Mobile device usage is on the rise. In the U.S., people now spend more time on their mobile devices than they do on their desktops. Smartphones and tablets are the go-to source for information and that trend is growing. Now more than ever, mobile learning has become a critical consideration in the design and development of learning solutions. But how do you create a course that’s effective, aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly across multiple devices and platforms? The answer: responsive design.
Responsive design allows you to create one eLearning solution that will automatically respond to any device or browser, maintaining a streamlined aesthetic and high quality user experience for your audience. With responsive design, everyone can benefit from your eLearning platform regardless of which device or browser they choose to use.
Here are five tips for improving responsive design in mobile eLearning:
1.) Begin with the end in mind.
Some course layouts just won’t translate effectively into the smaller screens of mobile devices. When designing your course, it’s best to choose a layout that will work across all browsers, platforms and devices (Firefox, Apple, Android, etc.) right from the beginning. The simpler your platform is, and the less clutter that needs to be translated, the better. Design it with mobile in mind first.
2.) Reduce loading times.
Nothing disengages quite like a failure to load, or lengthy load times in general. Regardless of what device or platform a learner is using, extended loading times can crush effectiveness. Compressing content will help reduce these load times. As will keeping the content simple and condensed and the visuals neat and minimal. Consider using zip files to deliver large amounts of material as well.
3.) Embrace essentialism.
When designing learning solutions, there’s an inclination to want to add more information. It’s often felt that more information and detail helps the learner comprehend. However, when using mobile devices and implementing responsive design, less is actually better. Razor sharp focus on learning goals and objectives will help you hone in on only the pertinent information that must be included. Removing extraneous content is crucial to effective responsive design. The last thing you want is a learner having to endlessly scroll through content on a smaller device. Keep only the information that is essential to reaching the learning objectives.
4.) Consider navigational flow.
Much like long loading times, confusing navigation can crush an otherwise effective elearning experience. Prioritize navigation so that it is clear and functional across all platforms and devices. Certain navigational elements may look fantastic on one device and fail miserably on another. Navigation has to work across them all. Again, simplicity is key. Clear text buttons are often favorable to images and other clutter.
5.) Test, test, test.
Your LMS will likely have a preview tool allowing you to do so but, you must ensure that your eLearning program has been tested across all likely devices and platforms before publishing. Be sure to check alignment, images, fonts, and navigation. Each aspect should be working well. Bugs are common and adjustments may need to be made.
With learners spending increasing amounts of time on their mobile devices versus their desktops, responsive design is now considered crucial in designing effective eLearning solutions. To ensure your platform has the highest possible ROI, use the tips above to enhance your responsive design and ensure a streamlined and effective learning experience across any platform your learners may use.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to select the platform that’s best for you, or you’re ready to develop a responsive program, we can help! Contact us today.