Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Mahara Upgrade Spotlight - Week 2

Only two weeks until Mahara gets upgraded!

This weeks spotlight we'll have a peek at the new look and feel of Mahara. This time around we have decided to go completely standard with the graphical user interface (GUI). Before we had a UCS branded blue theme as seen in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1
The new upgrade will revert back to what we call a 'Vanilla' theme, basically the default theme the Mahara software comes with, this has several benefits:

  1. With it being a standard theme we can utilise already available tutorials and video guides.
  2. Alleviate any extra development work when upgrading having to make sure a custom theme still works.
  3. Makes moving between potential Mahara systems easier.
Mahara's default theme is green in colour and has the enhanced dropdown menus to aid navigation as seen in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2
As you can see the main menu structure has persisted throughout. We hope this upgrade will bring a slicker and smoother navigation experience.

Upgrading to the latest version also brings with it a new responsive framework which detects the screen size you are accessing the site in and adjusts the layout accordingly. If you were to access the site from a mobile device it will adjust the menu and content to a more easily viewable and manageable size as seen in Figure 3 and 4 below.

Old - Figure 3
New - Figure 4

As you can see from the screenshots above, taken on a mobile device, the current UCS Mahara install on the left (Fig 3) half the content is off the screen, however Figure 4 shows that with the new software content has been adjusted to fit into the screen meaning the user will not have to scroll across the screen to access features.

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