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How to convert from Flash to HTML5 successfully

With Flash being phased out, now is an ideal time to convert from Flash to HTML5, but the process of moving your learning content can seem daunting. Despite the desire of L&D teams to modernise their training programmes, converting dated legacy content into a sleek modern programme is a challenge for learning professionals.

Among a wide range of benefits, converting your elearning content is a great opportunity to modernise the user experience for your employees, creating much more effective learning at all levels.

A photo of an interface switch from Flash to HTML5 in elearning

Many learners are now using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones for their elearning needs, but the problem with Flash-based courses is that mobile device browsers don’t support the outdated Flash technology.

With many desktop browsers phasing Flash out and Adobe announcing that Flash will be dropped completely by 2020, training departments need to move quickly to convert Flash courses to HTM5. For more on this, read part 1 of this blog series on converting Flash to HTML5.

To keep your learning content futureproof and accessible to all learners for years to come, here are some ideas for making the move from Flash to HTML5.

Catalogue your content

Carry out a detailed audit of your current content, creating a record of its type and size, for example.

If the original source of the content can be accessed, such as by its xml files, it will save time and costs in the dynamic creation of your new-look training programme.

In an ideal situation, you will have access to the original images and graphics on your system, as this minimises the cost of repurposing or reworking the existing content.

A content matrix can provide a cornerstone for your conversion where you can easily review all of the information about your content and the plan you have to map it to your new HTML5 set-up.

It can help to order content into sections, depending on whether it can be directly migrated, needs restructuring or completely needs replacing.

This is also an ideal opportunity to evaluate your elearning content. Think about which existing modules are the most powerful and are likely to have the most impact on employees when they learn, and which content may need refreshing or be completely out of date.

If some of your content is static and uninspiring, for example, you could create new challenges and leaderboards, making the most of the rich features HTML5 can offer.

A photo of an elearning professional looking at measuring the business impact of learning with a view to moving from Flash to HTML5

Choose your authoring tool

Choosing the right authoring tool is a critical part of switching your content from Flash to HTML5, and the decision you reach is likely to be based around various factors.One of the most important aspects is the type of devices and browsers employees are currently using to try to access your LMS – which is why it’s important to carry out analysis on their browser types and preferences.

If people are likely to be accessing your content on a mix of desktop and mobile devices, your conversion will require an authoring tool offering responsive design, which means it looks great whatever the size of the screen.

Think about how you will create and update your content, whether any parts of the conversion can be automated, and the cost of the authoring tools you consider.

A content authoring tool such as gomo offers the functionality to neatly compile your existing content and output it to your new-look course and structure, resulting in huge cost benefits when your conversion involves a lot of data.

Before you start making wholesale migrations, ensure that the communication between your authoring tool and LMS works well.

Carry out testing

Once you have chosen the most effective tool for your conversion, you can start to really plan how the layout of your content will look in your revitalised learning, and the process of testing your conversion can begin.

Carry out rigorous testing on a simple course at first, and try to involve as wide a variety of end users as you can.

One way of doing this can be to focus on the devices employees will be using and target them during testing. By involving employees, you can win buy-in at all levels of your organisation, because people will see the value in turning old content into a much more useful resource.

Flexibility is arguably the most important aspect of successfully switching content from Flash to HTML5. Your needs will inevitably change over the years, so you should be able to easily make changes to your templates and refresh your designs whenever you require – for example, if your branding changes.

Flash to HTML5 – making it work

By taking the right steps to prepare for your conversion, you should be able to conclusively demonstrate the business benefits of switching from Flash to HTML5.

A certain amount of work will always be required to modernise legacy learning content. Moving from Flash to HTML5 is the perfect chance to scope your current elearning programme, shake up your training and make learning a key part of your organisation’s future success.

LEO Learning can help with converting your older, outdated Flash-based courses and elements into the more universally supported HTML5 format. To find out more, get in touch today.

Want more essential tips on future-proofing your organisation? Read LEO Learning’s free ebook, ‘Future-proof your workforce: refining processes through elearning’.

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