chapter. There is also the need for a clickable page that is linkable, just as the contents table for crafting best multimedia eBooks. The reader’s prime focus is the reading experience as opposed to formatting that anyway is different for different devices.

  1. EPUB replaced by EPUB3

EPUB’s most important update is the EPUB3; in case the work at hand is not too complex, there will be no noticeable change. The older EPUB2 conversion can be put to use. Most platforms yet do not support the latest version, so there may be no dire need to change or upgrade. However with epub3 conversion services incentive lies in making the book interactive in nature.

Additionally, one must use styles that are compatible universally and not make it complicated. Like mentioned earlier, there are a plethora of things that can hamper the successful publishing of an EBook and most elements of design are beyond one’s control. The most logical step to take in regard of eBook conversion services and styling is to keep formatting to a minimum and not include formatting that is inline. Lesser control one exercises, the better the EBook looks.