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The content of a mobile learning project is critical to its eventual success. While technology and the mobile platforms that will be conveying the information are important, the real market driver is the content you use. Content should be chosen with care and directed toward your intended audience. Additionally, it should fit a purpose and work to deliver a return on investment (ROI) by capturing your audience's attention, improving productivity, and increasing information retention. There are numerous things you can do at the start-up of your project that will help you reach these goals, including planning for various challenges that may come up (such as a disconnected user) and fully understanding your targeted audience.
Once you have determined your audience and have a clear understanding of your end goals, you can then work on developing the actual content. The success of your project depends on the strength of your content, and if you make use of the tips listed below, you’ll be able to amplify the effectiveness of your content presentation.
Content needs to capture, and keep, users’ attention. Long paragraphs or segments that drag on for several minutes are not ideal, as users may quickly become distracted. Dividing content into two-minute segments, sticking to smaller chunks of context, and using bullet points whenever appropriate are all great ways to get the message across without losing your users midway through.
Regardless of the size of screen, content presented in animated form is a win-win scenario. Animation brings a more playful, interactive style to your content, rather than boring information delivered in a presentational manner. Using animation will also keep your users engaged and may help improve content retention.
Mobile learning projects often benefit from the use of a conversational tone instead of a more professional, lecturing voice. As a phone or tablet is a user's personal space, the voice or text of the content should reflect and respect that. Staying away from automated voice messages and working toward more personalization is essential to keeping users interested and willing to stick with it.
Think about using learning methods that are most appropriate for mobile devices. This may include using smartphones or tablets to capture and share images, audio clips, or images across various platforms.
The user is your key to success or failure, so always keeping them in mind as you develop your content is the best way to ensure your project produces the results you’re looking for. It can be easy to get caught up in the devices that will be relaying the information, but developing a great mobile learning project for a specific audience is key.
A great way to engage users without overwhelming them is to keep the design of your mobile learning module simple and to make sure the content is fit-for-purpose. While an extravagant design and complex content may be appealing, they may cause users to lose attention and jump ship. Remember, content should be presented in a style that is easy to consume and engaging.
Creating content that is accessible, engaging, and directed at the user will help keep users involved and also increase your ROI. Users don't want to be met with a jumble of words that they most scroll through at length; they are looking for something short and sweet, but interesting. Keep in mind the fact that your audience will be using a smartphone or tablet to view the content, which means a smaller screen and less space to cram everything in. Make your content as effective as possible, but don’t forget to have a little fun with it too.