Why is there not a better daily community for Captivate for Instructional Designers...I am an Adobe user through-and-through, but I am very envious of the Articulate community...just sad Adobe doesn't compare and this has been an ongoing issue...makes me want to switch! Am I missing something here? Is there something comparable?
Moved from Community Help to the Captivate forum.
Is there a link to where it was moved to?
There is a Captivate forum where me and some other Captivate users try to help other users. You are now in that forum. Moreover there is the eLearning community as well. But I am very sad, there is nothing similar to the Articualte community, which has staff members helping and where help by other users is appreciated. That is not the case for Adobe... have wasted thousands of hours apparently without succes nor support.
This question comes up from time to time and there are many who agree with you.
The eLearning Community that Lilybiri pointed out is not much of a community. Perhaps a community in name only.
It was actually slightly better than it is today just about a year or so ago. (Although it was still lacking). Some updates were made which made things more difficult and many simply do not come back consistently. They have no reason to. The user experience surrounding searching for content, posting original stuff, and responding to others is quite frustrating at best. There are a handful of regulars and that is about all.
Many people even requested challenges like the Articulate community has over at ELearning Heroes and a few of us tried to get one started but all of the interested people did not come back to participate.
It does not help that we have to sometimes wait for several days before the items we post are moderated and become visible.
First, I agree that more needs to be done here, in terms of engaging CP users. Like stag mentions, this forum has a few active members and that is about it. It may just be a case of, Articulate as a company has a WAY narrower user base and can devote a focused effort on keeping them engaged and happy. Adobe is a monster and CP is a tiny piece of the corporate puzzle.
Having said that, Articulate may have the market cornered on the happy hero stuff, but to use Storyine on a daily basis would be my worst nightmare. Mind you, I'm more of a technical guy than an ID. Having been forced to use SL on a large complex course, and suffer through those "triggers," well that was practically unbearable.
Their employees on the forums kind of annoy me, too. "I see so and so has got you all straightened out!" Too many exclamation points and way too cheery. I understand the reason, but it's just not for me.
My hope is that the CP base is robust enough to sustain it over the long haul.
I would agree that the Storyline Community is more engaging than what we have here with Captivate. It's not the fault of the people ON this community. I believe it is simply due to the lack of support from Adobe.
I love Captivate and choose to use it whenever I can when I work under contract for clients. But I really WISH Adobe would sit up and listen to what is happening to their user base right now.
With Storyline you see Articulate staffers commenting on issues and suggesting solutions all the time. With Captivate you rarely ever see anyone from Adobe chiming in to offer help to end users. It DOES happen. But it's rare and that gets interpreted by the user base as uncaring and unsupportive.
Articulate has a VERY good evangelist in the person of Tom Kuhlman, who is not only a very knowledgeable Articulate user, but he also comes from a background of working in the trenches as an e-learning designer. He's personable and realistic. And his regular blog posts are always useful, not just filled with marketing blurb. Adobe doesn't have anyone that can match him, despite the fact that they are a much larger company with far bigger budgets.
In short, Articulate makes their users feel supported. Adobe feels that Captivate users only need some forum software instead of actual support and should be able to support themselves. In my opinion this is NOT a good support model and it must be costing Adobe lots of potential sales.
The end result of these differences in attitude and support is that Articulate Storyline, though a much more limited product compared to Captivate in terms of authoring power, has made solid inroads into the e-learning market, particularly in Europe and Asia. Articulate is a good example of how a smaller company can take on a much larger competitor by simply paying more attention to their user base and supporting them in ways they care about.
You make some good points, Rod.
I haven't been on the Articulate forums for quite a while, but when I was learning the software, I spent a considerable amount of time there. I could be wrong, but I felt like the staffers on the forums were knowledgeable sales/support people, not necessarily people who were in the trenches. Again, it was just my impression, and I never cared enough to research that. A lot of apologies. But the fact is, there was A LOT of interaction and it gives people the proverbial warm and fuzzy.
As users, we can only speculate as to why there is such a lack of interaction on the part of Adobe staffers with their user base. Maybe when you're a $130 billion dollar company, you can be a bit more hands off.
You're right about Kuhlman. I felt like his tutorials were very well done. He is an excellent champion for the product line.
Let's hope that Adobe gets a pulse check regarding its Captivate user base and begins showing their face in the forum. We can hope, can't we?
You are correct in that not all of the Articulate staffers were people with real-world experience building e-learning courses. Some were very obviously marketing people. But at least these were people on the forum representing the parent company (Articulate) and you could easily reach out to them directly. Sometimes even people from the programming team would answer questions to explain why something worked or did not work the way users expected.
