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Moodle.org redesign coming soon

 
 
Picture of Helen Foster
Moodle.org redesign coming soon
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Just to let you all know, Moodle.org is to have a major infrastructure update later today and the site will be unavailable for a few hours. We'll also be applying the new theme and redesigned front page, so you can expect Moodle.org to look rather different when you next visit! smile

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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surprise Oh no! I'll be totally disoriented.

 
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Mary Cooch
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Don't worry Ben - just follow me aroundbig grin

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
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Hi Helen, Mary and others,

Is this forum and this discussion the best place to discuss the moodle.org new look? To post kudos approve and grievances sad ? If not, where else do you suggest?

Joseph

 
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Picture of Nicolas Martignoni
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And to add up to Joseph question, what is the relevant bug where we should report problems/suggestions?

 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
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Good question Joseph and Nicolas! Your feedback would be much appreciated. For sure there's lots of tidying up to be done.

MDLSITE-1862 is the meta issue, with bugs, tasks and improvements listed as subtasks. You'll notice it's an 'epic' issue, which means it has issues in it, such as MDLSITE-1874, which also has subtasks.

I am currently going through and making sure that all problems reported in the forums and elsewhere have a tracker issue. Thus, please feel free to:

EITHER browse all the subtasks of MDLSITE-1862 and issues in it and make sure the problem you have noticed is mentioned somewhere, creating a new subtask if necessary.

OR mention the problem in a forum discussion, perhaps attaching a screenshot of it. This forum is a good place for such discussions. I notice there's already a discussion about the new theme in the themes forum, which is fine too.

Thanks in advance for all your feedback. smile

 
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Picture of Nicolas Martignoni
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Thanks Helen for this clarification. I'm beginning with this screenshot, showing a problem with some localisations (here, french) and the CSS rule for the "a" element in the forum discussion view.

CSS rule

#page-mod-forum-discuss .forumpost .row .topic .author a::after

has a "display: block;" property, which make the string beginning with a comma very strange. Suppressing this property solves the problem.


 
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Picture of Nicolas Martignoni
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Another one. On the forum discussion list, the last column is too tight, which makes the rows too high.

Adding width: 17%; to the following CSS rule makes it a little better.

th.header.lastpost {
width: 17%;
}

Thanks!

Nicolas


 
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Picture of Helen Foster
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Thanks Nicolas, I have reported the problems you mention as MDLSITE-2730.

 
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Picture of Nicolas Martignoni
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Thanks Helen,

I had planned to do it myself but didn't do it out of time.

 
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Just wondering . . .
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Really really nice overall, esp on mobile.

  • +1 for login at top.  I like to know if I am logged in.
  • +1 for Forums link on home page
  • +1 to comments about orange.  Less worried about the B/W, but the comment about useability may be right.
  • "Support forums" may be better wording on the bottom rather than just "Support"
  • Lang.moodle.org has no obvious link back to Moodle.org.  It is at the bottom of the page.  Same for Moodle.net
  • I think the submitted ratings list view needs CSS help
  • The rollover colour for tracker and development are the same.  One of them could be yellow, ochre or pink just to keep the consistency.
  • No Moodle.com link in the orange bar.  Or maybe my question is "Why do you need the "Using Moodle" panels AND the Orange bar.

-Derek

 

 

 

 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
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Thanks Derek for your feedback. Good to hear that the site looks fine on a mobile. (I must get around to buying a smart one; I still have an old brick.)

Regarding the login at top, I just created MDLSITE-2743 (also for Ben wink). Rating popup improvements are coming via MDLSITE-2726.

Regarding a forums link on the front page, the button 'Join us' links to the community discussion area in your language; there is also a link in the 'Community discussions' block.

The sites team at Moodle HQ is going to be going through each of the Moodle community sites, and giving them a redesign, as we've done for Moodle.org. The black bar at the top will be on every site, making it easy to move from one site to another. Site colours will be as for the roll-over colours, thus Translation will be dark red/maroon and Moodle.net will be bright red. As you've noticed, both Tracker and Development are the same blue colour. It was decided to give both sites the same colour scheme as they are both development-related. (I had hoped for yellow, but I'm no designer, and yellow was considered too light-coloured!)

Moodle.com is not included in the orange bar because, strictly speaking, it is not a Moodle community site. There are however links to Moodle.com on the front page.

Further feedback is most welcome. We agonised over some aspects of the redesign for so long, then decided that done was better than perfect and that we could modify things later according to feedback from you all. smile

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
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If this black bar is now fashion, why not do something useful with it? For example https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=theme_aardvark does a clever job of embedding the log-in (and logged-in) in the black bar.
 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
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Visvanath "...embedding the log-in (and logged-in) in the black bar".

Why not? Except that the log-in button must reside at the top right corner of all page, not deep buried somewhere at the bottom.

