The fundamentals of e-learning application development


To create a successful e-learning application, there are several key steps you need to take. To help you start the process, I’ve listed the details below:

Step 1: validate your idea

It is best to make sure that your idea is unique and researched before starting the development process. You can start by analyzing your competitors’ solutions. Read their product reviews to find out what features users expect and need.

For this process, you can perform a SWOT analysis:

  • S for Strengths (strong sides of your technological solution)
  • W for Weaknesses (missing elements of your application)
  • O for Opportunities (possible ways to improve your project)
  • T for Threats (external threats that can have a negative impact on your idea)

Step 2: think about your target audience

It is crucial that you clearly define your target audience. Pay attention to their age, income level, hobbies, lifestyle, and other key factors that could influence their tech usage habits.

To determine your target audience, you should seek answers to the following questions:

  • What are the objectives of your e-learning application?
  • What are the needs and the pains of the learners?
  • What features can solve their problems?
  • How to monetize your solution?

Step 3: Create an attractive UI / UX design

Your e-learning solution must be attractive and user-friendly. It is also crucial that you take your target audience into account when creating a UI / UX design. For example, if you are developing an educational app for kids, you need to add more animation and vivid color. However, adults prefer simpler and more user-friendly solutions.

Throughout this process, it is best to cooperate with an experienced and qualified design team with up-to-date industry knowledge.

Step 4: Create a list of required features

The features can be divided into two groups: MVP and Advanced.

MVP stands for a minimum viable product, which translates to simply: the base version of your solution with only “must have” features.

An MVP can be used almost like a “soft” launch of your application. After releasing this version, you can get user feedback and add more advanced features. In addition, investors are more likely to trust solutions that are already in the market.

To help you out, here is a list of some must-have features of e-learning apps, which tend to to have three user roles – student, tutor and administrator. Therefore, you need to divide the functionality based on the role of the user.

User role Characteristics
  • Register and log in
  • Course catalog and search bar
  • User profile
  • Course page
  • Payments
  • Register and log in
  • Student management
  • Test management
  • Course management
  • Payments management
  • Progress dashboard
  • Student management
  • Guardian management
  • Comments

Make more comfortable management, you can create an LMS, or learning management system, which supports the creation, sharing and management of various training courses.

Here you can add several advanced features to make your solution more unique and exciting for users, including:

  • Gamification
  • AI-based recommendations
  • Push notifications

Step # 5: choose the monetization model

To make the e-learning application profitable, you need to consider your monetization strategy. There are three widely used approaches to consider for your application:

  • Freemium: Yesour solution can offer free and premium features, like DuoLingo and Memrise. To use the premium features, users must subscribe. For this, you can provide a monthly or annual subscription plan. For example, you can offer premium features like offline access, unlimited lesson time, etc.
  • Advertisement: ads remains the most popular monetization model. It allows clients to use your e-learning app for free, but they must watch a short ad before each lesson. For example, DuoLingo offers free access to the course, but users must see the announcements before they can participate.
  • Paid ads: tThe idea is simple: to download the app from the App Store or Play Market, customers have to pay. However, this often means losing users. It’s best to add a free trial period so that users can experience the benefits of your solution before committing to the purchase.

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