Posted in editorial rant, EdTech, Moodle, Technical stuff, user interface design

Moodle UX: The Naked Moodle

Boost is the default theme for Moodle 3.3 (and the upcoming 3.4) installations. If you’ve been Moodleing for a while, you might find the navigation to be confusing at first… and you’ll either love it or hate it. I’m personally not fond, but hey, not everything is about my personal preferences. Apart from that, its nice and clean, and gives you a fresh look.

Let’s have a peek and get a little content in here…

The Naked Moodle

fresh naked moodle - home
Naked installation of Moodle – Boost Theme

A Naked Moodle is one of the scariest things you will ever see. It has so much possibility in it, but it looks unfriendly and unyielding. From the thumbnail, you can see that its not going to be scary forever. As soon as we begin to add in our own elements, such as colours, logos, text… we can tame it!

If you have an installation of Moodle that was put together by a Moodle Partner, such as My Learning Space (who I work with), they will often do this initial work for you on your Live Moodle. but because we are playing with an installation on your laptops, you don’t get to leap ahead to something friendlier.

TIP: Run Moodle on your Laptop

I used the Moodle4Mac  (Moodle4Windows is also available) which came with a virtual server filled with everything I need to run Moodle offline ONLY on my laptop – no-one else can access this Moodle.

You might also have access to a ‘test Moodle’ or ‘sandpit Moodle’ which IS on the server, but only for trying things out – it won’t have students/staff, and it won’t be running current courses.

If you are going to mess about with Admin Settings, or even build new Courses, this is a fantastic way of doing that and finding out the problems BEFORE you touch the Live Moodle on the web server that all users have access to.

I’ll be mostly talking about playing with the Moodle on your laptop (or desktop or test/sandpit Moodle installation); but if I need to talk about the Moodle on the web server, that likely has courses already running and users added, I’ll refer to that as your Live Moodle.

Let’s add some logos

Before we look at what is available in Theme Settings, there is a place in Site Administration to add some Logos to the site. I got all inspired and made a video…

TIP: Logo Sizes, Shapes, and File Formats

Unfortunantley, Moodle doesn’t give us exact sizes for what might look good on the site and that seems to be so you are in control and you need to think about what screens will be seeing your Moodle.

Moodle does give you a hint that the Logo would be better as a wide shape, and the Compact Logo is more square shaped “…such as an emblem, shield or icon. The image should be clear even at small sizes.”

Of the two file formats accepted, JPEG and PNG, I’d use the PNG most of the time. PNG makes vectors (lines and plain colours) beautiful, and that’s what you need when you are talking a little graphic with a shield or similar. JPEG/JPG is better at photos and pictures with blended colours. Maybe use JPEG for the wide Logo if you need it.

Next… we’ll look at what we can do using the Theme Settings for Boost


-~Authenticity, Creativity, Community~- - eLearning Consultant & Trainer & Superhero - User Interface & Course specialist for Moodle & Totara LMS - I also enjoy researching into the Humanities - esp Cultural Studies, the Arts&Crafts Movement, and Medieval Guilds - warning: my hair colour changes a lot -

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