A colleague of mine is running a company that has designed a mobile English language app. The app works on some simple principals of mobile design:
- Use bold graphics that fit the screen
- Make the navigation intuitive
- Build mechanisms to give users immediate feedback
- Lean on multimedia to deliver your training, particularly video
The multimedia component of the app is used to double check your pronunciation via a video/audio recording functionality (a big record button and countdown graphics) using simple sentences and phrases. The app pushes all the right buttons when it comes to designing for mobile platforms. It works on Android and iPhones and doesn’t chew up a huge amount of space when downloaded.
There are some other general guidelines you can follow when designing your learning for mobile applications.
Most people rely on mobiles to give them instant information. That means within seconds, not minutes. If your app is sluggish or not organised properly, you are missing the opportunity to engage your audience and you will lose them. Most everyone has had the experience of using a clunky app that is difficult to navigate on a mobile device and doesn’t respond quickly to touch screens. Simple design is usually good design.
Hand in glove with a responsive mobile app is managing bandwidth, particularly when streaming video. Short clips hosted on a cloud system in mobile friendly formats is the way to go. If you are overloading your system, videos will freeze mid-stream and you will lose your momentum.
Keep your learners or customers engaged through the use of surveys or prompt them with questions about their experience. A very well known news company has a funny and engaging 7-day quiz to test if you were paying attention to the more obscure stories they publish on their website. Your answers are graded on a funny scale. It’s engaging and actually has the benefit of making you think you should really pay closer attention to the news and feature stories on offer.
Infographics are a very good way to engage your learners with interactive information that requires users to drive a slide bar or touch screen to scroll through information.
You never want to leave your learners wondering why they bothered to launch your app.
If you’d like more information on how to engage your audience with mobile design, contact My Learning Space. We’d be happy to sit down with you and spec out your project.