Student projects/Usability issues/T1

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Student projects/Usability issues/T1.


  1. Norman, D. A. (1999). Affordance, conventions, and design. Interactions 6, 3 (May. 1999), Pages 38 – 43
  2. Preece, Jenny. Interaction design beyond human-computer interaction Preece, Rogers, Sharp. New York John Wiley & Sons cop. 2002
  3. Mayhew, d.j. The Usability Engineering Lifecycle. Morgan-Kaufman, 1999. ISBN: 1-55860-561
  4. Cooper, Alan. About face 2.0 the essentials of interaction design Alan Cooper and Robert Reimann. Indianapolis, IN Wiley 2003.
  5. Lim, K. Y. and Long, J. B. (1992) A method for (recruiting) methods': facilitating human factors input to system design. Proceedings of CHI'92. Pp 549-556.
  6. Siegel D., Dray S. (2005) Avoiding the Next Schism: Ethnography and Usability. Interactions. March+April. Pp. 58-61
  7. DENIM is an interactive sketching tool that helps web site designers in the early stages of design. Denim
  8. Lleida University Introduction to human-computer interaction
  9. Nielsen, Jakob, Usability Engineering, 1993, Academic Press/AP Professional, Cambridge, MA
  10. Hom, James, The Usability Methods Toolbox
  12. Usability Body of Knowledge
  13. Online guide to usability methods resource
  14. Jakob Nielsen's Website

