Converting Flash to HTML5: Make the switch successfully

by Ben Miller

Converting Flash to HTML5 is a major challenge, but it’s also a chance to take advantage and use the transformation process to decide which of your existing learning content is truly valuable to your learners and which courses need a radical overhaul.

There are all sorts of advantages for companies who make the move to HTML, including future-proofing your training so it’s on a platform that won’t be obsolete (like Flash is), driving a culture of learning and giving people the flexibility to take responsibility for their own learning.

For employees, the main benefit is the ability to access eLearning on any device at their convenience, rather than being restricted to learning at a desk. This is because Flash isn’t mobile-friendly, which means that if you’re still sending out old Flash-based learning, your learners aren’t getting the benefit of accessing content wherever and whenever they like.

A group of eLearning designers working on converting Flash to HTML5 on their training programs

What to consider when converting Flash to HTML5

The levels of resource required when converting Flash to HTML5 will depend on the nature of your original Flash content. If the content is highly unique and animated, for instance, its conversion will need a much greater allocation of time and resources than the kind of highly-templated text and graphics that can be easily cut and pasted into an authoring tool.

The cost of conversion is likely to be significantly lower if your existing content and course structure are held in a format that is easy to migrate, such as the common .xml programming language. You’ll also see a dramatic reduction in costs if your course is composed of repeated templates.

When the structure of the course is accessible, gomo can create the functionality to reshape this into a new layout, providing a huge cost benefit when large volumes of material are being converted.

Content that doesn’t require any user interaction, such as a Flash animation explaining a sequence of events, can usually be converted directly into an HTML movie within the video player of a course.

The process becomes more complicated for interactive assets such as a quiz screen or hotspot. These usually need to be repurposed, mapped and rebuilt into new interactions within gomo.

Many authoring tools that output Flash will also give you the original assets – text, images and videos – when you publish a course. This gives you the opportunity to upload these assets to the cloud and recreate the content in an online tool such as gomo.

With a gomo theme, the hard work of the ‘look and feel’ of the course is already taken care of. It’s often just a case of adding the original assets to gomo to upgrade your courses from Flash to HTML5.

Adding value to your eLearning

Perhaps the best way to think about converting Flash courses into HTML is in terms of value. Although it can be tempting to look for a quick migration of content, carried out at the lowest possible price and incorporating minimal learning design, the wisest solution is likely to be the one that adds to your existing learning.

This is an ideal opportunity to optimize and rework your courses and revive outdated content. Remember that a like-for-like conversion, transferring content so that it is almost identical to how it looks in Flash, is likely to sell your learners short.

Certain modules will benefit from being developed and improved with the extra features offered by HTML5, whereas material which is dated or less effective could be turned into accessory resources or archived.

With Flash already obsolete on Apple and Android and Google dropping support for the format in early 2017 from its popular Chrome browser, the pressure is on for organizations looking to stay up to date.

Want to see a sample HTML5 eLearning course in action? Click here.

What devices will your content be seen on?

HTML5 lends itself far more easily to adaptive and responsive design. At gomo, we take advantage of both of these options to create content that fills the screen, whatever screen size and resolution learners are using.

Check out this animated GIF to see gomo’s responsiveness in action.

An animated GIF showing gomo's responsive design capabilities

If your learners are likely to be predominantly using smartphones and tablets, consider how the look and feel of your courses will vary when seen on these devices, and whether the design will fulfil the aim of making people want to learn when they are on the go.

One of the features our clients have used to transform the look of their learning is HTML5-enabled continuous scrolling. This allows courses to flow beautifully and gives you the option to let your learners swipe, click and deep scroll around pages full of rich, interactive material. Continuous scroll isn’t possible in Flash but thanks to HTML5, we’re all very comfortable with the ability to seamlessly view content over a single scrolling screen.

How gomo can help

HTML5 is now the backbone of the Internet and, with Flash being increasingly phased out, its dominance will only increase.

gomo is an HTML5 eLearning authoring tool
gomo’s award-winning authoring tool can help you to make the switch seamlessly and create a mobile-friendly learning experience for your workforce, without needing any in-depth technical knowledge.

To discover how gomo can help with converting Flash to HTML5, contact us today.