It seems like it would be a simple and reasonable fix, but a lot of thought and trial and error has gone into the solutions the UX team at Moodle HQ has put in place to make navigating across Moodle courses and sections a more immersive experience. The fact of the matter is, UX is a quickly-evolving discipline whose development often only looks simple and easy in hindsight.
Part of the problem of faster speed UX development is the difficulty of gathering the right answers from users. Parts of the experience in using a tool, including software, takes place on levels we are unaware of. As a result, the best enhancements in usability and design are often the result of “quirks” that slowly grow into acceptability, then desire, then requisite.
Listed at moodle.com, the first main visible changes in navigation brought by Moodle 3.4 are:
- “Previous” and “Next” buttons right under the headings to encourage a sense of “flow.” Sometimes they already include the title of the next section.
- “Jump to” drop-down menu, in the middle of the two buttons, will lead students directly to specific Moodle pages. Even though the post claims students will find links “to any course activity they want,” it is unclear whether students can customize the options in the menu.
The new navigation improvements in Moodle 3.4 are dazzling and innovative, even if some of them are already offered in competing systems. In the case of navigation features, Moodle is expanding the ways and channels by which users can reach the vast amount of options available, something with which competing LMS do have trouble keeping up.
Of course, Moodle can continue to increase the rate of UX innovation, as it has stated it will do in upcoming releases. However, maybe allowing for some more “quirkiness” is the way to go.