Responsive web design is simply internet development and design that makes sure a website can adapt to and be viewed on multiple platforms without hassle. Put simply, it is the practice of making web pages “portable.” Responsive design is important in e-learning because one of the benefits of online learning is flexibility, hence, most people who take on e-learning courses will not fancy the prospect of sitting at a desktop for hours to do homework. Therefore, it is critical for course content to be displayed across several kinds of devices and screen sizes for easy access.
Recent studies show that at least 25 percent of all Americans use smart devices (smartphones, iPads, etc.) to access the internet. If your course cannot be accessed seamlessly on mobile devices, it’s going to be an inconvenience for your learners who may need to interact with materials from their smartphones. You should make your e-learning course responsive to provide your learners the flexibility to learn between devices. This might sound like an uphill task, but here are ten tips to make it a world easier.
- Prioritize Mobile Use
People want to be able to access information on the fly, with today’s insanely paced atmosphere. Phones are becoming more relevant than PCs. One should be able to catch up on a topic when stuck in rush hour traffic. Nobody wants to wait to get home to be able to consume online content, including e-learning. Because of this, many designers are now favoring the mobile-first movement.
- Pay Attention to Screen Orientation
The best responsive e-learning designs resize and reorder content to adapt to particular devices and their dimensions. Design your course to look good on both landscape and portrait orientations, and make sure that images don’t stretch when the screen is rotated.
- Be Careful of Navigation
Try to be as clutter-free as possible. Include simple menus on the screen if your site has few menu elements. For a site with more such elements, think of creating a single icon that drops down to show additional menu items when clicked.
- Familiarize Yourself with Media Queries
Cascading Style Sheets 3 (or CSS3) has a feature called media queries that enable content to react to various conditions on each type of device. They do this by checking for parameters (like device resolution, dimensions, and orientation) and use them to determine which CSS rules are applicable. Media queries are a critical cog in the wheel of responsive design.
In building responsive design layouts, make optimized images for each particular layout to reduce bandwidth and scaling problems. Prefer JPEG and GIF file formats. PNG swells your files sizes up to 1000 percent, so don’t use it.
- Need for Speed
The average internet user is an impatient person, so if your website doesn’t load in less than 5 seconds, it’s going to grate on your learners’ nerves. No one wants to keep paying for a service that crawls. And disgruntled students are less likely to recommend your course to their friends. This isn’t 1997. The main culprit behind slow loading times are slow site is non-optimized multimedia. Do well to scale down big files to boost speed.
Eliminate excessive design elements. Think of your e-course as a virtual classroom. When things get in the way, they slow work down, and they’re also distracting. Website speed is also dependent on cleanliness. A website littered with too many elements will be slow and unattractive. Programs like GZIP help to decompress.
- Make Text Readable
If you’re adapting your e-learning course for mobile devices, take care to make sure your text size is large enough to read on smaller screens. Text size of 16 px, 1 em, or 12 pt. are recommended. Also, create visually appealing legible headers when creating responsive content.
- Use Proper Button Sizes
There is nothing more critical than space on mobile devices. So make sure to avoid too small or too big button sizes. Button sizes of at least 44 x 44 px make for finger-friendly designs. Also use padding instead of margins because padding can increase the area that can be tapped, while margins can’t (they only increase the white space surrounding the button).
- Take Advantage of Google Design Standards:
Google webmasters have recommendations for designing content for smartphones, take out time to familiarize yourself with them so that you can take advantage of extra tips to make your page load faster and rank higher.