Look around. Whether you’re at work, out to dinner, or in a meeting, you’ll notice that people are focused on a variety of devices. Maybe it’s a tablet. Maybe it’s their smartphones. Maybe they’re tapping away on a laptop.
In 2015, this trend impacts the eLearning market in that it means designers have to take this vast array of devices into consideration when creating courses.
If companies are empowering employees to use their own devices at work, eLearning developers have to ensure that courses are versatile enough to be functional for all.
Here are a few considerations for the 2015 eLearning trend of BYOD.
Navigation and interactive elements should be designed for use on even the smallest of devices—which means you’ll need to prototype and test modules before putting the time into the design process.
If you’re tied to using Flash in your eLearning design, BYOD might make you sweaty (since most mobile devices don’t support Adobe Flash.) However, making your courses work without Flash is very do-able. HTML5 is a great option for conversion, and there are several others you can consider as well.
Risks and Security
Your client’s IT department might get nervous at the thought of employees using their own devices for training, but secure hosting and access can put some of those fears to rest.
It might require a little extra training, but the advantages of BYOD can often outweigh the concerns. Obviously clients will need to make their own decisions on to BYOD or not to BYOD, but as a designer you need to be ready to design and develop in either format.
Get Back to Basics
BYOD sometimes means you have to sacrifice cool features and interactive elements for the sake of user interface improvements, but remember: Your mission is to train, not to dazzle your learner with your design skills.
Keep your training objectives front and center and opt for clean, classic courses that work well for users rather than features that make them frustrated.
Educate Your Clients
Finally, it’s important for eLearning and mLearning designers to educate clients on how updates and re-works should be part of the original course creation plan. With as quickly as technology changes, it’s possible you’ll need to update courses in the future so they remain BYOD friendly.
Discuss Responsive Design
Certain eLearning development tools offer responsive design functionality, which allows you to create a single course and deploy to multiple platforms. This is a great feature, but is more work than advertised and still has its limitations.
Ideally your client can prioritize which device outputs they feel each course will typically be utilized on so you can maximize the approach for each situation. If not, responsive design may be the right approach for you to hedge your bets.
2015 eLearning Trends: Embracing Change
For many, BYOD is a matter of being open to change—both on the designer side and on the company side. If you can work with your clients to let learners access their learning on the go, you can mobilize a workforce that’s both well educated and portable.