User Experience (UX) and LMS Systems

I was actually searching for something else, but found this Prezi presentation about User Experience and LMSs in a mobile environment. While the presentation suffers from what a lot of Prezi presentations suffer from, a motion sickness induced ala Blair Witch Project, and I’m still wondering what the hell Banksy has anything to do with it, the presentation is a good one content-wise. I’m left with one of the few things about PowerPoint that I do like, annotation in the notes panel.

Either way, the presentation brings up a couple of ideas that maybe one might take into consideration when designing spaces for mobile learning. While North America as a whole, and Canada in particular is lagging far behind other countries in cellphone use and 3G networking, LMSs seem to be even slower to ensure that their spaces are mobile friendly. Desire2Learn does a good job of this, and browsing our D2L based site through my mobile browser generally works pretty well. I can’t say the same for WebCT or Blackboard CE. I don’t know how much work I’d want  to do in a mobile platform, but a quick check of some areas and I’m happy enough. Which is where the presentation falls a bit short – it seems that it expects users to act as if they are in front of a laptop or desktop computer… which to state the obvious they aren’t. I certainly suspect that while they’ll have similar habits, their experience being different will dictate that they act differently in a mobile platform. I think this is an area that needs further investigation, but I’m glad some people are at least looking into the idea.

Repeatedly the presentation suggests that scrolling is bad. One of web designs enduring myths is that of the page fold, where people won’t scroll down or past the bottom barrier of the page. There’s a couple of articles that debunk this idea, coming down to the idea that you must have compelling content to get users to scroll. By default, even sometimes despite the content that is presented, e-learning sites have content that has a built in scroll factor for users. They may not read it, or learn from it, but they will scroll.

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