Joseph

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
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Joseph

Sorry for not being clear. We mean the same thing. See the Aardvark black bar before and after log-in:

 
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Martin Dougiamas
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While I agree with you in principle that it would be nice, in practice including too much stuff up at the top makes mobile use pretty bad (because it looks so crowded up there).   We actually took it out from the top because login is not something you do a lot of, and Moodle will prompt people anyway if they hit anything where they need to log in.

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
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I disagree. You need to be logged in for unread post tracking to work. Moodle does not prompt you to log in for that.

Why do we need both a Moodle logo and a house icon? Why not merge them, and instead have an icon next to the search that indicates whether you are logged in or not, and which you can click to log in/out. Not that top right is a common place in all web applications to indicate login state. Moodle(.org) should follow that pattern.

 
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Gmads
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As I rather click than scroll, I would vote to have the house icon point to My Moodle.

 
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Just wondering . . .
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+1  to Tim's comment.

I'd also like an indication IF I am logged in, but this is a preference only.

The "Usual" scenario is login top right.

-Derek

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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That's an interesting point, Martin, about being prompted to login if you want to do more than read.

Since I always have Moodle in English open in a tab, I know I'm usually timed out after a long time away, and I expect to be prompted to login. I don't login until I am prompted. And then my login is saved so it's a one click login.

Hmm. In that light, not having a login link I can see doesn't really matter because it doesn't change my behavior.

I change my mind. You all made the correct decision. martin <-- my first use of this icon

 
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Picture of Robert Brenstein
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Well, this depending on operational modus. I almost never click the "login" on moodle.org because I go there mostly through the links in emails from the forums or browse public areas and am prompted to login when needed. The opposite is true in Moodle's tracker.

In my own Moodle instance, I click "login" at least dozen times a day, sometimes more than that. My sessions regularly time out or I log out. I do not keep a tab open since I go into Moodle normally only upon (external) demand and have too many tabs usually open anyways.
 
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Davo
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An example of where Moodle fails to prompt you to log in:

Email notification of new comment on a plugin you manage (or are subscribed to comments on) => Follow link in email to the plugin entry => See message 'You must be logged in to post comments' (but to find the link to do this, you have to know to scroll down to the very bottom of the page and find a very small link. I only knew to look there because of this forum discussion.)

 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Moodle.org redesign - log in
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Thanks everyone for your comments about the log in link. We will be moving it back to the top right of each page (MDLSITE-2743).

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
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Helen

We should have called the "black bar at the top" respectfully as the _awesome bar_. My apologies.

Yes, this bar nicely unite a group of closely related sites, like *.moodle.org - provided 'course that those sister sites too display the same awesome bar!
 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
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Except its not though - at least its not the awesomebar as found in themes such as Decaf for the past few years smile

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
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Richard

What is your advice to a vagabund? How could he tell the difference?
 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
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Well, the bar in the moodle.org site is a single level menu bar which give links to the other sites. The 'awesomebar' in decaf and other themes is a kind of horizontal replacement for the navigation and admin blocks on a page. It has dynamic full drop down menus. If you haven't seen it in use its well worth a look in the Decaf, Krystle, Halboo and probably a few other themes (Decaf is the original where Paul does all the work on it and where it has gone by that name for several years, my Krystle and other themes then utilise Paul's hard work).

That said, I think I appreciate what your comment was and mine was only intended as a light hearted pointer at the 'original' awesomebar menu and not intended to be a contradiction to what you had said in any way. Apologies if it came across as anything other than that smile

Richard

 
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Picture of David Mudrák
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Correct. The thing is, we need to keep this (top black) sites bar very simply structured and styled, because it has to be put to other non-Moodle sites, too. Particularly, we will need to implement the same bar in a MediaWiki skin for our docs and JIRA skin for the tracker (and eventually any other system we would happen to use in the future). Thence the decision has been made to keep it really simple so that we can implement and style it almost anywhere (with and without the Bootstrap etc).

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
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David "Thence the decision has been made to keep it really simple [...]"

It is not so often we have the pleasure to contemplate such a lovely adverb as that thence. Congratulations and thanks, David.

Joseph

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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+1 to Joseph for noticing. I cam all the way here just to say that.

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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I'm following as fast as I can big grin

Not bad redesign, although the different orange is disconcerting when it's in a big band at the bottom on the login page.

 
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Picture of Helen Foster
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Sorry Ben, I don't know what you mean by 'different orange' on the login page. Perhaps you could attach a screenshot of what you are referring to?

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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Compared to the icon on the browser tab or the helpful Moodlers badge, which are more golden orange, the orange of this theme is redder, er, more red.


 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
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Hi Ben,

Here is the data for those "orange" hues.

screenshot #1

What really makes my eyes ache is the huge "slab of orange" at the bottom of each of the moodle.org screens. Plus the links in tiny font, white on orange on that slab are hardly legible. I do hope this can be revised.

