A Hotspot step is probably our most versatile step. It's an interactive image based step, where the learner must select a correct portion of the screen to complete the step.
A "Hotspot" is another word for a correct area. With this step, you can draw these Hotspots over parts of the image that you deem as the correct answer. As seen below in the Hotspot editing screen - a Hotspot is drawn around the safety boots, meaning the learner must choose that answer in order to get the step correct. The learner won't see this transparent blue "Hotspot", but they must click within that area in their learner view.
Some uses for the Hotspot step include:
- Identifying a correct button/part/area of an object
- Selecting multiple items on an image
- Procedural tasks such as interacting with an object or machine in a certain order
- Menu steps - ability to navigate from different areas on the screen
...and many more! Contact us if you need ideas on how you could use this step in your Sims.
Learn how to make a basic Hotspot Step here! For more advanced functionality, check out the other support pages on the Step.
Instructions to Create a Hotspot Step
1. Click the "+ Add Step" Button.
2. Click on "Hotspot."
3. Give your Hotspot Step a name so that you can can distinguish the step in editor mode. This step name is not displayed to the learner - only for your reference. You must have a step name before you can add the step.
4. Upload an image for your Hotspot Step. This image is important as it will be what you will be drawing the hotspots on.
5. Change the instructions the learner will see, how long they will see those instructions before they auto hide, and the position of the instructions box on the screen.
You'll want to ensure these instructions give the learner a clear explanation on what they must do to complete this step. This is because when the learner loads into this step, they will see an image with no context (unless context is supplied in the image), so the learner will only have what you give them in these instructions.
6. Click "add" to move to the Hotspot drawing/editing screen
7. You'll notice that your Hotspot step that appears on the left will be in a shade of red. This is because there are no Hotspots yet. To draw our first Hotspot, click "Add a Hotspot"
8. You will have a few options here... Drawing a circle or square will draw you the respective preset shape that you will be able to move around/resize. We'll be drawing our own Hotspot here, so select 'Draw Hotspot" (Feel free to try adding the preset shapes - you can always delete a Hotspot by clicking on it and hitting your delete key)
9. Click to place dots around the shape you wish to mark with your hotspot. As seen below, I have given a bit of padding around the shoe so it gives the learner the benefit of the doubt if they click on the edge of the shoe. Once your object is surrounded by these connected dots, hit the "Complete" button to make that shape into a completed Hotspot.
10. All done! Your step will automatically save each time you interact with it, so go ahead and preview it to see if it is working as intended.
This is an advanced optional feature that can be useful for maintaining a consistent style across some of your steps. Think of the static background image as layer 1, then the step background image is layer 2.
For a quick example, see the image below... We have rough example of a branding experience that includes your company name, some text, and a version number of the training along the header. The rest of the image is blank, as this is where the step background image will go.
Once you upload the above image into the static background area, you will be presented with the image to the left. You can then click and drag, or use the measurements down the bottom to get the step background image (the placeholder image) into the correct dimensions in relation to the static background.
This placeholder image will be where your step background image will show as seen below.
The advantage of this, is that if you had, say, 15 hotspot steps that you wanted a consistent looking background/header/footer, you could use a static background. This means that if you wanted to change something about one of those things, you would just need to "replace" the static background image in your library and every single one of those 15 steps will update too.
You can upload a .mp3 file to the HotSpot Step that will begin playing once the step loads. This can be of any length, but the learner can move on at any time. This audio can be paused, fast forwarded, or rewinded by the learner. If they choose to continue to the next step (by clicking the right part of the screen), the audio will stop and the next step will show.
This feature can be great for reading out instructions for the user, especially for those who have difficulty with reading.
You can set the score the user gets when they get this step correct. With SimTutor, the scoring works by giving them a maximum score (3 in this case) if they get the location correct on the first attempt. For each incorrect guess they can get points taken away from this maximum score (1 point per incorrect guess in this case). For example, if I guessed incorrectly once, then got the location correct, I would get 3-1=2 points total.
When the learner answers a question wrong 3 times in a row, you have some options to assist them with answering that question. The text that you put in the "Help Text" text field will display to the learner, along to any image you upload to that help image section.