Now consider the Captivate forum. Apart from Lilybiri, who else can claim they can contact Adobe to have a staffer directly answer a support question here? When staffers do chime in, it's often to indicate they are sending a personal message to someone with a problem. We only occasionally find out what the solution was so that others might benefit. Transparency this is not.
Whatever the reason why we don't get more direct interaction with the Adobe Captivate team, the end result is that Captivate users often voice feelings of abandonment by the company that claims to support the product they purchased.
While there is quite a lot of information available on the internet (e.g. Youtube) about how to use Captivate, very little of this information is created by Adobe themselves. They expect Captivate users to create it all. The Captivate Help system often gets criticised for being inaccurate and difficult to navigate. The search feature on the Forum has lots of issues. It turns up articles from across all Adobe apps rather than just Captivate. Finding good information about anything other than basic functionality is difficult if not impossible.
Captivate is a world-class product. It deserves world-class support to back it up. Expecting unpaid forum users to come up with all the answers and solutions to problems is NOT world-class support.
Well said as usual, Rod.
As usual my answer was very short. In my opinion Captivate is a first class professional eLearning authoring tool, suffereing from a third-rate and amateurish user support which shows very clearly in the eLearning portal: no interactive tutorials created with the tool on the home page, gampification aspects where you can easily be shown as a 'cotributor' just by clicking the like button a lot of times (hear them coming in daily, champion clicked 100 times in less than 2 minutes), moderation at the best 5 times a week, but sometimes much less, no easy way to ask a question, no notifications about answers to your questions if you don't set them up. It has a better Search engine than these Adobe forums, have to acknowledge that to end with a positive note.
I don't think I Articulated (pun intended) my point very well on the Articulate staff on the forums. Those people have a pretty good grasp on how to use the programs, even though they probably lean towards the sales side. Do you think Adobe even has staff that could fill those roles?
I think their "customer care" staff are utility people who can troubleshoot a myriad of Adobe products through problem/solution type flowcharts or something. But finding an "expert" on CP in the support staff would be unlikely. The sales team would be even less likely.
I just looked at the Adobe Customer Care page, and got a banner that said, "Our support center is currently experiencing long wait times. Skip the queues and reach us in the Community."
Kind of ironic that they point customers to the Community to reach "them" but in reality, they are reaching "us," the people in the trenches that know their products.
The last time we had a discussion similar to this one and I expressed my thoughts, someone from Adobe actually reached out to me privately and we had a few exchanges. They seemed genuinely interested in my thoughts on how the community could be improved. I did share several thoughts along with my rationale for each of them.
Not sure how far that will go.
Do you think it is possible that there may be a mindset of "If we (Adobe) are too active then it will stifle the participation of customers because "the experts have spoken"?
Interesting about Adobe reaching out to you, Stag. Was that fairly recent?
In terms of your speculation, they could look to the Articulate forum as a working model. I don't believe it hasn't stifled user participation at all over there. As much as I personally dislike it, having company personnel chime in to validate user solutions with a, "I see Stagprime has got you sorted out!" is a good idea for customer morale.
I'd be curious to know if Adobe follows through with any of your suggestions...
That was in November.
You are correct that Adobe doesn't have many people expert in using Captivate that might be put on Support roles to answer questions in a forum like this. The support people follow scripts and ask debugging questions suggested by software on their screen. They are unlikely to have ever used the software they are helping someone debug.
StagPrime does have a point about why Adobe stays off the forum. It's full of experts that can make them look foolish when they speak up.
From what I have observed, it seems like some Adobe staffers have at times been assigned to participate in the forums (probably in an effort to make their support seem more visible), but unfortunately when they chimed in to offer suggestions their lack of knowledge and real-world experience with the app and e-learning development became all too readily apparent. Their suggestions were sometimes just simply wrong, and they were never going to get away with offering incorrect solutions here when you have someone like Lilybiri watching every single forum post. After they had their heads bitten off a few times by Lilybiri they learned their lesson and stayed away. So perhaps the 'reticence' of Adobe staffers can at times be understandable.
However, I do not believe this absolves Adobe of blame for not offering better support. For many years now they have steered people to this user forum, giving them the expectation that they would reach Adobe Support people, only to find they were being fobbed off to an unpaid user community. Often very exasperated by that time, we users would be the unfortunate recipients of their anger and frustration.
Very well said Rod Ward.