Create an Internet Explorer Browser Warning for eLearning

Internet explorer browser warning for eLearning tutorial cover photo

Internet Explorer is an outdated browser, and if people use it to access eLearning courses, they’re probably going to run into functionality issues. Even Microsoft recommends staying away from Internet Explorer for modern web tasks!

That’s why, in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to provide a browser warning to any users accessing the course from Internet Explorer.

We will use Articulate Storyline for the purposes of this tutorial, but as long as you know how to create a variable, execute JavaScript, and conditionally display screens in your authoring tool of choice, then you can follow along with minor adjustments.

Design the Browser Warning 

First, let’s create the browser warning itself. Our goal is to show the users the browser warning immediately upon opening the course if they access it from Internet Explorer.

Because of this, we’ll use Articulate Storyline to create a layer on the first slide of the course. Title this layer “IE,” then open the layer settings and select the box next to “Hide objects on base layer.” 

Hide objects on base layer storyline screenshot

Once this is complete, add all of the images and graphics that comprise the browser warning. 

Browser warning with browser icons and instructions text

If you want to give users the option to continue with Internet Explorer anyway, then you can add a button that hides the layer (or, if you’re using a different authoring tool, returns to the default title slide).

Hide this layer when user clicks textbox Storyline trigger

And voila! Once the browser warning is designed to your standards with an optional “Continue Anyway” button, we’re ready to continue.

Check for Internet Explorer

Now that our layer is ready, we need to add programming to show the layer when the user accesses the course using Internet Explorer.

First, let’s open the variable manager and create a new True / False variable called “usingInternetExplorer” (capitalization is important here, so take note of exactly how you capitalize your variable). Set the default value to False.

Create usingInternetExplorer Storyline variable

With this variable in place, we only have two steps remaining:

  1. Set the variable to True when the user accesses the course from Internet Explorer.
  2. Show the “IE” layer when the “usingInternetExplorer” variable changes to True.

We can accomplish this by adding triggers on the base layer. Let’s take a closer look.

Create the Execute JavaScript Trigger

On the base layer, let’s add an Execute JavaScript trigger.

Execute JavaScript when timeline starts trigger

Here’s the code that we’ll add to the Execute Javascript trigger (feel free to copy and paste):

{% c-block language="js" %}
if (window.document.documentMode) {
  const player = GetPlayer(); /* If you’re not using Storyline, remove or change this as needed to change variable values in your authoring tool of choice. */
  player.SetVar("usingInternetExplorer", true) /* Change usingInternetExplorer to the name of your Storyline variable. It’s case sensitive! */
}
{% c-block-end %}

If you have been following this tutorial precisely, then you will not need to change any of the code above. However, if you named your Storyline variable something different or you’re using a different authoring tool, then you should use the comments in the code above to guide your necessary changes.

Essentially, this code checks if window.document.documentMode exists (which only exists in Internet Explorer), and if it does exist, then it sets the usingInternetExplorer Storyline variable to true.

Show the Internet Explorer Layer

Now that our variable changes to true when the user accesses the course from Internet Explorer, we just need to set up a trigger that shows the IE layer when the usingInternetExplorer variable changes.

Show layer IE when usingInternetExplorer variable changes trigger

And there we have it! With these triggers in place, your course will now function as desired. When the user opens the course from Internet Explorer, they will see the browser warning that directs them to a modern browser. If they access the course from a modern browser, then the warning will never appear.

Conclusion

By following the steps in this tutorial, you can provide an additional safeguard against Internet Explorer’s shortcomings. 

It’s better to direct your users to a different browser early in the experience so that they do not lose progress upon facing an Internet Explorer functionality bottleneck.

If you have any questions or need a hand, feel free to join my free eLearning Slack channel.

Featured Tutorials

View all tutorials