10 Golden Rules to Optimize Your E-learning Content For Mobile Learning

• 5 min read
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The growth in popularity among smartphones and tablets users for everyday activities is undeniable. And in the context of this article, we’re not talking solely about the use of these devices for social media browsing, watching Netflix or ordering paper towel from Amazon – these are all just normal, everyday activities these days.   

Instead, we want to examine the proliferation of mobile-first strategies in the wide world of business, how it’s constantly growing as new applications are uncovered (and its full potential is nowhere near being reached). Indeed, applications for mobile devices nowadays go well beyond sending and receiving emails, but instead mobile has changed the way we interact with all digital content, no matter the medium (written, voice, video). All of these interactions are learning opportunities, so it’s  no wonder that best-in-class learning organizations are taking deeper looks at how to maximize (and deliver) mobile’s potential within their learning technology solutions.

Technical Considerations

There is a number of complex elements to consider when trying to understand the content experience between desktop and mobile environments. Indeed, mobile phones have much smaller screens than desktop computers, but in many ways, mobile phones produce a superior user experience thanks to their ability to deliver  different interaction modes (i.e. touch screen and haptics vs. mouse and keyboard). Plus, different operating system (iOS and Android vs. Windows and iOS) and web browser experiences make producing similar experiences difficult in many ways, requiring careful considerations related to the necessary re-training of personnel, both in terms of the content creators, users and the natural resistance to change.

Mobile Training: The Rules Change

There is also something that goes far beyond technical problems, and it’s the content aspect. The relationship we have with our smartphones is rooted in the countless everyday interactions we have our devices (how it feels in our hands, the way we can customize certain settings to our exact liking), but these interactions happen in short bursts. In fact, the average person looks at their phone more than 80 times a day, according to a report by Asurion. That’s 5 times an hour, or every 12 minutes.

In order to make any product mobile-ready, it’s necessary to consider micro-use applications that can be completed with a few “taps” to mimic the behaviours we’re used to completing with our phones.

Consider mobile-based game developers, who break their video games into easily digestible “levels” that can be completed quickly. Or the fact that fewer people are going to the movies to sit through what just a few years ago would have been considered a Hollywood blockbuster because they don’t want to sit in a theater for 2+ hours, and are instead turning to streaming platforms such as Netflix for shorter episodes of their favorite TV shows and series’. And consider the YouTube culture, which has democratized video content creation by enabling anyone and everyone to make short videos with their smartphones. In fact, there are a few lucky creators who are making full-time careers out of the practice, equipped with simply a mobile phone and a good story.

How do we optimize content for mobile devices?

Almost all types of eLearning content you develop can be viewed on mobile devices. To create a strong user experience you need to make sure that the content is ready and optimized for this possibility.

Here are ten golden rules and considerations that will allow you to offer your users a superb experience on their smartphones:

1. Compatibility: All videos on your webpages, SCORM and TinCans should be optimized for mobile devices. smartphones. Just because they are reproduced correctly by your computer’s browser does not guarantee that they will work properly on mobile devices.

2. Ease of Use – Instead of forcing people to click on multiple pages, which can be difficult on mobile devices, make content scrollable so they don’t have to leave a page to interact with as much content and as many options as possible.

3. Impact: Use high quality images and edit them carefully to maximize detail with special consideration given to sizing specifications, even when they shrink to fit the smaller screen.

4. User Experience:All button on the screen should be easy for mobile users to use. Paradoxically, it often happens that users with big fingers have trouble handling smaller devices. For reasons like this, it’s a good idea to try to reduce the number of clicks necessary to complete an action: focus on one action at a time, removing unnecessary screens changes or clicks. Take a cost-per-click approach from your average digital marketer:ach click costs you money!

5. Attention to the device: Choose interactions carefully – not all the actions you do naturally on a PC are as simple on a smartphone For example drag-and-drop  operations can quickly become a nightmare on a smaller touch screen.

6. Responsibility: Use a responsive template for everything, including emails. This will guarantee you provide the best possible viewing experience on both desktop and mobile devices.

7. Shortness of content: Do not use long paragraphs. Remember that people who use mobile devices are often on the go, so they may be disoriented by long paragraphs. Another good idea is to often intersperse text and images.

8. Engagement: “Bite-size” content is the best solution: analyze how long users will most likely be on the phone. Data based on the analysis of millions of study sessions show that the average duration of the session on mobile phones is 10 minutes. And paradoxically, a user is more inclined to complete a course divided into 20 pills of 2 minutes each rather than a monolithic lesson of 30 minutes. A great approach is to present a concept in individualized pills.

9. Content indexing: Simplify the way content is formatted so that the most valuable information is easiest to find.Use clear headings, bulleted lists points and images and icons to attract attention.

10. Summary: One last piece of advice that you should keep in mind when preparing any type of mobile learning content: “Less is more”. Keep your content clean, easy to read and easy to navigate within a mobile environment. The success of your content is only as strong as your audience’s willingness to interact with it – their experience must be top notch if you’re going to get them to keep coming back for more.

Optimizing learning content doesn’t need to be complicated. Take these simple strategies and put them to use – you’ll discover quickly that once your courses are optimized for mobile, your users will not only appreciate that you’ve made an effort to support their learning and development activities in a new mobile environment, but engagement will also go up and learners will be happier because their experience is more enjoyable. The only thing you’ll need to keep doing is to continue creating great content!

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