Drew’s Moodle page is unequivocally awful. I believe in this statement so strongly that I hesitate to even call it an opinion; it is more of an absolute fact. The fundamentals of what makes an effective webpage are absent from our dear Moodle. In its stead is a barren wasteland of a site that looks like it was created and formatted on a TI-84 calculator. Actually, that isn’t true; TI-84s look nicer.
Where the Moodle site ultimately fails is in its presentation. As you can read on feelingpeaky.com, visual aspects of a website are crucial in creating a user-friendly experience. Attributes like color usage and basic formatting have a profound effect, allowing seamless navigation to whatever information users are looking for. Minute details like these seem pedantic, but they do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to guiding users and providing a calm experience.
Drew’s Moodle color usage is lacking at best. The only semblance of color comes from its blue welcome banner and accompanying picture seen at the top of the main page. But don’t get too comfortable. Navigate to any other page on the site and kiss that navy blue goodbye because the banner and picture disappear entirely. All that’s left is a white tundra of unused space with random gray highlights that attempt, in vain, to break up the monotony. Granted, the default background color of most web pages is white. However, that’s exactly why color variety is so important! Staring at that amount of white for any period of time is an assault on our sleep-deprived eyes. To be quite frank, it’s ugly, and looking at it feels like my eyes are melting out of their sockets.
The useless white space brings up another flaw: the formatting is about as well done as raw chicken. All of the links to my classes are annoyingly shifted to the left side of the page, as if my classes are trying to break out of the side of my computer. This is thanks to all the unused space hogging up the right side of the screen. It feels like something was meant to be put there but was just never added. And this isn’t just on the main page either. That blank space on the right is there throughout the entire site. Even that nice blue banner gets shafted by it and is cut off two thirds of the way through. This blank space just clutters the already compact space being used and makes navigation of the site that much more cumbersome. Imagine if this space was used for grade notifications, university news or links to other Drew websites outside of Moodle. This small change would make navigating class and university resources so much easier and not make me want to punch a hole through my monitor.
In my eyes, these are the Moodle site’s most egregious problems, but that doesn’t mean they are the only ones. There’s the annoyance of having to log in again when accessing Moodle, even though I already logged in to Treehouse. Or the four erroneous “links” that appear on the main page just under the blue welcome banner, taunting us with information and news that just isn’t there. But worst of all is that this isn’t even a problem stemming from Moodle. The creators of the service recently released Moodle 4.0, the latest version of the platform, and it looks infinitely nicer than ours does. The issue stems from how Drew themselves created their webpage.
The solution, therefore, is simple. Drew needs to trash the Moodle page we use, like the garbage it is, by either overhauling the page itself or finding an entirely new learning platform.