Mobile Web

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Mobile Web - Introduction

elearning resources


From previous research carried out by the eLearning team, Mobile Web appears to be the most flexible way to deploy eLearning resources in a mobile form. It does not need specific software (other than a web browser which is built into smartphones), an initial fee (like some apps do) or to go through an approval process before content can be released. Most institutions will have their own web hosting. Also, there is less of an issue with which device the user views the content on, as it is relatively simple to scale html to the device.

Good Mobile Web should streamline the entire user experience, whilst not letting the user feel like they are missing out on any content. It should require minimal navigation by the user (ideally along a single vertical plane). Buttons should be easily accessible and fingertip size. You should avoid using radio buttons or drop down menus where possible (though these would be favoured over the user having to enter too much text into a field). Finally the content should fit to the screen correctly, ensuring that no navigation elements or images obscure the text.

Deciding on which type of design you might wish to employ on the Mobile Web depends on a number of factors but can basically be encapsulated in making a decision between using either Responsive (coined by Ethan Marcole) or Adaptive (coined by Aaron Gustafson) web design principles. Responsive web design changes and responds seamlessly to fit any screen or device. Adaptive Web Design is different as there isn't one layout which always changes. Instead, there are several different layouts employed for multiple screen sizes with the layout used dependent on the screen size used to view content. Depending on what type of audience you have and what information you wish to convey in what format, arguments can be made for adopting either approach.