Difference between revisions of "Major usability issues in Moodle"

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[[ Moodle User Interface Guidelines|Moodle User Interface Guidelines]] > '''Major usability issues in Moodle'''
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{{Work in progress|forumurl=http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=126884|info=<br /><br />'''This is a guideline template for a [[Moodle_User_Interface_Guidelines|Moodle Interface Guideline]]. Comments: [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=126884 developer forum thread] '''}}
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Moodle UIs that have such serious flaws that in practice they require redesign.
 
Moodle UIs that have such serious flaws that in practice they require redesign.
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==== Visual hierarchy ====
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[[Usability/Improve_Moodle_User_Experience_Consistency/Notes_from_UI_inspection#Visual_hierarchy]]
  
 
== The user-to-user messaging system ==
 
== The user-to-user messaging system ==
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* Links point to unexpected locations
 
* Links point to unexpected locations
 
* Getting trapped in a popup with the normal Moodle navigation
 
* Getting trapped in a popup with the normal Moodle navigation
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* A frame on the right side of the screen for messaging?<br/> Page peel / backside of the page? Not covering the current page but something you can QUICKLY turn to and from which you can quickly turn back (big return control for turning the UI back to normal state)
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* Designers open new browser windows on the theory that it keeps users on their site. But even disregarding the user-hostile message implied in taking over the user's machine, the strategy is self-defeating since it disables the Back button which is the normal way users return to previous sites. Users often don't notice that a new window has opened, especially if they are using a small monitor where the windows are maximized to fill up the screen. So a user who tries to return to the origin will be confused by a grayed out Back button. [http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html] http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/keytips.asp
  
 
== Wizards ==
 
== Wizards ==
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There are lots of problematic UIs like this in Moodle, but to name just a few:
 
There are lots of problematic UIs like this in Moodle, but to name just a few:
  
* Chat
 
 
* Groups (managing the groups of a course and the users in them )
 
* Groups (managing the groups of a course and the users in them )
  

Revision as of 18:14, 8 August 2009

Moodle User Interface Guidelines > Major usability issues in Moodle

Note: This page is a work-in-progress. Feedback and suggested improvements are welcome. Please join the discussion on moodle.org or use the page comments.

This is a guideline template for a Moodle Interface Guideline. Comments: developer forum thread


Moodle UIs that have such serious flaws that in practice they require redesign.


Visual hierarchy

Usability/Improve_Moodle_User_Experience_Consistency/Notes_from_UI_inspection#Visual_hierarchy

The user-to-user messaging system

This should be thought through together with the jabber messaging/notification/forum subscription system with a holistic approach.

  • Popups everywhere
  • Links point to unexpected locations
  • Getting trapped in a popup with the normal Moodle navigation
  • A frame on the right side of the screen for messaging?
    Page peel / backside of the page? Not covering the current page but something you can QUICKLY turn to and from which you can quickly turn back (big return control for turning the UI back to normal state)
  • Designers open new browser windows on the theory that it keeps users on their site. But even disregarding the user-hostile message implied in taking over the user's machine, the strategy is self-defeating since it disables the Back button which is the normal way users return to previous sites. Users often don't notice that a new window has opened, especially if they are using a small monitor where the windows are maximized to fill up the screen. So a user who tries to return to the origin will be confused by a grayed out Back button. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/keytips.asp

Wizards

Processes in Moodle that resemble wizards should either be redesigned to be less sequential, or have all the elements that help users navigate, of wizards.

  • Installation
  • Backup
  • There is no proper navigation between the two steps/modes, and it is not even communicated explicitly what is the relationship between the two screens!
    • Two-step roles UIs (assign roles in course)
    • Two-step groups UIs (add users to groups in course: select group -> add users to group)
      • Lack of any visual hierarchy or distiction between navigation and commands
      • It is not communicated that some of the commands work on the selected item in the list.
      • Create group should be separate.
      • Add/remove users should be a link with the group name “Add remove users of group [groupname]”.

Visual hierarchy

One big issue is visual hierarchy of screens, i.e. even if there is not as much content on a screen as there was in the old quiz editing UI, in many places there seems to be no organization of the content, and as things are centered by default understanding the structure of some pages can be pretty bothersome - instead of "letting your eyes do the work", you have to really think about what is where and try to solve the puzzle, as it were. Includes things like conveying semantics and relationships of elements through usage of visual elements, like usage of headings and the usage of those funny grey partially rounded boxes.

In a sense this should be a guideline but I really cannot think of much to say, except something could probably be extracted from the web: http://www.google.fi/search?q=usability+visual+hierarchy . Also, perhaps if we define certain page types several moodle pages would fit in then most pages would have some common factors. Then again, this also risks restricting design too much.

There are lots of problematic UIs like this in Moodle, but to name just a few:

  • Groups (managing the groups of a course and the users in them )

Note: This is not graphic design as such, but usage of UI elements in a way that communicates their relationships clearly, facilitating users' preconscious scanning of the UI to make sense of it quickly: more information: [1]

Making the Moodle more fluid with javascript/YUI controls/AJAX

Among others, converting dropdowns for adding items into YUI dialogs (quiz editing: add question / type selection vs. course: add activity module)