The Water Cooler Talk that Gave Birth to Edwiser RemUI

The Water Cooler Talk that Gave Birth to Edwiser RemUI
August 1, 2016 Rajiv Sathian
In Announcements



While setting up our training courses for WisdmLabs (the parent company), our instinctive choice was Moodle.

Well, with Moodle being a part of our daily lives, we’ve been able to explore it from the perspectives of an administrator, a student and a developer.

The common consensus? Moodle is difficult to navigate and understand.

Moodle’s unintuitive user-interface and high level of complexity makes for a steep learning curve. But we did not see a hindrance. We saw an opportunity right here.

The Water Cooler Talk that Led to a Brilliant Idea

One afternoon, during our customary chai pe charcha (tea-time chat), we were discussing Moodle.

As expected, the topic drifted to that of Moodle user-interface. While I personally always felt, all Moodle needed was a bit of touch-up, the others helped point out that the problem wasn’t merely the interface.

Moodle themes were brought into question. Surely, some fared better than the others. But what most tried to do was improve the aesthetics.

None of those Moodle Themes tackled the lack of user experience, effectively.


A poor reenactment of the discussion 😉

With LMS being our forte, we were well versed with Moodle. Our flagship plugin Edwiser Bridge– a platform that integrates Moodle with WordPress- stood testimony to this fact.

The question that arose, was- Is there anything stopping us from building our very own theme for Moodle? No.

We had all the resources to build a theme for Moodle

We knew exactly what was needed, we had the technical expertise and we did NOT need to work on improving Moodle’s functionality.

Our goal was to make Moodle’s existing functionality accessible.

Remodelling Moodle User Interface

Building a theme for Moodle was the simpler task. Building user-experience…ummm… not so much.

“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation”

– Zig Ziglar

So what followed was intense research. Studying existing themes, understanding complexities, zeroing in on areas that needed improvement.

We concluded that improved user-experience for Moodle, needed to pack these three factors:

#1 Improved Layouts

Improving layouts was a matter of making existing layouts flexible and functional. The focus was to make content readable while keeping distractions to a minimum.

#2 Simplified Navigation

The objective here, was to make content accessible.

Moodle’s navigation has always been cumbersome. Our idea was to to add shortcuts or quick links to reduce the user’s effort when interacting with Moodle.

#3 Enhanced Visual Appeal

Color probably wasn’t the most important priority. But we did focus on improving the general aesthetics of the system.

With the backing of this research, the design was frozen, and the development team got working.

4 months, 18302 lines of code, 36 hours of testing and 98 cups of chai later, we were ready to launch Edwiser RemUI.

The theme’s out there in all its glory for you to explore or employ!


The Development Fine-Print

We built the theme on Bootstrap as the front-end framework and JavaScript to add special effects. The super-cool icons you see on the theme are credited to Snap. The dashboard layout and sidebars are credited to AdminLTE.

Your Thoughts are Important to Us.

Feedback is essential. Nay. It’s vital to help us improve. So, we’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions, critique, all alike! The comment section is open for discussion. But you’d have to bring your own chai! 😉

Comments (4)

  1. Andrea Samadi 2 years ago

    I think it looks incredible and I love reading how you created this new theme! I’m very excited to see it working on my sites, and helping more students learn!

  2. Praveen Kumar 2 years ago

    Have yu rewrote the theme with boost as your base? IF yes, just let me know. I am seriously looking to buy a theme

  3. Robert Volker 1 year ago

    Theme looks great! Which version of Bootstrap did you use?

    • Author
      Rajiv Sathian 1 year ago

      Hi Robert,

      Glad to know that you liked our theme.

      We used Bootstrap version 3.3.7 for Edwiser RemUI.

      Rajiv Sathian

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