Important Factors For Designing Mobile-Friendly Responsive Solutions
IntroductionWhen creating Mobile-Friendly learning solutions or solutions that work seamlessly on mobile devices, certain factors need to be considered. In this blog, I will share few ideas based on our experience on what has worked well in creating responsive solutions.
Overview – Intrinsic Advantages of Mobile Learning
Before we delve into the responsive solution, let’s recall the key benefits of mobile learning.In our previous blog on mobile learning from our stable “6 Key Benefits Of Mobile Learning“, we looked at the following key benefits.Mobile learning helps learners to:
Learn anywhere, anytime and on any device leading to better course completion rates
Receive bite-sized delivery leading to faster learning
Improve retention of their knowledge and allows for information recall
Receive personalized learning, leading to a higher rate of engagement
Access content easily, or rather ease of availability
Access responsive designs, leading to easy adoption and future proofing the content
The Motivation – Employees feel motivated to learn new topics if they know that they can take the learning materials anywhere and on a mobile device of their choice; especially, when they know that they do not have time to learn during their office hours.The Content – Mobile devices allow for a variety of media to be launched such as video, audio, images and short games. So, the type of content used is not a restriction in a mobile format.The key aspect of mobile delivery is the power of responsive design that is built using a variety of frameworks/tools. This allows for creating varied types of templates and designs. Let’s briefly look at responsive design next.
The Responsive Design
Responsive designs are compatible with all mobile devices. Organizations need not worry about specific devices and browsers to convey the learning needs to their employees. As the employees can access learning modules on any mobile device, organizations save substantial costs in implementing their learning needs.
Creating Unique Designs for Responsive Solution: Key Factors to Consider
Some of the important points that need to be considered when designing for mobile devices are:
Mobile-Friendly Designs: All eLearning content that we create does not fit in small screens. To achieve that, we had to design layouts that suit various mobile devices and browsers. Learners should get the same experience regardless of the device they use. Thus, while designing the courses, we ensure the design is sleek, carry the right amount of text and visuals and is easy on the eyes for the learners. In other words, the design needs to be light and yet at the same time appealing and engaging. The objective is not to use bland templates, just because we are conveying information in a mobile format.
Content presentation: For a good responsive mobile learning, it’s important to present the content on a need-to-know basis and restrict it to a single screen will ease loading and will help navigation.
Simple Navigation: Ensuring that the eLearning course is easy to navigate and understand would take the solution a long way. Navigating within the course should be simple and effective. Since mobile devices are touch responsive, the defined clickable areas should be large enough for an adult’s finger touch. We use contextual buttons such as Continue or Proceed to keep the navigation simple.
Assets Selection: Images and icons may occupy more memory space. Identifying the correct fonts and minimizing supporting images and icons would really help in defining a great responsive design.
Having seen the factors, let’s look at a couple of case studies where we used unique designs for mobile friendly layout.
Case Study 1: Nutrition Course with Varied Interactivities
The Objective: Customer wanted an exciting course that would act as a refresher on an existing course on Basics of Nutrition. The course must work on mobile devices with ease.The Solution: We developed a course which had unique design for the various innovative activities. The activities had to work well in the mobile device. Hence, we created designs that could not only convey the message but help learner perform the activities with ease.
Case Study 2: Fully Responsive Course on Active Listening
The Objective: The customer wanted a course to help train their sales force on the importance of active listening as part of the soft skills training.The Solution: We designed a Mobile-Friendly course that was fully responsive and had interesting interactivities and scenarios. The designs were unique and conveyed the right amount of information on each slide of the course.The designs were created in such a way that the experience on a laptop and a smartphone are similar.
To conclude, mobile friendly responsive designs are now a regular part of any visual design strategy that seeks to help learners achieve their learning goals irrespective of the devices they use. Gone are the days when the designs were first created for desktop view and later adapted for mobile devices. The focus now is to create Mobile-Friendly designs that help create the right experience and engagement for the learner.