Move from Flash to HTML5 –
and Still Keep Your Super Powers!

Last July, Adobe announced that Flash, the ubiquitous, super-powered website and elearning authoring tool will be phased out by the end of 2020. What does this mean for you and your courses? Most importantly, your audiences won’t be able to see your courses built in Flash, or even courses created in older versions of software such as Storyline. Popular web browsers have already begun to limit their support for the Flash plugin. And your mobile devices already can’t support it.

At this point, there’s very little that Flash can do that HTML5 can’t handle. The number of companies that rely on Flash has steadily decreased over the last few years. Still, a number of holdouts remain, especially in the education and gaming space.

While the end of 2020 seems far away, it really is not, especially if your organization has a large library of courses published for Flash output. Here are some pointers for developing your transition plan:

1. What tool was originally used to build your course?

If Storyline or Captivate or similar top tier authoring tools, were used you’re in for some luck. These tools have the option to publish in both Flash and HTML5. It may just be a matter of opening the source file and re-publishing in HTML5.

Test to ensure the features still work correctly. If your course was built in Flash, you need to consider re-building with one of these other tools.

2. How much updating does your content require?

The end of Flash brings a great opportunity to review your content, make necessary changes, and then publish in HTML5. Some older courses were built with text only and no audio. You might want to redesign the course to include supporting media.

3. Consider mobile delivery.

As we near 2020 we anticipate an increased need for mobile options. If updating your content and re-publishing your course in HTML5, it makes sense to plan for mobile users. If you are taking the time to update your content and publish to HTML5, you most likely will want to design your course to be viewed on all screens and on all devices.

4. When and How to start?

The best time to start is NOW! While Adobe set its deadline for the end of 2020, it’s really up to the browsers as to when these changes will occur. Take inventory of your courses, especially those requiring a Flash Player to view. If you’re not sure, look at the course files on your server. If any of the files have the extension .flv or .swf, it relies on the Flash player. When building your course inventory, include the following details:

  • Original Storyboards

  • Course name (and LMS number)

  • Course format (.swf, .htm)

  • Course length (number of screens)

  • Course time (minutes and seconds)

  • Most recent publication date (mm/yy)

  • Tool used to create the course (Captivate, Storyline, Lectora, Flash, or other)

  • Source file availability (.FLA file format) (yes or no)

  • Level of content update required (none, minor, or major)

  • Mobile delivery options (yes or no; if yes then list devices)

Put these items into a spreadsheet and develop your plan from there. By doing so, you will help ensure your learners have continued access to your course content after the Flash Player is no longer available.

Need further Illumen-ation? Please write or call us to set-up a time to talk further!