eLearning Design and Development

Articulate Rise vs. Storyline: How to Choose?

Today, instructional designers are expected to create incredibly interactive and engaging courses—and have them done yesterday.

While the most effective instructional design tools can’t promise time travel, they can help you create that interactive and engaging content as close to yesterday as physics allows.  

While the current eLearning market is inundated with eLearning authoring tools, two of them are most commonly used in the eLearning field.

These two tools are Articulate Storyline and Articulate Rise. Both tools are award-winning and come with several noteworthy features that top instructional designers of the industry rave about. 

While both are common eLearning software options, Rise and Storyline have unique pros and cons. Storyline is user-friendly and ideal for customizing templates, while Rise is more flexible for creating content from scratch.

This article will take a deep dive into Storyline and Rise. We will talk about their differences, pros, and cons. We will also discuss which of these tools would better suit your unique needs. So, let’s get started! 

What is Articulate Storyline?

Articulate Storyline is one of the most prominent tools in the Articulate 360 suite of tools and applications. It is a cloud-based tool that allows instructional designers to create high-quality, customized, and interactive eLearning solutions without hiring additional help.

Storyline enables instructional designers to implement a variety of features in their learning content. For example, they can add elements like quizzes, animations, audio-visual elements, and screen recording into the courses. This authoring tool even allows you to program games and interactions without hiring expensive graphic designers and programmers.

Storyline looks and feels a lot like Microsoft Powerpoint. It is quite simple to use, so even less experienced and tech-savvy developers can use it effectively. The tool provides you with a free-form edition option, but it also comes with several pre-built slide templates. With Storyline, you get a blank canvas where you can arrange your course content in the form of scenes and slides. This makes authoring an eLearning course quick and convenient. 

Storyline offers you thousands of designs and hundreds of customization options for designing appealing course content. The tool also allows you to add several action triggers to your course content. For example, when a user selects the wrong option in a quiz, you can add a trigger that provides them with the right answer and further explanation about it. 

For example, you can use Storyline to create interactive eLearning content similar to the one we, at ELM, developed for Omnicom Media Group (OMG).

In summary, if you have limited experience and want to use Storyline templates, your courses will still end up appealing, professional, and interactive. However, if you are ready to develop something more unique, you can easily do that as well. 

What is Rise?

Just like Storyline, Articulate Rise is one of the major offerings of the Articulate 360 suite. The tool is one of the most mobile responsive and adaptive authoring tools that currently exist. It is an exceptional tool that lets you create magnificent and impactful eLearning courses. 

Rise enables you to design attractive eLearning courses for all kinds of screen sizes. This means that a device’s screen size will not affect the performance or downgrade the quality of your eLearning course. 

Rise allows you to design outstanding course content directly in your web browser. It’s a web-based authoring tool so you don’t even need to download the software on your device.

Furthermore, Rise allows you to design course content by simply dragging and dropping the lessons. Even though it’s a simple tool that does not allow you to create complex interactions, it is one of the easiest authoring tools, and you can learn in minutes. 

Rise vs. Storyline: What’s the Difference?

While both Rise and Storyline come power-packed with a set of fantastic and highly effective features that make authoring eLearning content simpler and more enjoyable, there are several key differences between them. Let’s take a look at four major ones. 

  • Storyline has been around for many years. It’s a more traditional eLearning authoring tool that comes with a wide variety of features and functionalities. On the other hand, Rise is a comparatively newer authoring tool launched in 2016. However, Rise is much more responsive and flexible than Storyline.

Pros and Cons of Storyline

Storyline is a wonderful authoring tool that can be used to design beautiful, highly interactive, and engaging online courses. However, the tool has many pros and cons that you should know before deciding whether or not it is suitable for your instructional design needs.


  • Storyline has a huge variety of customization options. 
  • It comes with built-in templates, slides, and design tools.
  • Due to the availability of a large variety of designs and customizations, instructional designers have the freedom to be as creative as they want. They can add graphics, animations, audio-visual elements, and much more to their course content. 
  • The tool also allows you to implement game-like activities, quizzes, assessments, etc., in your course. Want to learn how to create effective and meaningful assessments? Check out this blog post.


  • Storyline only works on PCs. Courses designed on Storyline are not suitable for smaller screen devices.
  • The eLearning development time is comparatively higher.
  • It’s less responsive and flexible.
  • Articulate Storyline is not a web-based tool, and it needs to be downloaded on a computer before you can use it.

If you are wondering who should use Storyline for their eLearning course, here’s your answer. You should use Articulate Storyline if you want to develop complex, customization-rich, and highly interactive eLearning content. 

Pros and Cons of Rise

Now, let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of Articulate Rise. 


  • Rise is highly suitable for heavy text-based course content. 
  • Rise is a browser-based authoring tool. This means that you don’t need to download any software. You can easily design courses in Rise from any web-based browser. 
  • Comes with a drag-and-drop builder that makes designing courses super simple and quick.
  • With Articulate Rise, you can design visually stunning eLearning courses with minimum effort. 
  • Courses designed in Rise can be used on devices of all screen sizes. The tool is more flexible and responsive than Storyline. 


  • It has limited designs and customization options.
  • There is less room for being creative.
  • You will have less control over the look and feel of your content. 

Articulate Rise is suitable for those who want a user-friendly authoring tool that is flexible, responsive on various screens, and allows rapid development of eLearning content. 

Summing Up

So, there you go! That was all about Articulate Rise vs. Articulate Storyline. These tools are the flagship offerings of the Articulate 360 suite and are the heroes in the eLearning industry! 

If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest developments on these tools, know more about what products Articulate offers, and stay on top of the latest happenings in the eLearning industry, we recommend following these three steps. 

1. Join User Groups 

Joining user groups will help you connect with like-minded people and share your ideas, thoughts, and opinions. You can also ask questions and the community members will help you find the best solutions for them. 

2. Read Case Studies

Reading case studies from the eLearning industry will help you gain knowledge and develop analytical abilities. At ELM, we have curated a list of some of the best case studies. Make sure to check them out. 

3. Contact ELM

We are an eLearning company dedicated to helping you design phenomenal eLearning courses. We can provide you with high-quality learning resources, including eBooks, blogs, updates about the latest eLearning tools, and more! Reach out to us today