Things to Consider When Designing for the Mobile Learner

Designing Digitally


Things To Consider When Designing For The Mobile Learner

Around 1.2 billion people surf the Internet on their mobile devices. It is just a matter of time when your mobile device will be the primary mode of staying connected. So, if you are thinking of training options for the modern workforce, you have to think mobile. The millennial workers are not interested in being tied down to a physical location for training. They prefer training on-the-go.

Mobile learning solutions are the way forward. If you want to capture the imagination of your tech-savvy employees, you need to adapt to the way they communicate. But, designing and developing for mobile training has its own set of challenges. There is no standard device. Each one has its own shape, size, and resolution. Here are some factors you need to keep in mind while designing your mobile training strategy.

#1: The screen varies in size.

There is no standard screen size for a mobile device. But, we can all agree to the fact that they are much smaller than regular laptops and desktops. So, the content needs to be designed keeping readability in mind. For example, you should limit the amount of text. Learners have difficulty reading realms of text on a small screen. Make sure you use a reasonably large font size and avoid fancy fonts. If the fonts are too small, they put off the learner. If they are too big, then it causes undesirable breaks in the sentence. A font in either extreme can destroy the user experience.

#2: Mobile learners use their fingers for navigation.

Learners who access eLearning from a desktop or laptop computer use the mouse or trackpad to navigate, but mobile learners use their fingers. That means mobile users are frequently blocking part of the screen with their hand or fingers. Also, some learners prefer their right hand and some prefer using their left hand. This further complicates the matter. However, there are workarounds to these challenges. For example, you should place the critical pieces of text on the part of the screen that has no chance of getting blocked with fingers. Keep some white space around the edge of the screen to ensure that the scrolling is easy. Design the buttons larger so they are easy to tap.

#3: Design bite-sized modules

Learners do not have long attention spans, and mobile learners tend to be even worse! So, quit pushing 30-minute learning modules via their mobile devices. Aim for small chunks at a time and short learning sessions. Design three to five-minute videos or modules concentrating on a particular topic. Put in a few assessment questions, and you are done. The longer your module is, the sooner you will lose the learner.

#4: Think out the assessment strategy.

Designing assessments for mobile learning can be tricky. For one, you need to keep it short without compromising on the quality. Even if you achieve that, how are you going to make them ‘cheating proof’? There is no way to ensure that your employees have not sought out external help to solve the questions. So, be careful about treating completion as an evidence of how much they have understood. One way is to allow your employees to use their mobile devices to learn, but encourage them to take the assessment in a supervised setting.

#5: Don’t make sound compulsory.

Video and audio do make learning interesting. In fact, learners prefer them over drab text and images. But, you need to keep in mind that your mobile learners prefer learning on-the-go. They may be accessing the video or audio podcast in a crowded place and may not have headphones with them. For them, the content should be relevant even without the sound. For example, you may consider adding subtitles or providing a transcript separately. Some videos may need sound to be compulsory. In those instances, you may want to mention it upfront and let the learner decide if they would rather wait to watch it at a later time, when they have access to speakers or headphones.

#6: Use spaced repetition.

Using spaced repetition technique in mobile learning is extremely effective when compared to linear exposure. You must design the content in a way that your learners need to systematically recall the concepts that were taught in the previous topics. This way, you are not overloading your learner with new information before they understood the previous concepts. This technique can enhance retention capacity to a great extent.

Designing Digitally, Inc. creates mobile projects suited to each client’s needs. We will help you determine which mobile solution is best for your application. It may be a website with training content that can be accessed in a web browser, a series of brief eLearning development courses to open through your LMS, or a custom Android or iOS app.

Get in touch with our experts today.