It’s A Post PC World
“When we’re talking about the post-PC world, we’re talking about a world where the PC is no longer the center of your digital world, but rather just the device. We’re talking about a world where your new device, the devices you use the most, need to be more portable, more personal, and dramatically easier to use than any PC has ever been.” - Tim Cook, Apple CEO
According to IT consulting firm IDC, 2011 saw “shipments” of nearly 1 billion “smart connected devices.” By 2016 the number will grow to just under 2 billion.
Tata Interactive Systems has been at the forefront of the mobile revolution and is currently engaged in creating cutting edge mobile learning solutions for delivery on tablets & smartphones for clients across the world. Our engagements in various countries with clients cutting across business sectors provide us with invaluable experience and unique insights in the development of mobile learning.
What’s Stopping You From Adopting Mobile Learning?
Most companies are still hesitant to adopt mobile learning for the sheer reason that they are not sure if mobile learning is here to stay or not. In my opinion we need to only look at the explosive sales of smart phones and tablets as compared to sales of PC's. It is clearly not a question of whether to adopt mobile learning but when.
Challenge #1: Technological Challenges
Up until last year flash was being used predominantly for mobile learning, on PC's and certain smartphones. HTML5 has now emerged as a strong contender for a cross platform flash solution even though it is not a designated standard by W3C yet.
Challenge #2: Device Diversity
Mobile learning today needs to be made compatible with iOS, Android & Windows operating systems running on a plethora of devices. HTML5 has been widely adopted and is supported by most of these devices.
Challenge #3: Legacy Content Conversion
A lot of companies are currently sitting on hundreds of hours of existing learning content and want to port this to mobile devices. As part of this conversion there are several cost implications to be considered. Maintenance and hardware costs - if mobile devices need to be supplied to the workforce - may be daunting. Also creating multiple variations of the same learning course to run on different gadgets will multiply the cost.
Challenge #4: Design – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
It is important to understand that the instructional design for legacy learning programs may not be optimized for mobile platforms & smartphone delivery. Creating learning for delivery via smartphones will also throw up several user interface design challenges and it will be important to bear in mind the following points:
- Becoming conscious of screen real estate and as a result focusing on the most critical navigation elements on screen
- Designing learning in smaller chunks allowing users to jump in and out as required
- Getting rid of frills and the tendency to add things just to fill up space
- Designing one or two column layouts to become more adaptable to different screen sizes
- Using less animation unless absolutely necessary to aid learning
- Making visuals more sleek and minimalistic
- Including additional links to allow for social interaction
- Adopting infographics to say more with less
- Maximising the use of gestures like swipe, pinch zoom and seamless scrolls
- Gamifying navigation when content lends itself to it