Joseph

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
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Before we all get too far into picking apart individual parts of the design, pelase remember http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell wink

(And if you have never seen that, it is well worth a look.)

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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Sadly, Tim, I can't get the poster large enough to read it. Maybe I'm just a feeb this morning.

Agree with you, Joseph, about the slab at the bottom. And the tiny font, and the fact that the login link is in that slab at the bottom. I don't think I've ever seen a web page where the login is below the fold of the page.

I am still a fan of this design.

Oh, and the badges do not have a transparent background.

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
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Hi Tim,

I agree that "picking apart" individual parts of the design and changing them is a sure way to ruin the overall design itself. But this should nor prevent end-users from posting their likes and dislikes re the moodle.org new look.

The link you posted to theoatmeal.com site is quite entertaining and very true. My daughter, who happens to be a graphics artist, often has that kind of experience with her clients. See e.g. her blog post here: http://www.calirezo.com/dotclear/index.php?post/2010/07/11/Deux-trois-trucs.

ATB

Joseph
 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Moodle.org redesign feedback
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Thanks Ben and Joseph for your feedback. I created MDLSITE-2739 for the tiny font in the footer and Mary created MDLSITE-2721 for the group icon background.

As for the login being at the bottom of the page, Ben, you're not the first person to dislike the position! It was done to save valuable space on mobile devices, and thinking that most people would log in on the front page. Judging by feedback we've received, this doesn't seem to be the case, and so we need to reconsider moving the login back to the top right of each page.

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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Oh, mobile! I get that.

But yes, most of us (I don't visit moodle.org from my phone) are using the email links to come to the site, and since we can see the page, we don't get a login prompt.

This is an interesting problem, given that I use multi browsers, and often Google search the site but don't login to moodle.org from the less favored browser. I just browse the Google results for an issue. So, non logins by definition need to have access to the forums (notice I'm not calling them "Using Moodle") without a login getting in the way. Hmm, but to comment, they need to register or login.

One of those pesky popup "Register now" boxes on mobile is wrong. User wants to see the results before registering, and once dismissed, the registration option is hard to find on most sites.

Not sure you need the top right spot, just because of old fogeys like me. But you need top or a left or right tab or something.

PS nice to have Mary following me for a change surprise

I'll go look at this on my Droid and see what I see.

PPS Joseph, I see what you slabbed cool

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
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Ben

You wrote:
> But yes, most of us (I don't visit moodle.org from my phone) are using the email links to come to the site,

Same here.

> and since we can see the page, we don't get a login prompt.

I have small problem here. The e-mail has a link to the (top of) the thread and another link for reply. If I just want to see the post in context, I need to go round. I would appreciate a link to the post itself.
 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
Re: Moodle.org redesign feedback
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My emails give me three links

Show parent | Reply

See this post in context

And clicking in context took me directly to your post.

I'm wrong about what happens when I click any of the three links. If I've logged in I go where the link points. If I'm timed out I get a login prompt. Don't know what happens if you're a guest.

 
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Picture of Doug Moody
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Per Tim Hunt, I thnk we should change the color to pink, and add some kittens. For some reason, the design just doesn't "pop"

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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Not kittens, puppies!, FTW!

 
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Picture of Nicolas Martignoni
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Or poneys?

No, better: kittens, puppies AND poneys!

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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My Little Pony ponies.

PS, I just pulled a JSON string error attempting to reply, but the reply worked anyway.

 
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Picture of Anna Krassa
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
 

+ 1 To Tim's and Derek's comment on login.

For an average user this is very frustrating... well I am very frustrated. sad I could understand that I was logged in because the login button was turned to logout, yet I missed couple times my name at the bottom due to the dark blue font colour in the dark background.

It's not easy if you are in rush... or... I cannot handle changes very good. sad

Another thing that I find very difficult is to locate the course I am interested in, and to be accurate, I am talking for the Certificates course, which is the course that every moodler interested in certification need to access in order to get infos about the Moodle certification process and of course, all Candidates need to take the final exam located there.

I know all courses cannot be listed in front page. But I thought that Certificate course is a special course that promotes and strengthens Moodle its self. Yet it's not easily accessible. I think that in the demo site you had created there was a block on Certification and a clear link to that course. Unfortunately I don't see this in the production site. sad

Instead there is a link "Certificate" down down in the front page, which leads to the certificates.moodle.com page. That's cool, but in that site only authorised people have access and only succeeded candidates may need it to get their certificates. It's not the main info place that can promote MCCC. 

Am I missing something? thoughtful

 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Moodle.org redesign - Certification link
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Thanks for your feedback Anna. I have amended the Certification link in the orange bar so that it now points to the Certification course and will have a think about whether we can add a link to it from elsewhere on the front page.

