How the Emergence of Mobile and eLearning Affects Your LMS Content

January, 27 2023

59.4% of website traffic is now coming from mobile devices, but how will this changing digital landscape effect your eLearning and LMS choices?

Most website traffic now comes from mobile devices with, according to Oberlo, mobile devices making up 59.4% of visits in 2022. This trend has been consistently increasing since at least 2012 and for simple reasons: mobile devices overall cheaper and more versatile than their desktop counterparts. However, these differences carry repercussions because we must begin designing training programs for mobile interactions.


What Makes Mobile Interactions Different

Superficially, yes, you could make no changes to something designed for desktop and it will most likely still be completely functional, but that’s frustrating and—more importantly—not conducive to learning.

That frustration stems from the fundamental different ways we interact with desktops verses mobile devices. For the most basic example, we use a cursor on desktop which is precise and tiny; whereas, for mobile devices, we use our fingers—shaky, imprecise, and much bigger. This difference is why layouts for mobile devices have larger buttons and limited options.


What Needs to Change about Your LMS

Beyond the broad strokes of fundamental differences, let’s discuss where your learning experience lacking for mobile learners and how you can update your experience for both.


Responsive Interface

The interface design can be the root of these problems, if you’re learning management system (LMS) isn’t reactive to mobile devices, then you should start looking for other options. It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect course for mobile devices, if the shell it’s wrapped up in isn’t conducive to mobile, it will ruin the experience.


Designing Mobile Courses

It isn’t only interfaces that effect the learners’ mobile experiences, courses—and their contents—can be specifically crafted to work on both desktop and mobile.


Use Videos

Videos are becoming increasingly popular with online learning and, whether or not these two are related, they are shown to be more effective than traditional reading courses. Not only this, but videos are a much easier way to deliver eLearning content on mobile devices as videos can easily expanded to fill any screens.


Avoid Walls of Text

Walls of text are the least effective way of delivering eLearning content, especially not when experienced on a phone. Walls of text can flow together or be wrapped so poorly that’ll be extending into a whirling mess. Making it very difficult to follow the flow and the meaning of the words.


Use Large, Simple Pictures

While large, detailed diagrams are great for large displays, but they suffer heavily on mobile displays. Mobile learners will be faced with a labyrinth of colors and text that is too pulled out to be discernible, making the learner need to manually zoom. As you can imagine, this is not conducive to learning from a diagram. As the whole diagram turns into a search to find the content, its flow, and its context.


When designing any digital content to be compatible with mobile devices, make sure to boil down the complexity of the image to make it readable from a much smaller view.



This is very similar to why complex diagrams are a bad idea.


Reading through a PDF on desktop is already every frustrating, but this effect is worsened whenever one must do it on mobile devices. It’s a mixture of the wall of text and the overly complicated picture. A phone screen will typically show a PDF zoomed out to fit to the screen. Resulting with the learner constantly fiddling with their view just to read it. Imagine reading a novel, but with a magnifying glass.


How about Assignments

Assignments don’t need to be changed too much, as they largely fall under the same principles described above. However, there are still one or two things to avoid.


No Large, Typed Assignments

While people using mobile devices can write long, multi-sentence or multi-paragraph assignments, the experience is often so impacted by the mobile format that the quality of work suffers. Things that come naturally to most tech-literate people, like formatting, spelling or grammar checks, and selectively editing, become far more clunky—diminishing both the experience of writing it and reading it.


Most instructors won’t have many assignments that will be directly impacted by a mobile device, but it is still possible to unwittingly create something where its effectiveness is hampered by mobile devices.


Is Mobile the Future of eLearning

Yes, or at least, to the extent that we can look into the future. As of now, the majority of organizations are still delivering their learning content via desktop, but with ideas like microlearning (or the practice of learning a very small amount at a time) taking off, mobile devices might supersede desktop for the learning platform of choice.


The shift of focus to mobile devices isn’t a bad thing or really anything to be feared. Throughout all of history how we get information has changed rapidly. Someday, mobile devices will be replaced by whatever follows.


However, what we know now is that all the trends point to a shift from desktop to mobile devices; therefore, we should start designing training with mobile interactions in mind.


Get stared with CoreAchieve for free.


Photo by John Felise on Unsplash


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