The Top 3 Mistakes People Make When Building Mobile eLearning

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Too often when we talk about mobile eLearning, we talk about portrait vs landscape, or designing for “mobile first.”

Focussing on the user interface before considering the user experience is one of the main driver of mobile eLearning mistakes.

Here are 3 of the most common mistakes people make — and how you can avoid them in your own mobile training.

Mistake #1: Assuming People Use Mobile The Same as Desktop

One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking eLearning mobile is forgetting the context of how users interact with their smartphones.

Smartphone usage is episodic; users won’t give content the same attention as they would on a desktop.

Mobile device screens are smaller and there are more distractions — like push notifications, texts, and phone calls. You have to battle for their attention with a youtube app that’s two icons away.

And that means you need to make it fun to engage with your training — especially if it’s not mandatory.

Mistake #2: Delivering the Wrong Type of Training

Because smartphone screens are significantly smaller than desktop, certain types of training aren’t well suited for mobile eLearning. Simulating complex tasks on mobile phones is extremely difficult.

Imagine trying to do a programing test on your phone. It’s not going to be a great experience.

Anything that requires a lot of typing or scrolling to complete is best left for desktop. For example, PDF style content doesn’t work well on mobile. Even if you put it on a responsive webpage, no one wants to read that much on their phone.

Instead, content should be broken up into bite-sized chunks that are easy to consume. You can also use strategies like game-based training to capture users’ attention and keep them engaged.

Mistake #3: Pushing Content at Employees

Because mobile can be a battle for attention, you need to build in measures to keep employees engaged, once you’ve got their attention.

Pushing content at mobile learners will drive them away. If you want users to continue to engage with your training, you need to build in exploration elements.

Create courses that unlock after users reach certain levels and award badges for users that complete multiple courses. Don’t force learners to take courses. Put them in control and give them a reason to keep engaging.

The Bottom Line

It doesn’t matter whether your training looks great on mobile, if it isn’t great to use. You need to design mobile eLearning with an understanding of how people use their phones.

Keep content short and organize it in bite-sized chunks. Don’t force people to keep playing; let them explore on their own time. And make it fun to engage with, using strategies like game-based training.