original post Aug 10, 2015, Kimber Spradlin, CISA/CISSP
The trend, the challenge and the solution
The Trend: “Bring Your Own Device” is a hot topic right now. Commonly referred to as BYOD, this is the practice of supplying your own smartphone, tablet or personal computer for work. For years it has been standard procedure for employers to supply the devices you need on the job. But a new report from Gartner predicts that by 2017, more than half of companies will require their employees to supply their own devices on the job. Furthermore, 81% of Americans already use their personal mobile devices for work, ranging from the occasional work email at home or on weekends to performing more involved work tasks.
The BYOD trend has a lot of benefits for both employees and companies, including:
- Reduced overhead and IT support costs
- Happier employees who prefer using devices they picked out and are familiar with
- A shorter learning curve for employees to start using their devices for job duties
- Constant access to the latest tech as users upgrade their personal devices more frequently than company-wide upgrades
The Challenge: The BYOD trend also has a few disadvantages, including security issues, compliance, data ownership and retrieval and various other factors. The biggest challenge for the e-Learning industry is designing mobile courses that will function well on all the devices users could bring to work, without even knowing what those devices are.
The Solution: One option is to convert your old e-Learning content to fit mobile specifications; however, simply modifying the desktop version may not result in user-friendly or easy-to-read training materials since the content wasn’t originally engineered for mobile devices. Another option is to develop new e-Learning content. When time and budget allow, creating new e-Learning content specifically designed for mobile devices will provide a more seamless and intuitive user experience.
Keep these key points in mind when designing e-Learning for a BYOD environment:
Use an authoring tool that supports HTML5, like Captivate, Storyline or Lectora®. This is a big deal when designing for mobile and will help ensure your content is viewable on most devices.
Mobile design is about simplicity. One big idea per screen. Remember, your learners could be looking at your e-Learning content on a tablet with the biggest screen available or the smallest smartphone on the market. You want them both to be able to clearly read and navigate your content.
Remember to position navigation controls to align with how we hold mobile devices. No one wants a lot of awkward rotating and reaching when trying to focus on a course.
Designing for mobile is a challenge, but it’s clear that BYOD and mLearning are here to stay. Hone your mobile development skills now, and you’ll be leading the pack tomorrow! Lectora University has great resources to help you develop fantastic mobile learning courses. You can find tons of mobile templates to help you put your training in the hands of your learners in no time.