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Interactive InDesign: An Easy, Bulletproof Application for Creating Sophisticated Interactive Content

30 minutes
Oral Presentation

Surprisingly, many designers and desktop publishers currently working in Adobe InDesign are unaware of the application's simple interface used to create interactive content. This content can be exported to a variety of different formats, including interactive PDFs and SWFs, the latter requiring the installation of Adobe Flash player. While the features of each format support different functionality, such functionality may include rollover buttons, animations, video, and audio in addition to static content. Moreover, this interactive content may be uploaded to a remote hosting site and shared and accessed in much the same way as other web content. However, to get up and running in InDesign requires a matter of hours compared to the much steeper learning curve required to understand the fundamentals of HTML and CSS. Furthermore, because InDesign is an industry standard for professional layout, its graphic design features are second to none yet easy to learn. In short, interactive InDesign is a wonderfully versatile tool not limited to professional designers. Educators and students alike can maximize its many tools to create engaging interactive content that enhances the learning experience. Learning outcomes include:
1.) Understanding the application's interactive workspace.
2.) Understanding the different export options and end uses of content created in the application.
3.) Understanding how to share the interactive, exported content on the web

Topic Area(s): Content Authoring Tools; Digital Learning Resources; Quality Design in Teaching


Frances Trice is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel at the University of Minnesota. She also is an adjunct associate professor in marketing at St. Mary's University of Minnesota. Her teaching interests include design foundations and interactive design. She has a PhD from the University of Minnesota.