Developing a mobile learning APP for digital literacies with the user group in online environments: methods and lessons learned.

Research output: Contribution to book/conference proceedings/anthology/reportConference contributionContributedpeer-review


The inclusion of potential users is a crucial step for the successful development of technologies. This way, user needs can be identified, ambiguities can be discussed and eliminated, and the technologies have a greater chance of being used by target groups. Different methods from the field of usability experience can be used for designing technology with users, such as card sorting, empathy map or A/B tests. They usually take place in laboratories or test rooms designed for this purpose.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face meetings had to shift to online environments. Still, this also resulted in advantages: larger groups of users could be reached and the costs of testing as well as of environmental impacts could be reduced. Nevertheless, this new situation also disclosed challenges, such as the stimulation of creativity in online environments or the appropriate implementation of usability methods.

Therefore, this paper describes methods and processes that can be used in online environments to involve user groups when developing a mobile learning app. The demonstrated experiences were gained during a three-year project in Germany with university partners and the Chamber of Crafts to enhance the digital literacy skills of company trainers, the app’s target group.

In the article the following methods are discussed in depth:
- Digital mock-ups and prototypes;
- Online surveys for testing functionality and layout of the app;
- Online workshops on layout formats, navigation and on learning content of the app;
- Usability methods like A/B test and think-aloud.

Lessons learned and improvements in the design process are discussed at the end of the paper. The approach described in this article can provide guidance and directions for the implementation of user-centred methods for projects where technology is being developed and where user groups are only approachable in an online context.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEDULEARN22 Proceedings
PublisherIATED Academy
Number of pages6
ISBN (electronic)978-84-09-42484-9
ISBN (print)978-84-09-42484-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Publication series

SeriesEDULEARN Proceedings

External IDs

Mendeley 41807507-d53c-3e11-91cf-7a1db0d39e2f
ORCID /0000-0002-8776-1798/work/142244343
ORCID /0000-0002-9022-6622/work/142248750