From being a desirable approach, mobile learning is fast becoming a standard for online training. Now, you hear of debate on mobile friendly vs. mobile first designs. In this article, I share a case study featuring a mobile first design in eLearning.
Mobile learning has matured over the last 8 years and has seen a steady increase in its adoption by L&D teams worldwide. With its intrinsic strengths of any time, anywhere access to learners, it comes as no surprise that it is now seen as the future of learning.
Besides the flexibility and control mobile learning offers to learners, the following factors are accelerating its adoption:
All these factors are accelerating the adoption of mobile learning for corporate training.
Now, let me address mobile friendly versus mobile first designs in eLearning—What do they mean and when should you use these approaches?
To understand this better, let us look at the evolution of mobile learning. Then, I will share a case study that features a mobile first design in eLearning.
At EI Design, our mobile learning practice was established in 2011. In the absence of established authoring tools then, we had created a custom HTML5 framework. During the last 8 years, we have been part of the evolution and maturing of mobile learning solutions.
Let me summarize the evolution of mobile learning. This backdrop is necessary to understand as it leads us to the mobile first aspect:
With the maturing of authoring tools and supporting technologies to create mobile learning solutions, mobile learning solutions are now available in 2 formats:
At EI Design, we make the distinction based on how content is consumed by learners (that is, on which device).
These are multi-device designs and work seamlessly across desktops/laptops and tablets/smartphones.
While this approach also supports a multi-device approach, the designs here are fully optimized for smartphones.
Now, I share a case study that features a mobile first (fully responsive design) approach. The learning strategy is Scenario-Based Learning (SBL).
As mentioned earlier, this approach was used as we expected nearly 100% of the usage of smartphones.
As a result, we had to design learning experiences that were optimized for smartphones. The cues were taken from the way we interact with smartphones as well as from Apps.
With this approach, we were able to create a high impact mobile first design in eLearning. The designs are visually engaging and interactions are optimized for mobile devices as the users wanted.
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I hope this article helps you in understanding the differences between a mobile friendly versus mobile first approach and aids you in opting the right approach for your mobile learning solutions. If you have any queries, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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