I’m including these screenshots as part of my 365 photos. Yes, I know they are not photos but my iPhone shots of screens are rubbish…
Over the last few days I have been looking at a few front end Moodle features and thinking about what I would like for our school Moodle.
Here I really like the Moodle Dock Kristian has been developing with @MoodleDan. The icons act as a wave as the mouse rolls over them selecting each area of the Moodle site as you click on them. Fun. Interactive. Saves screen space. Kristian will be sharing the code for the Moodle Dock on KristianStill.co.uk when it is ready.
I also really like the big profile pic at the top.
The menus are hover-over drop down as well, providing quick access to where you want to get to.
Moodle bar (at the bottom) developed by @LewisCarr gives quick access to Moodle features. Nice tool that stays on the screen but I would like to develop this a bit. Maybe links to key areas of the site or current hot topic you want to direct pupils towards? We don’t use the blogging tools on Moodle which are there (three icons) but links to calendar, search courses, MyMoodle page and the profile page are handy.
Big icons centre stage make this an appealling front end. Again focussed on the user getting to their destination quickly via the hover-over drop downs menus at the top or searching for something new.
Moodle Bar developed by @LewisCarr is here as well. You can see the message feature working here. If you use Moodle messages then this would be useful. But if Moodle messages double auto post to email account as well then you end up handling messages twice which is of course a waste of everybody’s time. If they don’t auto-post then you only see them when you log in to Moodle which isn’t so good for a school community. However, pupils tend not to use school email as part of their workflow, i.e. you cannot reliably email them and expect them to read the message. This is a big concern for all Moodle auto-posting from forums and the like. Maybe just a matter of training the pupils but I don’t see this working well until pupil mail is delivered (IMAPed) to smartphones and WiFi devices.
Big icons for subjects displayed here. Maybe too big? Requires a good scroll to see all of what is available. But does make for an easy-on-the-eye interface with key current links at the top.
Really like the ‘MAIN MENU’ block with the icons in.
Also really like the RSS feed of school news bottom right.
A lot of screen estate is taken up with the header – about a third on my monitor?
Lewis Carr MyMoodle Development
Moodle has a feature called MyMoodle that displays the ‘My Courses’ list for each user when they have logged in. This is an under-developed feature of Moodle and I don’t think any improvements are planned for Moodle2.0. Here Lewis is trying to develop the MyMoodle nito something useful to a user. I think this might have mileage, if not as what a user sees when they first log in, then as a clickable option on the front page.
All of these are interesting Moodle designs with different merits. My favourite things are:
- Big profile pic on Hamble – pupils may feel a little more involved and facebook familiar.
- The icon block with links to all services on Neale-Wade – make this a sticky block to appear in every (?) course and it become an embedded convenience for every Moodle user.
- MoodleBar – I really like the idea of having something constantly on the screen that is unintrusive but helpful. I’d like to do this with an hot-topic link to get people to vote on the latest issue or similar.
- Moodle Dock from Hamble – I like this approach because, in my experience, people like icons. If the width is fixed though, I might change how it is used. For example, Perins approach to six big icons that help you search/navigate and find what you’re looking for.
- Lastly, the drop-down menus. I’ve used these before but had to abandon them because they didn’t work on all pages (course editing pages) but I think it’s time for a come back. Also, on the header, I think trimming the height by about a third off what we use now would be sensible.
As for the MyMoodle customisation, I can only hope that Lewis finds a desire to be driven into that altruistic open source coding project.
Your thoughts are welcome. Would love to hear about other examples with features you like.