3 Key Features of a Successful Educational App

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Educational apps have risen in popularity to become the third most popular category of App. What separates the best from the rest?

These days, it’s not uncommon for most people to have some form of educational app on their mobile device. From language-learning apps like Duolingo, to nutritional and exercise guides and interactive trivia apps for kids – the mobile education space is thriving.

The sector is expected to grow by around 27% a year from now until 2022, when it will become a roughly $240 billion industry.

Added to that, many teachers and education professionals around the world view technology as a positive force for learning, when used correctly.

These factors all mean that e-learning is a major trend that’s here to stay, and the companies that are able to make the most of that trend will be poised to do very well for themselves in the immediate future.

This article will outline three of the key features that define successful educational apps (beyond the obvious educational content).

As it can be argued that a very important ingredient of most apps is that they serve some kind of purpose for users – usually in the form of making information more accessible or through entertainment – the lessons gleaned from looking at successful educational apps can often be incorporated into the UX & UI planning of apps from other industries too.

Key feature n°1: Video

Video capabilities have revolutionized the way people of all ages and in all locations learn. The ability to transmit a lesson from a teacher into a virtual classroom potentially accessible by millions of people is a game-changing development in educational history.

However, simply having videos integrated into your apps is not a solve-it-all.

Your video interface should be reactive and mobile-friendly, video navigation should be seamless, and finally your videos’ content should designed for consumption on a mobile device.

This often means paying strict attention to how captions are used to break up a clip, and having speech be guided by subtitle speed, and not vice versa.

Key feature n°2: Gamification

People are often confused by the term ‘Gamification’, assuming it to be some kind of fancy word for the trivialization of a process or service that would normally be ‘serious’. It is not.

Gamification is the notion of turning the navigation through an app, and the consumption of its content, into a process that is made natural, fun, and intuitive.

The process of ‘gamifying’ an app will be a task for the UX & UI specialists in your development team.

However, they will usually work closely with the content team in order to create intelligent systems for users to accrue points, register progress, and be incentivized to continue using the app through in-app rewards or status growth.

Key feature n°3: Personalization

Finally, a key ingredient of any successful educational app is for users to receive a personalized service.

This means more than simply offering users the ability to choose their own avatar or profile picture.

Users should be able to track their progress, receive insights and feedback on their progress or in-app behavior that is as relevant as possible, and be able to configure their priorities and preferences for the subjects they want to learn.

Education is not easy, and there are many competing philosophies and approaches for getting people to absorb information in the best way possible.

If you or your business are considering creating an educational app, it will definitely be worth it to enlist the help of experienced UX & UI designers to help you in the process.

However, educational apps also offer lessons for anyone seeking to create an app of any kind. In order to make education fun and engaging, e-learning apps present a wealth of insight into some of the most effective ways of communicating information and engaging users. In this way, educational and e-learning apps offer more than just the lessons they are known for.   

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