Mobile Learning: Top Design Strategies

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We can safely say that homo sapiens has become homo studiosus – a learning person. Self-education is a challenge of our times. The future is for those who are constantly improving their knowledge and skills. Therefore, there are lots of online courses, educational programs and mobile learning solutions today and they are in demand.

The market size of mobile education is projected to surpass 37.8 billion US dollars. Students have a wide choice of what mlearning app to use. Competition for clients among mobile learning courses is fierce. So how to make people choose your courses?

Since the training course is created for the sake of the client, and not for the sake of the course itself, when developing courses for mobile learning it is necessary to take into account how comfortable all design elements are. Below we present the advice of app design specialists, that not only increases the level of user involvement in the learning process but also in using the mobile learning app itself.

Good design captivates

The specificity of the m-learning application design is the need to accommodate extensive educational material in a limited space of a mobile screen. The task of mobile learning design is to keep the student’s attention and help him master the material. Therefore, the right details of the design and micro interaction in the application help to make it successful. Let’s learn more about such mobile learning design strategy that will make your app fantastic and help you win the competition.

Make text legible

he screen size of a mobile phone is smaller than the page size of the textbook. The designer of the mlearning application faces the challenge of fitting the amount of text that could be contained on the page in the textbook onto a small screen of a mobile device, i.e. it is necessary to adapt the information from the printed format in the textbook to the usual for perception on a mobile device. Be kind to the user and leave enough line spacing, make the font bigger or allow him to adjust the font size by himself, do not force the user to strain his eyes. Also, remember the contrast, because it is almost impossible to read purple text on a red background for a long time. There are still people with color blindness for whom this task is in principle not feasible.

Help concentrate

The size of the mobile screen requires rational use and forces you to select only the most important information. The screen space is too valuable to use unnecessary banners and icons. Do not distract students from the material with extra buttons and navigation bars.

Use microlearning

The peculiarity of mobile courses is that they can be used at any time convenient for the user, which means that students can use your application in the breaks between some tasks. If a standard lesson lasts 30+ minutes in the classroom, then in the case of a mobile elearning there is no such time frame – the student can open the application whenever it is convenient and as long as possible. That is if a student opens a lesson in an application, for example, on the way to work, he will not continue his journey in order to finish the lesson but will interrupt it leaving at his stop. It means that the task of the mobile learning app design becomes the breakdown of a full lesson into self-sufficient blocks of educational material of small volumes.

Simplify interaction

Technology allows us to manage information with the help of hands, and therefore get rid of extra buttons in the interface. We are all already familiar with basic gestures such as tap, swipe, press and drop, pinch and spread. And the use of unfamiliar additional gestures makes us indignant, and if the interface seems too complicated for us, we delete the application without regret and go to the play store to look for another.

As the students interact while learning with the mobile screen of the application (tapping images and thumbing through the pages), mobile learning app development has the task to implement intuitive gestures that the user understands. Otherwise, if you use non-standard gestures you will have to train the students.

Lead through games to efficiency

Among a lot of people, training through games is still associated with elementary school. However, the power of gamification is already widely used in higher education institutions, in training in the workplace and online courses, since the phenomenon of gamification is that, as entertainment, it contributes to the rapid absorption of the material. In the context of a mobile learning application, we consider the game as a practical skill training that increases involvement in the learning process as well as using the app.

Testing is mandatory

Some application interfaces are easy, while others only put a spoke in a wheel when you are trying to reach the goal. The design of a mobile application is more likely not about how everything looks, but how everything works. Especially, this is true when we talk about design of mlearning app where the task of the interface is to train that perception and understanding of what is happening by the user. You may think that everything in the application is clear and understandable, but it can only be clear and understandable to you, because you know the idea and have been working with it for a long time, and the reaction of the user who has seen it for the first time may disappoint you. Your expectations of what you thought the user should like and what they really like are two different things. Therefore, test design on users at early stages of development, use prototypes in any form, from simple pictures to small interactive prototypes.

To sum up

The introduction of new technologies in the educational process affects the quality of teaching and the acquisition of knowledge. Mobile learning is a necessity and the competition among mlearning apps is high. The first impression of a person from the design of your mobile learning application influences whether he will become a student or go look for another app further. That’s why when you start to create a mobile learning app the particular focus should fall on design.

Olga Veretskaya

Olga Veretskaya is a blogger and writer from Anadea – software development company. Olga writes articles on the topics related to digital technology for business.