Since mobile took over the web portals as the easiest way to access online content from a source that you rely upon, eLearning mobile apps have more appeal to the learners than ever before. Like most young students these days at least flaunt a Smartphone, they are more at ease with eLearning apps than the traditional eLearning web portals.

But while delivering native mobile apps for the eLearning niche, developers often commit the mistake of working with the same design and concept as the web portals. Since mobile apps are altogether a different business in terms of learner’s interaction, communication and overall learning experience, the developers need to be extra careful about the common design mistakes that frequently occur with eLearning mobile apps. Here we are going to explain a few.

Starting without a clear objective

The biggest mistake that eLearning curriculum makers can do is to allow app developers starting to work on an eLearning mobile app project without clearly stating the project objectives and the expectations. You need to clearly communicate the entire plan and the objective of creating such eLearning app. Even the minutest detail should be laid bare to the developers without the slightest reservation.

Secondly, when you plan to build a new eLearning program or mobile app for the same, you should start by validating the idea. You cannot create an entire eLearning mobile app based on a curriculum without really understanding the market responses and how it will resonate with the intended learners.

You Just Ignored Prototyping

This is the kind of mistake that can only be expected from novice and inexperienced developers who have little idea of executing a complex app development program like eLearning app. All experienced app developers having some sort of exposure in building quality apps knows that it is the prototype of the product that guides your way to success.

For instance, if you are creating an eLearning app involving several storyboards, you need to build a prototype for each storyboard followed by testing and fine-tuning them to your purpose. By building a prototype, the developers can also streamline the entire project and help proper execution.

Switch to Mobile Optimized Interactions

While in traditional eLearning modules, we find drag and drop function almost everywhere, the eLearning mobile apps simply do not support such functions. This is why, when building eLearning mobile apps, the developers need to switch to mobile optimized interactions. Some of the mobile-optimized interactions for eLearning modules include the following.

  • Selection of a text instantly leading to the opening of pop-up windows for a dictionary, Wikipedia entry and other knowledge sources.
  • Automatic identification of the available Hotspot Choices.
  • Hover effect on Tabs and search buttons.
  • Video/Image galleries and Carousels
  • Interactive timelines
  • Checklists
  • Interactive graphics and engaging infographics.
  • Features to help learners interact comment and express.

Make Sure The Audio and Video Files Work Properly

Any eLearning program these days simply cannot be called modern if it doesn’t boast of video and audio resources. Any audio and video file failing to function during a training session can only add to the frustration and bring a bad reputation to your eLearning curriculum.

To improve the eLearning video experience, consider the following tips.

  • If you are just starting to unroll a new e-learning program, make sure you have chosen the right narrator, whether he is male or female. The voice should give any ear a pleasant experience.
  • For creating audio and video files for an eLearning program, you also should need to use quality equipment and tools. Always use a good quality microphone, camera and all instruments. Wherever applicable, use easily readable subtitles with the video. Use an excellent close captioning authoring tool as well.
  • It is always risky to use YouTube or Vimeo videos since their URLs can change or get deleted all of a sudden. This is why you always use third-party video as supplementary or secondary contents while creating your own tutorial video for every curriculum.

Absence of Offline learning

Does your eLearning mobile app support offline reading and accessing contents offline? If not, your eLearning app is suffering from a serious deficiency. Since most learners in many parts of the world still do not have uninterrupted access to the internet, you need to accommodate many learners by providing offline access to contents. Moreover, students in travel can also stay in touch with their courses in spite of the connectivity issues thanks to the offline access.

Cognitive Overload

Cognitive overload refers to too many contents in a single page. With a higher cognitive load, you can actually make it challenging for the learners to engage. A single page crowded with too much text or too many contents without breaks in between can actually suffocate the learners and exhaust their attention way too soon. An eLearning app should be designed to use minimum cognitive load to help learners concentrate.

No Follow-up

Many eLearning programs simply lack a personal voice or someone accountable as a human guide to answer the questions of the learners. Well, as soon as learners have a feeling that the entire course of learning interactions is computer generated and there is no scope of asking questions to someone behind the scene, they can lose interest in the program. A lively follow-up process with scope for questions and answers at the end of every program is crucial for an eLearning program to be successful.


Since eLearning became mobile app learning now, the old design conventions of the desktop era should be changed to the mobile-centric app design. The above-mentioned mistakes and their respective remedies show how eLearning app design can embrace the latest and most effective approach, tools and design principles.

Author Bio: Juned Ghanchi is the co-founder and CMO of IndianAppDevelopers company which offers to hire app developers in India for mobility solutions, Juned helps connect app development firm to prospective clients with the power of research and marketing strategy.