What began as a simple project to bring in a few simple enhancements to the “More” theme has snowballed into something that is completely different than most themes. Introducing evolve-D. A new Moodle 2.7 theme that is based off More but with an abundance of enhancements that evolved into a new theme. Evolve-D sports a clean, minimal design with de-emphasised color scheme to minimize distractions. There has to be balance between beauty and function. Moodle is a tool. The theme must enhance the tool or it misses the mark. What makes this theme different is it’s new approach to the Moodle frontpage. Keep reading below to learn more…
When web pages have lots of text, boxes, and images it causes the user to spend time processing the page wondering which area contains the links and resources they need to access. This often leads to a feeling of being overwhelmed especially if the user has never used a website before and has a specific task to accomplish which is often the case with Moodle. Evolve-D is focused on eliminating as many distractions as possible beginning with the frontpage. Activate the new custom frontpage and you will invite students and staff to a simplistic and stylish frontpage where the main objective is to login. From the backend you can upload your own image that appears fullscreen as well as activate the three marketing blocks located at the bottom of the page. These are useful to let people know about special features or to provide information on what and how they should use your Moodle site. Best of all the marketing blocks can be toggled: always on, off, display before login, or display after login.
Once a user logs in they are greeted with a clean, minimal frontpage which seeks to direct traffic. The user has four main icons -My Home, Calendar, Courses, and Badges – and a search option that appear in a nice bar across the top of the frontpage. The focus of this page is to quickly get them enrolled into a course via the search bar, view upcoming assignments in the calendar, or get an overview by visiting the My Home page. Below the main navigation bar you will find an area in which you can add your own text from the backend. This is a great place to put announcements or a welcome message. To the right you can add standard Moodle blocks. We keep this to a minimum by only having the Logged in User block.
Smarter and easier navigation was the impetus to begin this project and we borrowed the My Profile and My Courses drop down menu system made famous in the Essential theme. Again, we want the platform to be simple and allow the user to focus on learning. At the same time we also want it to be stylish and functional when warranted.
We read left to right. Logically the most important thing should be on the left which is why all course content is on the left and Moodle blocks are on the right. Taking a look at a sample course you can see that the content is the star of the page with your eye naturally drawn to the course content with it’s contrasting background and bright icons that stand out due to evolve-D’s muted color scheme. You will also see that we did not want to take away from the important information that can be displayed in blocks. Each block has a nice and colorful icon associated with it. This feature was borrowed from the Aardvark theme.
All of these small enhancements coalesce into a simpler layout, minimal design that keeps the learned focused on accessing and interacting with your learning material.
Feature Overview and Download
Now Listed on Moodle.org Plugin Directory: https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=theme_evolved
Download Dev Version: https://github.com/kennibc/moodle-theme_evolved
Note: When you download the theme you must unzip it and rename the folder to “evolved” and then re-zip and install it or FTP the folder to the Moodle theme directory.
evolve-D v1.0 – The Tin Lizzy
- Custom full screen stylish frontpage
- Enhancement of core theme “More”
- Works with Moodle 2.7+
- Matching Mahara ePortfolio theme Download dbnmahara
- Google Font Selector
- Custom logo
- Custom colors and backgrounds
- Smarter navigation with My Courses and My Dashboard drop down menus
- Bootstrap responsive design
- Stylish block icons to enhance visuals
See the theme in action here: