If you’re planning to develop a special mobile learning app to complement your training strategy, there are a few things you should consider first. Depending on the scope of your training program, the working environment at your office and the preferences of your team, you will be looking at different aspects of creating a mobile training app. Here are a few tips to guide you in designing a great and instructive m-learning app for your corporate training.
Consider how people will use the app
Prospective users of the app will most likely use it just like they use their smartphones – in short bursts of activity. It’s not likely that they’ll spend an hour going through a m-learning course on the phone. They’ll squeeze a few minutes of m-learning between their activities or access a performance support app while on the job. Consider designing your app for microlearning and segment your course.
Mind the file size
In situations where content is delivered with the use of a “bring your own device (BYOD) system,” learners will be using their own mobile devices in m-learning and thus are likely to keep the costs to a minimum. Learners might not always have access to a fast Wi-Fi connection. Consider the size of the course you’re designing and make sure it doesn’t feature media-heavy content. Some devices have limited storage capacity. Your content should be available both online and offline to allow learners to benefit from the app even when they’re not connected.
Focus on visual clarity
When designing the look of your app, you should follow a number of visual design principles to ensure users won’t misinterpret the cues on the screen. Keep your design as uncluttered as possible for clarity. Prioritize content and remove those elements which aren’t essential. Use the logic of visual grouping to foster learner comprehension.
Ensure the security of your mobile app
You might be thinking that smartphones are generally quite secure themselves, but the truth is that your app should have a built-in security system. You need to ensure that it has a password protection or some other sort of encryption and security measures against hacking. All personal information should be encoded and guarded as well.
Aim for low error rate
When it comes to mobile phones, you can expect selection errors to be much higher than on desktops – fingers are clumsy and people can be distracted when using the app on the go. Some people have large hands and find it difficult to push the right button. Designing your app, you should aim to reduce potential tap errors – when user taps something on the screen, the app should evoke a correct action.
Create a web app prototype
If you’re planning to develop a native app (an app which resides on the phone), there are many advantages to prototyping it on the web first. Prototyping apps for the web will grant you a really quick look into its usability, helping you in learning what works and what doesn’t. It’s a good idea to experience your app as well – you can carry it around, accessing it in different situations. Ultimately, you should test it on your target audience and listen carefully to their feedback.
Don’t forget about mobile usability
The vast majority of mobile users will expect impeccable user experience from your app. The app should integrate well with their operating systems and users shouldn’t be forced to learn new navigation systems or unconventional moves. Mobile usability is key when designing an app – to foster learning, you need to provide a positive experience for learners. This way they’ll be able to fully focus on the content instead of trying to make their way in the navigation maze.
Follow these principles and you’ll be sure to design a m-learning app that will help your workforce in their training.