Research in the tracker

Top 10 usability problems

  1. Order problem: 1 usability problems
  2. Too many popup windows: 1 usability problems
  3. Problems when finding buttons: 1 usability problems
  4. Problems with the usage of icons: 1 usability problems
  5. Problems with the buttons' colours: 1 usability problems
Usability problem's table
#Usability problem ID Short description URL of the tracker Kind of problem Proposed solution More information
1 Usability Problem with Moodle File Management System MDL-9513 Order problem Change the order of the several columns: checkbox - filename - action column - file data Done
2 Quiz usability: too many popup windows when manually grading MDL-6000 Too many pupup windows Solve manual overriding of grade in /mod/quiz/report.php. Note: Coordination needed with Olli Savolainen. Difficult
3 Capability definition should include list of contexts where usable MDL-7859 Confusing where each capability can be assigned In capability definition (access.php file) contextlevel means the lowest level Medium
4 Usability issue: send in ratings MDL-2572 Problems when finding buttons If users could send in their ratings as they make them with a button available next to each rating, or some other mechanism contextlevel means the lowest level Easy
5 Usability issue: send in ratings MDL-5794 Problems with the usage of icons Addinng a field / script Medium. Should the DB definition be changed?
6 If the "Turn editing on" was of a different color or shape the usability would be better MDL-10182 Problems with buttons' colours If the "Turn editing on" was of a different color or shape the usability would be better: the button would be easier to find. Done
7 Increase use of tabs on all mod activities MDL-14632 The idea is to move all the "modes" for a module into consistent tabs that are visible all the time (assuming you have permissions). This way we could make roles much easier to get to, and we'd also remove some of the inconsistent buttons and links we have. Setting some prototypes could help the discussion. Difficult
9 Ability to hide and activity or resource but still make it usable if i link to it MDL-14444 To be able to hide resources and activities but still make them accessible so I could visually make an element (a specially design label) to access them in a more visually design way. To alter the hide/show (eye icon) so that the hide is still making the resource accessible if I know the link to it. some thing like HTML/CSS display:none Medium
10 Drop down menus not usable and not accessible in IE using keyboard only MDL-14439 When using keyboard in Drop down menus (for example, adding a resource or activity, or selecting a language in the user profile, or using the drop down menu on top left of each resource/activity page), it is necessary to be extremely fast to select an option. If you are not very very fast, the first option is always selected by default. The problem does not appears using FireFox. A flag in the user profile allowing people to show the menu buttons (currently available in the code, but enclosed in the NOSCRIPT tag). This way people using either keyboard or mouse will be able to use the drop down menus. Easy
11 Wiki: error message too small (not noticeable) when upload file exceed file size limit (usability) MDL-14294 If you try to upload a larger image file over 10240 bytes, the file manager will prompt you that "Sorry, but that file is too big (limit is 10240 bytes, about 10k). However, this message is so small that it is not noticeable by the user and a lot of users would get confused. Maybe consider display the error/warning message outside of the File Browser window, or at least make it red color. The file size limit should be flexible and there should be an option for this in wiki. Done
12 It seems that group mode is not yet (fully?) implemented in Metacourses. MDL-7675 It seems that group mode is not yet (fully?) implemented in Metacourses. I would appreciate very much this feature. An extension of "separate group mode" on all ressources and activities would add even more usability for moodle use in multiclass-multiteac. To better manage the activities for different classes an improvement of the group mode: extension to activities and ressources, full implementationfor Metacourses and complete separation of groups (no visibility of activities/ressources of other groups) Difficult
13 Access control for moodle file directory MDL-7232 Would it be possible to flag a folder (or an individual file) as accessible to instructors/admins only - i.e. these files will never be accessible to student users or usable as links in reaources/activities. I understand that backup files are currently blocked from student access. I am proposing that a similar functionality be made available for the file directory in general, perhaps on a folder-by-folder basis. Such a facility would enable us to use the moodle file directory as a central repository for all course-related material, including sensitive material. Medium
14 Fix question category creation CONTRIB-365 With the current version of webctimport, questions imported using the script are not usable in Moodle. Even though they are added to the database, they don't appear in the imported course. This is because the current version of the script doesn't create a 'contextid' value for the question_category item. The proposed patch creates a default context and assigns it via the contextid field to the question categories. Medium
15 Add a "add to contact list" button in the profile viewing page MDL-13969 Addition of a contact list Should be pretty easy to implement. Just thought that it would be a good idea to add a "Add to contact list" button right next to the 'Send message" button that currently available on the personal profile page (see screenshot). From usability point of view, currently on site if I want to add someone to my "contact list" (in message), I will have to first send him/her a "message" using the "Send message" button then the person will be added to your contact list, not very user-friendly if I want to just add them to my "message" contact list. Done
16 Category Titles in Courses Block MDL-2598 Addition of category titles It would be nice and a lot more usable if the course list was complimented with category titles. Easy
17 Message window does not fit properly on eeepc screen and is almost unreadable MDL-14037 Problems with the message window. Screen height on the eeepc is 480px which leaves one line to read the message text. there is a lot of whitespace in the lower part of the window, so a small adjustment would render this usable. Medium
18 Add an option for instructors to enable/disable automatic email notification after grading assignment MDL-9453 Adding a functionality A lot of our instructors requested such feature, which I think would really increase moodle's usability. If we could add an option under the "Common Module Settings" when creating a new assignment to allow instructors to enable/disable automatic email notification after they graded a certain assignment. Medium
19 Submit Button at top MDL-4151 Location of a button. Putting submit button at the top. Done
20 Multiple page view within discussion topics with ability to set max number of posts per page MDL-10120 Scrolling for ages within long discussion topics is bad both in terms of usability and page load times I suggest that an option is added to the forum module that allows you to specify a maximum number of posts per page; in the same way that you can specify the number of discussion topics per page within a forum. This would minimise the amount of scrolling users have to do and would make forums more user friendly. I assume the same code could cannibalised to add this feature fairly easily. Another suggestion is to copy the way Moodle does it already when displaying discussion topics, e.g. "Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 (Next)", to keep things consistent. Done
21 Localized strings get too long in the Moodle menu MDL-12753 For the german translation we found that the strings get too long for the menu Site-Administration In most cases the menu entries and the headline of the linked page are using the same strings. In the headlines you will have much more space for more words but not in the menus. Therefor we will ask you for two different strings. One string should be used for the menu entry and the other should be writen as the headline on the linked page. This will help to get usable menus and readable significant headlines. Done
22 When deleting a course category, it will also delete all courses in that category MDL-13343 When you delete a entire course category (say Summer 2005), currently it will prompt you for "confirmation" (see screenshot), then after you click on "Yes" button it will just move all the courses under that category into the parent category if there is one, or into "Miscellaneous." There should be a option here on this screen to allow admin to really delete all the courses under that course category. Medium
23 Help popups should display a navigation toolbar MDL-13359 At the bottom of each Help popup, there is a link to the index of all Help files. If the user follows this link, and possibly other links from the index, there is no simple way to go back, unless the user is relatively sophisticated (e.g., is comfortable using context menus (right click -> back) or browser tabs). The Help popups should provide a navigation toolbar for unsophisticated users. Difficult
24 Show only / show all icons confuse some students MDL-13917 "Show only topic N" and "Show all topics" icons present a usability issue. Students who inadvertently click on them become confused when they lose sight of the the other blocks. It would be good if we could disable these icons, either at System or Course level, or perhaps through a new capability. Difficult
25 Gradebook column header links would benefit from having full text of assessment title as rollover text MDL-13960 Novice teachers who are not yet aware of the implications of long assessment titles in the gradebook Full text of assessment title as rollover text Difficult
26 Default Option Enhancement MDL-3857 A default option The default option could be provided on the configuration page in the form of a command button Difficult
27 Message block keep on transferring data from MDL-5910 When I sent out a private message to someone via, on the bottom of the message window it will just display Transferring data from and it will keep on going and going Finish the display message Medium