 
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Picture of Anna Krassa
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Thanks Helen, really appreciated. smile

 
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Martin Dougiamas
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Eventually of course, all the Certification stuff should be in one simple place.  It's very weird now having all these disparate areas for it.

 
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Picture of Anna Krassa
Re: Moodle.org redesign - Certification link
 

Martin, no doubt this makes a lot of sense. Combining those two places would be great for mentors, candidates and all interested moodlers. The more we split people in several places the more we actually split the dynamic of that group.

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
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As of today, March 29th, 2014, I am pleased to note that on this moodle.org site the orange slab which hurt my eyes has been replaced with a more subdued dark slab. approve

Joseph

 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
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Thanks, Joseph. For me, the change from yellow to orange hurt my heart.  Color change = culture change.

 
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Picture of Robert Brenstein
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Much nicer than the orange indeed! Looks classy now.

It seems that login cookies got lost.
 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
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Looks great!

 
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Mary Cooch
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Ah! So it was your fault Josephbig grin I loved that orange in the footer! (But sadly for me and luckily for the rest of the world, I have absolutely no design sense whatsoeverbig grin)

 
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Picture of sue sugizaki
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
 

Hi,

Q: Which theme is this???

Just curious! smile

BR, sue

 
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Picture of David Mudrák
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It's a custom theme based on the Clean theme, designed for this site's needs.
 
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Picture of Matteo Scaramuccia
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Great work!
Among the minor issues:

  • Some links in the footer are broken but in the home page: they are coded as relative URLs i.e. clicking in a link in the footer when browsing a forum discussion they are prepended by an incorrect /mod/forum/ e.g. News => https://moodle.org/mod/forum/news/ which leads to a managed HTTP 404 page;
  • About is still broken after fixing the lacking of absolute URLs: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/about/and => https://moodle.org/about/and => https://moodle.org/about;
  • What about revamping the idea of having the correct styling code in a HTML email and create a nice renderer for the notifications too? It would be nice to restyle the HTML mails too wink. Refs: MDL-21120, MDL-29152, MDL-29738.

To complete this great work it would be nice one day to introduce some sort of SEO URLs at the core level: I wish I had the time to work on an idea which is now just a bunch of rewrite rules since months.

Matteo

 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Moodle.org redesign
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Thanks Matteo, the broken links in the footer should now all be fixed (about the only change to the front page that I can do myself wink).

 
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Picture of Peter Seaman
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
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Hi Helen: Whenever change happens, some grumbling is inevitable. But I have read some grousing in the Moodle forums about decisions to make changes not being vetted with the community or tested on users. At the San Fran Moodle Moot back in 2008, I witnessed a really interesting discussion about user testing. Martin was there, and he said something like, "We don't really do any user testing." Has that stance changed at all? (or maybe he mis-spoke - suffering from jet-lag). Does Moodle publish any protocols about whether and how user testing is conducted? Seems like a big thing nowadays. I'm not an expert so I'll just say the new "clean" design looks very nice. And I agree with Ben that the orange is now redder! (bolder?). Thanks.  -  Peter

 
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Martin Dougiamas
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Well, Moodle HQ does test code and new interfaces continuously among ourselves as much as we can, and the community tests things and gives us feedback via tracker which we try to prioritise and work on.

What I was probably talking about at that meeting 6 years ago is that HQ has never run formal usability testing sessions as per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usability_testing 

I have been looking to hire someone to focus on this sort of thing for a while, but it's a diffcult task in Moodle as interfaces can be affected so much on different themes, devices, configurations, roles and workflow, so this person always has to deal with a lot of technical stuff at the same time.  Simple changes are sometimes very complex to perform.

Others have done formal usability tests, and that has affected Moodle developments in the past.  One example was the current quiz creation interface (however I have to say I personally find that interface really difficult when creating a decent-sized quiz mixed )

In any case, it's something we talk about and work on a lot here and I'm glad you are finding some of the recent (and ongoing) changes in Moodle's interface to be positive.

 
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Picture of Peter Seaman
Re: Moodle.org redesign coming soon
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Thanks, Martin, for your answer. I do have some appreciation for how complex the issue is. Some years ago when a certain organization was looking at Moodle, someone had applied a theme that "broke" the grade book (made the numbers jump around in the table cells). Many of the faculty - and even the tech folks, who should have known better - concluded, "This Moodle thing is awful" and recommended against its adoption.

I know (or at least I sense) that Moodle is always having to walk a fine line between a locked-down design (as many commercial LMSs employ) and a more open (extensible?) design that allows admins more flexibility to do neat things like apply themes. I am always cheered by Moodle's apparent openness to consider and even embrace users' wants (cf. the debate on how orange is orange). The debate is a sign of vitality; the worst thing is to be given any software and told "Just deal with it" and not feel as though one has any say at all in its design or destiny. Thanks again.  -  Peter

 
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