Keys to Picking a Great Moodle Theme

Indianapolis, IN—June 19, 2019—The theme is the foundation for offering the best user-experience for any eLearning site. Choosing the right theme for your Moodle LMS plays a critical role in the success of your learners. So, what’s involved?

theme

Here are some tips to help you pick the best theme for Moodle. We’ve based these on our process of recommending a theme for our clients that best fits their needs.

Tip 1:Look for Uniform Colors in the Design

Right out of the box, Moodle’s setup is pretty simple – too simple critics say. The upside is that simple design can create a distraction-free learning environment. If you chose a crazy-wild theme it may appeal to some with more colors and features (which is cool), but make sure your students’ learning paths are not affected.

What does that mean? Colors that are super bright, or overused might create a distraction. Drastic changes from one screen to the other require time to adapt to these changes, making it difficult to interact with the theme. So, make sure the color scheme,  fonts and headings are uniform across all layouts. Look for a simple, yet modern user interface.

Tip 2: Understand the way Information is Displayed

Does a theme control only the colors and the font? Nada. The theme also dictates the layouts (position of content), navigation (ways to find content), header, footer and other user-interface elements– think of it as the architecture of your LMS. It greatly affects the experience of learners and is important when picking a theme.

Evaluate the following:

  • Does it simplify or complicate how learners get around the site?
  • Are the blocks simple to use?
  • Are the layouts uniform?

Tip 3: Theme Load Time

You found theme you love, but takes 6 seconds to load. Ugh!  6 seconds seems like an eternity to users. Did you know you’ve got less than 3 seconds to engage a user. Ideally, LMS pages should load within 2 seconds.

“40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.” – Reasons visitors leave your Website

If a theme’s packing a load of CSS, JS files or huge images, it will be the crawl of death, affect user experience and your learners will complain. Want to test the theme out? Try using a tool like GTmetrix and test a couple pages.

Tip 4: Check Browser Compatibility

We always suggest our clients use Chrome or Firefox because they are the leading browsers used.  Always test the theme on these browsers. But believe it or not Internet Explorer/Edge is the 3rd-most popular browser still, and some users will have it as their default!  So for optimal user experience, test the theme across various browsers and older versions of the browsers. Try BrowserStack to test them.

Tip 5: Is Customization Available

You may not need to customize your theme at all but what if minor tweaks are needed? How about changing the color scheme according to your brand, or adding your logo. Apart from these simple changes, your theme should be customizable. If you’re not comfortable with coding Moonami provides this service for a fee.

A good theme should provide you sufficient customization options:

  1. Upload your own logo/ or add the company name
  2. Change button colors, link colors and highlight colors
  3. Edit page templates (add sidebar, display fullwidth)

Tip 6: Check for Mobile Responsiveness

Last but not least when picking a theme, ask – is it responsive? How do you do this? Test the theme on multiple mobile devices.  There are  tools available such as Responsive Design Checker or Screenfly to test the results.

  • A responsive theme will have simple navigation on a mobile device
  • Images and text will be resized for optimal viewing and without loss in quality

It will automatically adjust the layout to the device it is being viewed on. You’ll be able to view and interact with the content with minimal zooming, panning and scrolling.  A responsive theme is important for this reason: The percentage of mobile learners is growing!

For more, or to set up a review to customize your theme contact:

John DeFonzo
Moonami Learning Solutions
Director of Client Relations
jmdefonzo@moonami.com

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