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Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners by Scott McQuiggan, Jamie McQuiggan, Jennifer Sabourin, Lucy Kosturko

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CHAPTER 9

Design and User Experience

Though an app might be developed with attention to the best research and educational practice, if the user interface and design aren't engaging and satisfying, the app will likely fall flat. Design encompasses the look and feel of the app and the elements within it, the navigation and layout of information, the ways functions and features are communicated, and the ease with which users can accomplish tasks they need to. Good design is crucial to the overall user experience, setting up the user to seamlessly engage with the app and learn, rather than get frustrated and lost within complicated systems.

DESIGNING A GREAT APP: MAKE IT EASY

In our research and development of educational apps at SAS Curriculum Pathways, we have developed guidelines for how to design apps that are optimal for education and accessibility. The following principles, shown in Figure 9.1, are ways in which apps are judged by users (with or without their explicit use of the terms or concepts detailed here) and guidance for developers on how to make design choices.

In writing this book we interviewed dozens of educators and administrators, and in response to the question, “What makes a good app?,” the most common answer was “It's easy to use.” But, what does that really mean? We think for most users, being able to pinpoint what exactly makes an app easy to use is difficult. Being able to open an app and have it do what they think it will, and do it successfully and intuitively ...

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