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Pedagogy /
Improvements to names of pages and buttons

Dianne Tennent's profile picture
Posts: 13

22 October 2021, 10:44

Hello Mahara community! 

As a former teacher, I'm aware of the advantages of digital tools to enhance learning, but also of the ways that these tools can impede learning, when students are faced with an additional challenge of learning how to use these learning tools. 

As a new developer on the Mahara team, I've had the chance to find my way around the site as a new user, and this has prompted some ideas for ways to improve the naming of a few areas, to make it a bit more intuitive for teachers and learners to find their way around the site. 

Since we don't have the budget to conduct official user testing to inform these decisions, it would be wonderful to get as much feedback as possible on these ideas, so that we can confirm that they would indeed be an improvement to the Mahara experience.

1: 'Collections and pages':

  • As a new user of Mahara, I saw that I could create a collection and a page, but I wondered, how do I actually create my portfolio?
    On viewing the profile page, listed under the heading "My Portfolios" is a list of collections and pages. At this point I realised, ohh, when I create a collection (or a page) I am creating a portfolio. A collection IS a portfolio, a page IS a portfolio.
  • Therefore, my proposal is that we replace "Pages and collections" with "Portfolios" or "Portfolio Library". This will improve the user experience by clarifying what collections and pages actually are, clarifying the idea that a portfolio could just be a page, or a collection of pages and also having a cleaner look for the headings.

2: The 'Add' button on the 'Pages and collections' overview page:

  • The term 'add' implies that something that already exists is being added to the user's profile. However in reality, when we click 'add', we are actually creating a page, or a collection/portfolio that didn't already exist.
  • As a new user, seeing the word 'add' creates some hesitancy, as we don't have anything to add at that point. What we're trying to do is create something new. When we open the menu we see a 'Create' menu, when we click 'Add' the heading of the modal says 'Create'.
  • Therefore, my proposal is that the word 'Add' in the button on the 'pages and collections' page be replaced with 'Create'.

Here is a prototype image to show what this would look like. Just a simple 'thumbs up' or 'yes please' would be awesome to get an indication of whether you think this would work well for Mahara. (Disregard fonts/colours, as these will of course be consistent with our theme(s))


Thanks so much for reading and for supporting this project.

Ngā mihi


Gordon McLeod's profile picture
Posts: 197

22 October 2021, 21:10

Hi Dianne,
Just a quick comment to say yes I'm completely in favour of the concept. Anything that clarifies the purpose of a button or feature and gives people a more instinctive understanding of how to do things can only be good, and sometimes simple changes like expressly saying "go to your portfolio pages" or "create new content" can have a surprisingly big impact. Please keep the suggestions coming!

Regards, Gordon.

Dianne Tennent's profile picture
Posts: 13

26 October 2021, 9:33

Hi Gordon, 

Thanks so much for your response. Glad to hear that these kinds of changes are worthwhile and would improve your experience of Mahara. Community feedback is so helpful to confirm these things, so it's great to know we have members who are willing to provide feedback through this forum. Hopefully we can continue to improve Mahara UX with the support of our community :)


Kind regards


Sam Taylor's profile picture
Posts: 61

26 October 2021, 0:29

Just to say I agree - both suggestions are a great step forward! Perhaps it could coincide with a rethink of what's on the Dashboard too? The 'Create' tile takes you to your 'Pages and Collections' page. 

Home - Mahara (2).png

Dianne Tennent's profile picture
Posts: 13

26 October 2021, 9:35

Hi Sam, 

Thanks for your response! So helpful. And yes I agree with you regarding the Create tile. Perhaps along with the 'Portfolio Library' concept, this button could read 'Portfolio Library'. Looking forward to hearing more community feedback on this idea! 

Kind regards


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