There are several apps available to help you create mobile stories, including Adobe Captivate, LodeStar, and Aris. Each of these software options can be used to create stories that can detect your audience member’s location using GPS on their smartphone or tablet, and then send them different story content, based on their location.
One of the easiest mobile story-making tools to learn is the Aris Editor. It is free and online, so there’s no software to download or install. The app that is used to view the stories is also free. It was built for use in educaiton, so it’s also ad-free. You can use the Aris Editor and the tutorials on this site to create mobile stories on your own. When your story is ready, the Aris app helps viewers find your story and experience it. Aris stories can only be viewed on a smartphone or tablet running Apple iOS.
What can I do with the Aris Editor?
The Aris Editor is a very flexible tool. You have many options. The screenshots show some the possibilities. Scroll below to get insprired and start imagining your mobile story.
When you’re ready, take a look at the tutorials I’ve created for you. They’ll walk you through all the steps to creating your first mobile story.
Creating your First Mobile Story in Aris Editor
Your most basic set of options is how to move your viewer along in your story to the next bit of content. The main method you’ll use is a clickable “Continue” button at the bottom of the screen. In addition, you can use any of the three basic options below.
- The viewer scans a QR code
- The viewer clicks on different locations on an onscreen map
- The viewer moves to another location (uses GPS)
A further option is to use an image to trigger new content. The new content can replace the image or be added to the image via augmented reality technology.
Basic Screen Options
These examples show just some of the options you’ll have for a basic story!
To start viewers on your story, you might give instructions and show pictures of the items you want them to find or places you want them to go. If you want a linear, non-branching story you might show just one photo of where you want them to go next.
You can set the scene and tell the story with text-only, a still image and text, or text and video.
You can show the thoughts of you main character or the lines the character speaks.
In a role-play story in which the story reader plays a role in the story, like the one below, you would show the thoughts or the lines that the “you” character speaks.
You can have video in your story, like this. When done watching, the viewer clicks Continue to see the rest of the story.
If you want to have a branching story, you can give the viewer options that bring them on different storylines, as in this historical fiction story.
Fictional story sample:
You can create a mobile story that’s linear or non-linear. You can tell a tale about characters or have the player role-play one of the characters.
In the fictional sample below, notice some variations for telling the story:
- Have the story be about characters, with the reader not involved.
- Use the reader as the “you” character (in the second person) who influences or witnesses the story
- Make sure the viewer’s movement to a new location is worthwhile, by making the location crucial to the story, or by bringing your viewers to a spectacular view or landmark
- Have a straightforward, linear story or offer the reader branching options
Click any thumbnail to view the story excerpt as a slideshow.
How will your readers see new content?
For any type of story, besides revealing content with a Continue button, you have three basic alternatives to show new content:
- Use the device’s GPS to open access to your story, then have them sit (on a park bench?) and read the whole story.
- Use the device’s GPS to start the story and also to reveal new screens when the reader moves into the different locations you set (like a walking tour).
- Have readers click on different icons on a map to see different story screens. These stories can be viewed from one place.
- Have readers scan QR codes to view new content. You can post them online, print them in a handout, or mmount QR codes in different locations you want the reader to see.