How to Migrate Legacy Content from Flash to HTML5 Cost Effectively - Important Tips

We are in the second quarter of 2019, and the countdown has already begun. An announcement made by Adobe in 2017 goes like this, “In collaboration with several of our technology partners - including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.”

Flash that brought in the new era for eLearning will soon cease to be, and this leaves organizations in a rush to convert legacy Flash-based content from Flash to HTML. While it is good that with the due date nearing, organizations have become more enthusiastic at adopting HTML5, the problem is that most of them have just joined the mad rush and have been investing in conversions that include custom eLearning creations, when they still have the option of Migrating from Flash to HTML5 (depending on the content quality).

A quick look at why Flash is no longer an option. (Read in detail here)

  • Accessibility Issues
  • Browser Issues
  • Reliability and Security Issues
  • Battery Drainage
  • Touch Compatibility
  • Issues with 3rd Party Integration

That being said, there really is no looking back now. But, before you jump into the Flash to HTML migration, check whether you are losing money in migration just because you failed to get the prerequisites right. Here are a few questions to begin with. (Read more here)

  • Have you checked the infrastructural readiness?
  • Are the Learners/audience ready to accept the change?
  • Do you have the assets ready?
  • Are the Source files available?
  • Is migration the right choice?

And if you have satisfactory answers for those, then comes the migration conundrum. Here are some key tips.

#Tip1: Identify the Requirement Clearly

What does the legacy course contain and what do you currently need? This would clearly define the purpose of migration and determine the course of action. Having clarity here can reduce the workload and the cost too. And in case you have a cartload of legacy courses to be migrated, the sorting would ease up the process too. Legacy courses can be of 3 types:

  1. Courses that are relatively recent and hence the content would not require any changes nor would the overall design. That cuts down the efforts otherwise spent on Instructional design and visual enhancements. So, push the lot into direct migration- manual or using authoring tool. Of course, having the source code would make the process faster.
  2. Then there are Compliance Courses and Courses with Content that require updates. In this case there might be a need for both instructional design and visual changes for making it up-to-date, followed by the actual process of migration.
  3. The last type constitutes of legacy courses that are outdated and only a few parts of it can be reused. In such cases it involves complete rework and migration here is similar to custom redevelopment, and so would be the cost.

#Tip 2: Choose the Design Strategy Correctly

What kind of output are you looking for? Is it a multi-device solution that you need? Then which option would you pick? While an adaptive design provides more control over the design and takes lesser time for loading on devices, responsive design offers a more cost-effective solution, faster development time, but requires extra care in designing and takes relatively more time in loading. But, making the selection would mean weighing down on all the parameters to avoid overhead costs later on.

#Tip 3: Pick the right technology

Flash to HTML migration doesn’t really have to be manual and cost-labor extensive process. It can be simplified with the use of ready to use authoring tools. The top picks currently are:

Articulate Storyline 3

Right from a simplistic user interface, this authoring tool wins the race with its ready-to-use templates that can be used to convert the existing Flash courses to HTML5, built-in characters that can be readily used in case of restructuring and triggers that allow to add flash-like interactivities too. It offers Responsive Player for Tablets and Smartphones and HTML5 Gesture Support too amongst many other features.

Adobe Captivate

This authoring tool makes the transformation of Flash course to Mobile compatible version simpler and faster. It offers Auto-migration from non-mobile to mobile, Multiscreen responsive eLearning authoring, enhanced Fluid boxes that make object alignment smarter and live device preview too in addition to many other new and enhanced features from the 2017 version.

Lectora Inspire

This authoring tool comes with its Responsive Course Design features and easy to use interface for creating mobile-friendly courses. The latest version comes with new course templates, new Responsive Course Design that automatically rescales the objects created on desktops for mobile view. It is a good tool for Flash to HTML conversion as it allows Flash-based animations to be published as videos and imported to HTML5 framework.

In addition, there is gomo, Elucidat, Adapt etc. too that make Flash to HTML5 migration easier and cost effective. But the final choice as always depends on the requirement, the budget, the bulk of work and finding the right (outsourcing) partner to work with or the in-house expertise.

If you are yet to consider what to do with the existing legacy Flash content, it is high time now. But, don’t just jump in blindly, take your time and analyze the situation, do your research, find the right eLearning service provider for Flash to HTML5 migration or get an in-house team with the necessary experience.

In case you are in a lookout for the former, we are here to assist you.

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