Is Moodle Taking Inspiration from Edwiser RemUI?

Is Moodle Taking Inspiration from Edwiser RemUI?
December 8, 2016 Rajiv Sathian
In Moodle Solutions

Over time Moodle has evolved to a great extent. Launched in late 2002, it grew quickly to be the leading Learning Management Systems we use today. (Read all about Moodle’s history here)

Each Moodle version, upped the set of features available in the platform. And with Moodle version 3.0 you’ve got some super awesome features built-in.

Moodle version 3.2, that’s recently launched has a lot more in store for you, especially on the UI front!

Moodle Roadmap – UI Changes in v3.2

Probably the most talked about change in 3.2 is the user-interface. Moodle’s worked on a brand new default theme.

June 2016

News of this new Moodle theme surfaced on June 10, which triggered a long thread of discussions, most users suggesting features they expected to see in a new theme.

July 2016

Martin Dougiamas officially announced the actuals of the theme development project on July 8th. We’ve listed the highlights below:

Theme And Navigation Project 3.2 – A Summary

UX Changes

  • Navigation redefined to show related pages
  • Drop down menu for each item in the navbar to switch between courses
  • Improved focus on content by moving blocks regions into an expandable menu
  • Easily accessible settings

UI Changes

  • New distinct styling
  • Uniform look for settings
  • Customizable colors, fonts, logo

The new default theme was in the process of being the highlight of Moodle 3.2, and focused on usability improvements.

In the meanwhile, we were in the process of building a Moodle theme. Here’s the order in which events rolled at WisdmLabs headquarters.

Edwiser RemUI – Development and Launch

November 2015

In late November 2015, the idea of creating our own Moodle theme cropped up. A fleeting thought initially, we worked on listing possible improvements we could provide.

Implementation began in March.

March 2016

By March we had a clear outline and a design for the first version of the theme ready. We got straight to development.

Our goal was to completely revamp a Moodle user’s experience. Edwiser RemUI was planned to be a much needed change for the Moodle community.

Along with making the theme responsive, the features we included were:

  • Functional Layouts: One of our primary objectives was to make it simpler for users to create and interact with course content. For this, we intended to provide additional options to make each section of a Moodle website more functional. We integrated options within existing layouts and redesigned some others
  • Simplified Navigation: Navigation for Moodle had always been cumbersome for users, and for us this was a hurdle we needed to clear. Our solution was to provide quick links or shortcuts to make it easier for users to navigate across a Moodle website
  • CollapsibleSidebars: Sidebars when not in use merely reduce the size of the course content area and increase scroll. With collapsible sidebars, we wanted to provide readers the option to transform the layout to full-width for easy of learning
  • Highlighted Sections: Our design changes included clearly highlighted sidebars, the header and footer, using color, to make layouts more appealing
  • Customization Options: To make it easy for users to customize the look of their Moodle LMS, we planned on adding several settings in the theme.

By the end of July, we had planned Edwiser RemUI’s launch.

August 2016

Edwiser RemUI was launched in the beginning of August. We got a lot of inquiries and received an overwhelming response from the Moodle Community.

“Edwiser RemUI overcomes the age old monochromatic user interface of Moodle and is packed with custom layouts, simplified navigation, dashboard customization options, quick access buttons on the menu and much more. Edwiser RemUI is a UI game changer for Moodle in our opinion.”

– LMS.org

“A brand new Moodle theme – Edwiser RemUI, which is more than just a premium theme. I bet that you are going to fall in love with the features and customization’s it has to offer to improve your Moodle LMS look.”

– Jassi

“Edwiser RemUI is a new look for a Moodle theme, significantly changing the look and feel of the Dashboard for students, teachers and administrators.”

– Moodlenews

“The Moodle user interface has been remodeled completely to have a classy new design.”

– Jojo Joson

Boost Theme v/s Edwiser RemUI

The new default Moodle theme in version 3.2 is called ‘Boost‘.

If you use Edwiser RemUI (or have tried out the demo) and have seen the Boost theme, you can’t help but notice some similarities.

FeatureEdwiser RemUIBoost
Collapsible sidebar  
Highlighted Sidebar/Footer/Header  
Quick Links Menu in Header  
Improved Course Layout  

Comparison table

remui-theme

Edwiser RemUI

 
moodle-theme-boost

Boost

 
remui-footer

Edwiser RemUI: Footer

 
moodle-boost-theme-footer

Boost: Footer

Coincidence? We’re guessing not!

Our Analysis

For us, it isn’t about debating over who pioneered this change. For us, the similarities are a reassurance. They tell us that we’re on the right track.

martin-discussion-boost-theme

A snippet of Martin’s comment

According to the founder of Moodle, what we understand is that, the new theme is equipped with architectural level changes that might be difficult for other themes to adapt.

The latest Moodle interface is built on Bootstrap. Edwiser RemUI is built on CSS framework Bootstrap too. This means, it’ll be easier for us to incorporate new changes on the front-end.

But it’s not just about the user interface, it’s about the underlying functionality.

We are assured that our changes are in line with needs of Moodle users. We have in depth knowledge of the architecture, and can work with it to customize the platform as required.

Underlying FunctionalityEdwiser RemUIBoost
Built on Bootstrap  
Uses Chart.js (to display Charts)  
Uses Video.js (to play videos)  

And if you’re planning on switching to v3.2, it’ll be easier to adapt to Edwiser RemUI, since it’s close to the latest changes.

Your Thoughts

Edwiser RemUI has been, and still stands to be, the first user-centric theme for Moodle. The latest developments in Moodle will make it easier for us to develop the changes we’ve planned.

Have you checked out Edwiser RemUI? How about Boost? What are your thoughts about the changes? Do let us know, in the comment section below!!

Comment (1)

  1. GPPD 10 months ago

    Rajiv,
    He is right, you are in the right track, but in the first place … for while.
    “Success Is Never Final and Failure Never Fatal. It’s Courage That Counts”
    keep running! . . . the right way.

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