Sometimes Size Matters: Add responsive design into your learning strategy

Modern learners are voicing their preferences on the devices they like to use to access training. Responsive design allows page layouts to be adapted and best viewed based on the screen size of the device being used. Whether using a desktop, tablet, or smart phone, learners can be assured a good experience. As a result, organizations are increasingly turning to responsive design to give them greater control of their learning environment. Responsive design is a great, flexible choice for audiences with diverse learning styles. But, it’s not the only choice. Ask yourself – do you really need to use responsive design on your next e-learning project? It is appropriate for the audience?

Every course should be designed to keep a learner’s attention, support meaningful and memorable learning opportunities, and allow the learner to meet objectives with as little frustration and fuss as possible. Just as web visitors expect mobile-friendly websites that will respond appropriately across phones, tablets and PCs, individuals have absolutely come to expect the same from e-Learning. If responsive design will help you to achieve those goals, it should be a contender for your next project.

There is a big difference between e-learning courses which can be deployed across multiple devices with a “good enough” philosophy, and those courses that are truly designed to look and function at top form across different delivery platforms. Consideration must include designing courses that can scale appropriately. While HTML5 interactions, videos, and scenario-based learning can work seamlessly in responsive design, more traditional approaches with text-heavy pages, rollovers, and pop-up windows aren’t going to cut it.

Also, consider when and how your learners will access their e-learning. We’ve chosen to implement responsive design features on courses aimed to the consumer market. With a diverse audience that may wish to access content across all device types, a flexible solution makes for happy learners. Likewise, when designing for on-the-go learners who may wish to tap into their training on one device type and then return later on another device, responsive design offers the best option.

With tools like Netex, Storyline, Lectora, and more, instructional designers have never had a better variety of tools to choose from to create effective and creative responsive-design courses. What is your preferred tool for building e-learning courses in responsive format? Connect with us on Twitter: @oe_learning.

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