Redesigned Lectora Coming in Summer 2012

At the end of October, Trivantis announced that there will be a dramatic redesign of Lectora released in “Summer of 2012″.

It seems like a long time in advance to make this announcement; I can’t remember that happening before (but feel free to correct me), so I started reflecting a bit on the timing.

A year and a half ago, I wrote that software that has delivered HTML content all along (including Lectora), was poised to seize huge opportunities in the market. Since then, Trivantis hasn’t released many improvements to Lectora that either take advantage of new-in-HTML5 parts of the HTML spec or improve existing capabilities so that they work better in mobile browsers.

In the meantime, rumors of Storyline’s ease-of-use are rampant, and since it’s a new tool that will publish to HTML5, it’s reasonable to expect that it is developed with modern technology — particularly mobile devices and browsers — in mind. And Storyline was widely rumored to be launching at DevLearn in early November.

Gotta think it was smart of Trivantis to let their customers know before DevLearn that they’re on the job, but the fact that they don’t say anything about features — particularly publishing — gives me pause. If I worked for a company that used one main authoring tool and it was Lectora, I would be happy with the prospect of a new interface in nine months or so, but I would also want to know that Trivantis is finally making Lectora that kick-ass, powerful, HTML5-publishing software I’ve been waiting for.

If you’re interested in getting in on the beta for the new Lectora, sign up here.

  • Diane Elkins

    I think they are simply following in the trend of ZebraZapps and Storyline.  You and I heard first about Zebra two years before it was released, and Articulate started the buzz about Storyline 8 months ago.

    • Judy Unrein

      Could be!

  • Kevin Mulvihill

    I was at DevLearn, Judy, and in fact met you there!

    Here are my thoughts: Trivantis was mum on features, as you said. Having been around software development for decades, this suggests to me that the core features aren’t yet working well enough for them to make a commitment about anything that will be in the final shipping product (although I think we can feel assured that HTML 5 will be the foundation for the output options). The fact that the date is still 9 months out also tells us that likely the new version is still a year away.

    The other reason (again in my experience) that software companies pre-announce what is essentially vaporware is that they’re trying to mobilize their fans to get excited about the upcoming release (no matter how far it is into the future) and not abandon their platform. In the current environment, this makes a lot of sense given that Storyline and ZebraZapps are already very usable for real work even if not yet released.

    One other good thing about Trivantis’ announcement of at least a new interface is that it shows they recognize that the current interface isn’t particularly usable or attractive. I’m glad the program is getting a facelift!

    Also, just as an aside, HTML 5 is still a nascent technology. It’s a hot buzzword that everyone wants to build to, but actually building a robust tool that generates acceptable performance is quite another matter. And browser compatibility is still an issue too.

    Storyline should be a first quarter, 2012, release.

    I signed up for TechKnowledge in late January, Judy. I guess I’m on a conference binge right now. You going?


    • Judy Unrein

      Hello, Kevin!

      Yes, I will be at TechKnowledge. I am on the planning committee this year and I’ll be teaching a Storyline creation station. So let’s hope it’s out by then! :D

      I don’t know that I would call HTML5 “nascent”, but it’s certainly seemed to take much of our industry by surprise. As I wrote in Learning Circuits this week, we’re going to see some growing pains as software vendors struggle to deliver what designers and developers want and I think we will see a little bit of refocusing on coding to be able to deliver what our learners have come to expect in a Flash-heavy world. 

      Definitely say hi again at TK… I’ll be at several of the TK Chats as well as those creation station sessions. 

      • Kevin Mulvihill

        Hi Judy, I’ll definitely look you up at TK. Maybe we can get a gang up to go out for dinner one night… Take care for now, and keep up the great articles!