LUC 2017 Recap: Responsive Design – Fit and Retrofit

LUC 2017 Session Recap

At this year’s Lectora® User Conference in Cincinnati, Dan Richards of Interactive Advantage presented “Responsive Design – Fit and Retrofit.” In the session, he talked about the basics of Responsive Course Design™ (RCD), tips and tricks while developing, and discussed converting non-responsive courses to responsive. During the session, attendees got to see the differences between a non-responsive course, one with only the responsive feature turned on in Lectora, and a third version highlighting optimal responsive development.

Dan Richards, Interactive Advantage

Above: Dan Richards, Interactive Advantage, presenting at LUC 2017.

Some of the tips and tricks Dan shared included:

  • Dragging items off the screen when not in use.
  • Using themes and page layouts for optimization of Lectora’s existing features.
  • Setting button sizes to 44 pixels by 44 pixels.
  • Avoiding hover, double click, and right click functionality.
  • Avoiding multiple tabs on the Internet.

For more tips and tricks, please visit the Trivantis® Community and search using the keyword “Responsive.”

Dan’s process includes a four-step development approach. During the plan phase, he advised instructional designers to plan for all devices, keep it simple, be selective, embrace the scroll, allow for a longer process, and test the experience. One of the biggest takeaways for me during this session was his conversation on media usage. I usually always advise the use of MP3 and MP4 for audio and video (respectively), but a great point that Dan made was “Why not stream when possible?” He suggested posting audio and video to streaming services like Vimeo, Wistia, and YouTube. He also reminded attendees to be sensitive to data usage.

four-step development approach

Above: Dan’s four-step development approach to creating responsive courses in Lectora.

When the conversation of converting non-responsive courses to responsive began, I wasn’t surprised to hear the groans and grumbles as we highlighted the struggles a developer can face. One person shared the story that her legacy content (non-responsive, not optimized for current and mobile browsers, Flash containing) all needed to go through the conversion process by the end of the year. An audible gasp could be heard when she explained the total number was not in 10s but 100s. However, Dan provided some helpful tips for making the conversion process more efficient in Lectora. Some of my key takeaways included:

  • Determining if the project is going to be a rebuild versus an edit. In some cases, the course material you’re working with can be so old that changes require a complete rebuild of the course.
  • Working from the top down and then inside out when it comes to your individual pages.
  • Be wary of auto-play.
  • Remove or replace all Flash.
  • He also personally suggested avoiding emulators since real life testing on each individual device can offer a truer look at the output.

Thanks for a great LUC 2017 session on Responsive Course Design, Dan! For more eLearning tips and the latest info about what’s happening at Trivantis, subscribe to the Trivantis blog.