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Viewing learning modules on a tablet has a different user experience than viewing it on a smartphone or a laptop. Each device has its own size and resolution. A well-designed mobile learning solution will need to factor in these requirements in order to develop content that will keep learners engaged and motivated. Learning designers who can devise mobile learning and content that can be utilized across platforms create the best return on investment for organizations.
There are six design tips that will provide an engaging mobile user experience to the learners.
Developers need to know all of the potential devices that will be used for the learning. They need to know upfront if there will be any limitations. Ideally, the design should keep the smallest device in mind and design around it. Choose layouts that are suitable to mobile devices. As employees may access the learning on various devices, it is necessary to provide simple, clutter-free layouts to ensure that they enjoy the same user experience on all devices.
Avoid using long, winding paragraphs, and replace them with bulleted text and audio, wherever possible. Consider the environment when choosing audio. The audio option may not be suitable if your learner is in a noisy environment, like a factory floor. Using images and icons, instead of text, works better, but stay away from complex graphics. Avoid using background images, as it distracts the learners and clutters the screen.
Whatever mobile device employees may use, they will not want to wait through lengthy loading time. Keep in mind that all employees do not have the same connectivity, and they might not want to use up their bandwidth accessing learning. Content must be compressed to reduce load time. Consider zipping the final file. It reduces the byte size and saves learner bandwidth. Eliminate unnecessary whitespace, heavy graphics, and lengthy videos.
Forcing learners to scroll down forever is not a good idea for mobile devices or otherwise. Learners will struggle to stay engaged and may lose motivation. Break down the content into multiple screens instead of trying to fill all content into one page. Include relevant information on the page, and move out the ‘nice to know’ stuff somewhere else. In case scrolls cannot be avoided, redesign for vertical scrolls.
A responsive design should have the simplest possible navigation. Keep the navigation icons small. Make the links visible. Stay away from using clickable images. The navigational flow should be suitable for all devices. Do not confuse the learner with too many options.
Before launching the course, preview it on all available platforms. Some Learning Management Systems have previewing tools that are inbuilt. The layout can be tested on different screen sizes. If anything appears out of place, the page may need to be redesigned. Expect some adjusting until the final product is fine-tuned. The beta testing phase is worth it to avoid launching a new training and then receiving unsatisfactory feedback.
At Designing Digitally, we create modules intended for quick reference in the field, tablet and phone-friendly versions of our eLearning courses, and custom apps for Android and iOS.
Get in touch and give your employees the ease of accessing learning when and where they need it.