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How to capitalise on flash to HTML5 migration opportunity and enjoy a higher ROI

Asha Pandey
 Asha Pandey
 Design
13/02/2019: For over a decade, Adobe Flash was the de facto authoring tool for creating online courses.
How to capitalise on flash to HTML5 migration opportunity and enjoy a higher ROI

However, over in the last 4 years, organizations have adopted mobile learning, featuring HTML5 in a big way, whereas Flash is not supported on most mobile devices and browsers today. As a result, most of the new developments featured the use of new-generation authoring tools that offer mobile learning – HTML5 output that supports devices ranging from smartphones/tablets to laptops/desktops. However, organizations still have a locked investment in Flash courses. On account of the following two notable factors, organizations are looking at Flash to HTML5 migration services:

  1. Flash support is not available in most browsers. Furthermore, Flash does not support mobile devices.
  2. Higher push from learners to have mobile learning, as that provides them the flexibility to learn on the go, and on the device of their choice (notably, smartphones, and tablets).

Adoption of mobile learning for corporate training is on the increase

It is seeing a further acceleration on account of the learners’ response to the microlearning-based training for formal training, as well as for performance support or job aids. These are designed for learning on the go and while they would run across all devices, they are consumed largely on mobile devices. It has also been aided by the widespread usage of video-based learning that can be easily consumed on mobile devices. Have a look at the stats, which support that mobile learning and HTML5 support is indeed the way forward:

  • Google has confirmed in a report that there are more mobile users now, compared to the desktop users.
  • Mobile learning will be a $70 billion industry by 2020.
  • According to a report from Ambient Insight, 74% of learners are using mobile devices for learning purposes.
  • 70% of learners felt more motivated when training on a mobile device, as opposed to a computer.

It is evident that organisations must plan for Flash to HTML5 migration services. While this does help them unlock their investment locked in legacy Flash courses, it comes with an additional price tag. In this article, I share my insights on how you can use this opportunity (Flash to HTML5 migration services) to create not only a higher impact training but also use my recommended 8 strategies to enhance the ROI on your training spend.
How can you capitalize on the opportunity of migrating from Flash to HTML5 to create a higher impact training?

Strategy 1 – Design optimally for mobile devices

As you plan the Flash to HTML5 migration services, there is a need to identify if the courses should be mobile-friendly (adaptive) or mobile-first (completely responsive).

TIP: Selection of the approach is contingent on how the content will be consumed by your learners. Both approaches offer the multi-device support, that is, learners have the flexibility to move seamlessly across devices ranging from desktops/laptops to tablets/smartphones. However, there are significant differences that are highlighted here:

Approach 1: Adaptive Or Mobile-Friendly Designs

Also known as adaptive designs, the mobile-friendly approach is the first avatar in mobile learning. The HTML5 output offers the multi-device support, thereby, enabling learners to seamlessly move across devices as they complete a given course.
However, the User Experience and interactions are largely aligned with the way learners consume content on desktops and laptops. As a result, this kind of a learning experience would work reasonably well on tablets. However, the approach has its limitations on smartphones on two counts:

  • The design works well in the landscape mode but would shrink in the portrait mode. In this case, you will see a blank space at the bottom as the design does not adapt fully to the viewable area in the portrait mode.
  • While the courses would work on smartphones or tablets, they are not optimized for them. They do not feature learning interactions that are typically used by us when we use apps or other tools on mobile devices.

Approach 2: Responsive Or Mobile-First Designs

In contrast to the adaptive (mobile-friendly designs), responsive (mobile-first designs) should be used when the predominant consumption of content is expected to be on smartphones. A responsive or a mobile-first, design-based approach is fully optimized for smartphones, and it can also be used on tablets and laptops or desktops. The highlights of this approach are as follows. You will notice that they fully offset the limitations of adaptive (mobile-friendly) designs.

  • The content adapts completely to the mobile device’s viewable area.
  • It features learning interactions that are commonly used on mobile devices. Thereby, it creates a highly optimized learning experience on the mobile devices.

TIP: Besides the standard authoring tools, you also use a custom HTML5 framework. This can offer a higher visual experience and custom interactions. This can be used to create both responsive (mobile-first) or adaptive (mobile-friendly) eLearning designs.


Strategy 2: adopt immersive learning strategies

You must use the Flash to HTML5 migration services opportunity to use the learning strategies that create a higher learner engagement, and a stickier learning experience. You have a wide array of options you can pick from, including:

  1. Gamification
  2. Microlearning (For both formal and informal learning)
  3. Video-based learning
  4. Scenario-based learning or storytorials (or story-based learning)
  5. Depending on the nature of your training, you can also dabble in emerging techniques, such as AR/VR

Strategy 3: evaluate and enhance the learnability of the new courses

Use this opportunity to create a higher learnability in the new HTML5 courses.

Strategy 4: pick the learning approaches that adapt well to mobile learning

These include strategies that work well on mobile devices. For instance, you can opt for microlearning and social learning, and see the impact on learners soar.

Strategy 5: use high-impact, rich media formats

Use this opportunity to opt for formats, like interactive videos and mobile apps, for learning that aligns better with mobile learning.

Use innovative formats that appeal to learners (rather than traditional eLearning approaches), such as:

  • Videos and microlearning videos
  • Interactive videos
  • Interactive infographics

Strategy 6: evaluate the emerging techniques like personalization of learning

Use this opportunity to ensure that learners get focused learning nuggets that align to their interest, proficiency, and role.

Strategy 7: factor for millennial workforce

Take this opportunity to look at specific design approaches that would appeal to your millennial workforce.

Strategy 8: enhance the support of primary training

Take the learners through a “learning path” or a “learning journey”-based approach.
Integrate the Performance Support Tools or the job aids that are available to learners within their workflow, and push knowledge acquisition to application. They can also be used to help learners practice or gain proficiency.
A combination of all these strategies will go a long way in fostering an environment of continuous, collaborative, and inclusive learning that will create a higher impact both for the learner and for the business. Thereby, your training spend on Flash to HTML5 migration services will lead to a better ROI, rather than just providing a technology uplift to your legacy courses.

Article by Asha Pandey

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