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Create an interactive product guide with animation in Adobe InDesign

Updated: May 11, 2021

In this tutorial, learn how to design an interactive product guide with animation for a fictional fitness smartwatch company called Nordic Fitness. Topics covered in this lesson include: setting up the document, creating guides, layout and design of three pages as well as setting up navigation and interactivity.

This will be created on an iPad Pro size document with the intent of publishing online. However, you can choose the size of your choice and even export for EPub (Fixed Layout) to achieve same results.

For this lesson, we'll be creating a colour toggle menu on the smartwatch product, using Object States as well as Buttons and Forms.

Both of those panels can be found under Window > Interactive.

Colour Menu Toggle Setup

  1. In this example, I am using two vector versions of a smartwatch – one is white and the other is a dark blue. Open them in Illustrator, copy and paste them into your InDesign document.

  2. It's important that they are the same size when pasting into InDesign. You will need to stack them on one another before setting up the Multi-State Object.

  3. Re-order the images the way you want them to appear, or how you plan to set up your colour menu toggle. For this case, I have the White watch in front, Blue as the second object.

  4. Open the Object States panel under Window > Interactive > Object States.

  5. With both smartwatch vector images selected, click on the Create Selection into Multi-State Object icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the Object States panel.

  6. Rename the Multi-State Object to Smartwatches, which will help you when setting up the colour toggle later on.

  7. Rename the States or drag them into the order you would like as well.

  8. With the Ellipse Frame Tool (Or any shape tool you like) draw out a circle on the page and make the Fill white to represent the watch.

  9. Hold the Alt (Mac) or Option (Windows) key and drag out another copy of the circle. Change the fill to represent the colour of Watch No. 2 – in this case, dark blue.

  10. Next, open the Buttons and Forms Panel, which can be found under Window > Interactive > Buttons and Forms.

  11. With the Selection Tool, click on the white circle and in the Buttons and Forms panel, set the Type to Button.

  12. Rename the Button to White (or whatever colour you have set).

  13. Leave the Event as On Release or Tap.

  14. Set the Action to Go To State and in the Object dropdown, select Smartwatches.

  15. Select State 1.

  16. Click the second colour circle and repeat Steps 11-15, but rename the button to Blue and select State 2 from the State dropdown.

Great work! You just set up a colour menu toggle using Object States and Buttons and Forms. To test it out, click on the EPub Preview icon in the bottom left corner of any of the interactive panels. This is a great way of seeing if the functionality of your handiwork is on point!

OK, let's move on and set up the navigation using chevron arrows and a number system for the three pages in this document.

For this, you will need an arrow icon of your choice. I used this one from Fontawesome. Save the SVG version of the icon for better quality when placing in your InDesign document.

Adding Navigation Buttons

  1. Place the arrow icon on the page facing the right direction, which will become the Next button.

  2. Make a copy of the arrow and rotate so it faces the left direction, which will become the Previous button.

  3. Align the vertical centres using the Align options in the Control or Properties panels.

  4. Leave space between each icon for the page number. For this lesson, I went with the style 1 / 3, 2 / 3 and 3 / 3 for the three pages in the product guide.

  5. Copy both icons and the page number from the first page and use the Edit > Paste in Place technique on the other two pages. Be sure to change the page numbers to 2 / 3 and 3 / 3, respectively.

  6. Back on Page 1, click on the right arrow and in the Buttons and Forms panel, select Button from the Type dropdown.

  7. Rename the button to Next 1.

  8. In the Actions option, choose Go To Next Page.

  9. Click on the left arrow and in the Buttons and Forms panel, select Button from the Type dropdown.

  10. Rename the button to Previous 1.

  11. In the Actions option, choose Go To Previous Page.

  12. Repeat Steps 7-11 for the icons on Pages 2 and 3, renaming the Next and Previous buttons accordingly.

Watch the video tutorial for a visual of how I set up the buttons as well as other animation in the interactive product guide.

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1 Comment

Hey Angelo. Your tutorials are so great, so helpful, thank you. Whilst Books is my preferred ePub reader, not all my clients and their customers have Apple products, what do you recommend for PC/Android users? Thanks Mich

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