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April Update

During the beginning of this year, Adapt hasn’t had a lot of updates outside of bug fixes. In April that changed, and changed in a big way.

12 new themes

Today we’re launching a series of new themes I’m calling “boxed” due to the design of the centered box that all content lives in. I won’t bore you by listing out all 12 theme names, so you can find the list in any course by clicking the “Theme Picker” from the left menu. These themes were inspired by the OK Foster’s “RFT” courses, but as with all Adapt themes, they can be used by anyone.

The themes are monochromatic in that they use one base color then apply shades to that original color for all of the theme colors.

Boxed themes are a bit more opinionated than the more generic themes. The differences are subtle and it may take you some time to get a handle on how to use some of the techniques you’ve applied to the full-screen Adapt themes.

For Example: Parallax articles will never show the full image; only the part of the image that shows through the boxed article’s area. Which brings me to…

Parallax Articles Updated

I’ve added some options to the Parallax Articles Extension to allow a greater degree of control. You can now apply a “bias” to the image so that the image will begin it’s positioning where you specify. You can also now turn off the “scroll-over” effect so that the image appears in the normal flow of the document (which is particularly useful for the boxed themes). However, you should have realistic expectations about the positioning: “cover” image placement can’t be fully controlled (as they respond to screen ratio and resolution). Plan your images accordingly.

Also in the update is the ability to force the component in a Parallax article to have a transparent background. This option can create some very neat effects but should be used sparingly and always with accessibility in mind.

New Extension: Course Complete

There is a very simple new extension called Course Complete. This adds an alert element to the main menu when the learner completes the course. The appearance is fairly standard across themes.

New Menu: Enhanced List Menu

The new menu, Enhanced List Menu, is a slightly more graphical play on the existing List menu that can help make courses with a large number of pages feel more manageable to the user. Keep in mind that while the graphic and page description aren’t required, the menu looks a little plain without them.

All Themes Updated

All themes were updated to support the new behaviors. In addition, additional styles were added to clean up the appearance of tables, lists and blockquotes in text areas.

Adapt Changes

In the (maybe) near future, Adapt will be getting a significant update with hundreds of changes in courses and the authoring tool. This change will require modification of every component, extension, menu and theme in Adapt.

It’s a big move and there’s still a ton of work that has to happen before we can update.In the meantime, we should have at least one new theme (if not another 12) in the next few months. Another component or three (form detailing, pull quote), a menu, an update to the Adapt Authoring Utilities to make Hot Graphics and other position-based components easier to wrangle and a possible new extension for people who miss the powerpoint-like courses.

On the horizon…

Matt and I have been exploring some ways of getting complex vector-only animations into Adapt using a tech known as “Lottie”. There’s still a lot of work to go on this one and it may take a while to see how it can be integrated into existing components (if it can at all). So if like doing your own animations and want to work with Adapt — and this experimentation pays off — After Effects might be good for you to learn in the future.

And maybe, just maybe, it might be possible to get complex simulations to play Adapt. MAYBE. Not holding my breath.