Help text should give the user a way forward for when they are stuck. Sometimes certain steps such as hotspots in order can be very hard to proceed with if you do not know the answer. In this example, giving the user a list of things to click on in order will help them get through this step. Alternatively, you could upload a screenshot of that step, and label the points the learner needs to click and in what order.
Firstly, you can turn off the "correct display" checkbox if you wish to NOT show the big tick when the learner gets the hotspot correct. This would be used in a menu style Hotspot step where the Hotspots aren't right or wrong, just options.
The lower area is where you can change the colors featured within this specific step. These colors can be set using the color picker, or you can input a hexadecimal value to get the precise color you need.
The background color will change the area behind the background image (usually the far left and far right sections if using a widescreen monitor) to whichever color you wish. We recommend keeping this color pretty neural, as to not distract the learner from the more relevant image in the middle of the screen. Another good color to use if applicable, is the color of your background image. This works when you have a solid plain background for your background image, so the sides (background color) of the screen merge seamlessly with the background image.
The instructions font color changes the color of the font featured in the instructions box, whereas the background, to no ones surprise, changes the background color of said box. These two colors should have enough contrast so you can distinguish the text from the background.
The visibility of the step is for when you want to hide the step from the viewer, but not fully delete it. All navigation to and from this step will be disabled while hidden - it is effectively deleted except not permanent.
Lastly, making the instruction box transparent gives you to the option to have part of the background image that was behind the instructions box to show but in a low opacity.
- Draw Square/Circle
Using this option to draw a hotspot will result in a pre-drawn hotspot that will appear on the top left of the screen. This can be useful for when your desired points of interest are a set square/rectangle/circle/oval shape, as it's much easier to use these pre-defined shapes over drawing your own.
Although it's a pre-drawn Hotspots, these shapes can still be manipulated by you. Click and drag it to move it around, and use one of the edge handles to resize the scale or width/height. You can easily delete these by selecting the Hotspot and pressing the"Delete" key on your keyboard.
- Draw Hotspot
For a more customized fit Hotspot, you can draw your own. You can do this by clicking to place dots around the image - creating a polygon shape. Once you have successfully placed your dots, you can hit the "Complete" button that will appear (after placing at least 3 dots), and the Hotspot will form your shape. You can always hit the undo button if you make a mistake and start again, or you can just delete the finished shape by selecting it and pressing the "Delete" key on your keyboard.
Once you select a Hotspot, a small blue button will appear next to it. Click this to access that Hotspots properties.
- Correct Hotspot
Having this checkbox checked means that this Hotspot is a correct answer for this step. You would want this unchecked if you would like to branch away from this Hotspot but it still be a wrong answer. If you aren't branching, having an incorrect Hotspot is the same as having no Hotspot there at all for the end user.
- Navigate from tool/Navigate from Hotspot
Check out our support page on Tools for more information about these two options.
- On select go to
This drop-down will define where the user will jump to once they click this Hotspot. By default it will go to the next step if correct, or stay on the current step if incorrect - but you can change either of these to any step within your sim, or even an external Sim (more on branching and external Sims in our other support pages)
Multiple Correct Hotspots
Multiple Correct Hotspots
By checking this option, you will force your learner to click on all Hotspots you have drawn that are marked as "correct". - much like a multiple quiz step. This feature is great when you want your learners to do multiple things on the same screen e.g. "Click on all the correct equipment for the task ahead"
Multiple Correct Hotspots in Order
Much like normal "multiple correct hotspots", checking this box will do the same thing with the exception of asking for a correct order of the Hotspots to be selected in. Once selected, you will find a new option in the Hotspot properties allowing for you to give that Hotspot an order. This is used for situations where the order of selecting something is just as important as what you select, such as when you are pressing buttons to turn on/set up a machine.
Allow Learner to Undo all
This adds a button for the learners view that allows them to remove any previously selected Hotspots for that step, effectively allowing them to start over. It will also deselect any tool that have selected at the time too.
Remove Submit Button
Removing the submit button will allows users to proceed with the multiple Hotspot step once they have selected all the correct answers. This option can be great as it takes away the extra click for the learner, and helps with immersion.