Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Contributor

Canvas App a huge disapointment

We're fairly new to Canvas, and are about to launch to our whole institution.  As far as I can recall, we've been told that Canvas' web experience is not mobile responsive because Instructure expects most users to use the App instead.  However, we've been trying to design and build exciting Course sites, but find many features that make this happen just don't work in the App? It's actually quite a poor user experience 😞 The following are some examples:

Like other Canvas Users, we would like to implement an FAQ page in a Canvas Course. We have tried to use the Element Toggler class to achieve this – but have found that it does not work in the app as the expand behaviour does not function? This is killing what could be a great FAQ option - and a really nice way of presenting video resources for students.

The .tab class does not work in the App either – meaning that all content otherwise laid out well in a browser is just listed vertically in the App. I know that certain jQuery features are deprecated – and .tabs may be part of this group? However, we are unclear how .tabs can be deprecated when it is used both in Settings and as the Content Picker structure under Edit (i.e. Links, Files, Images)? Is it that Instructure can use them - but we can't?

The experience between the Android and iOS App is also inconsistent. For example – we have designed a Course so that it does not use/need the Course Navigation (and hiding or disabling these in Settings / Navigation creates more real estate on the screen). This doesn’t pose an issue for the Android App – but if you do this the iOS App will not show any content at all (the whole course is blank)! So we have had to re-enable the Home navigation option to get the course content to show up in the iOS App. Why?

We’re really shocked how poor the App can be – it seems to be degrading some content so much – and appears to be restricting the options of what we can use, just so that the content isn’t spoiled once it is rendered inside the App interface.

Are we alone in feeling this? How have other Canvas users dealt with this - overcome these issues?


59 Replies

I have heard both perspectives, and like I said before, it really depends on how your school uses mobile devices, particularly tablets. If mobile is the primary access, there are some pain points. If not, students generally like the app. I have 4 years of survey data to back this up, plus look at the App store ratings. Anyways, I'm not here to say the app is perfect, but just to identify how a different environment can look at the same product. 

I have talked to the mobile product manager a few times about improving the experience, and it generally revolves around making the 1:1 (k12) experience better, which will make it better for everyone. 

Unfortunatly we are a large University too with several thousand students. With various features not working consistently and in some cases whole swathes of content not appearing correctly we simply cant risk the end user experience being degraded. We have notifications appear in studnet email and encourage the use of this so that there is a single method of communication in place.

Community Participant

Thanks Ryan this helps, but should be documented formally by Instructure I feel, along with standardised methods for producing analytics from CanvasData that include Mobile.  When procuring Canvas we had concerns about the absence of reporting for Mobile and CanvasData... and still do...  Its like instructure's business marketeers are definitely winning the leadership battle - too focused on growing the business at the expense of engineering the promise within Canvas LMS - with the leading engineers and clients in a sound proofed room somewhere #CANVASUKHE 😞

I had a discussion with the Mobile Product Manager and mobile platform leads on Monday. They are well aware of the need to improve the analytics for the mobile apps and reduce the "noise" from the data provided to Canvas Data. I'm not saying there is a quick change on the horizon, and the mobile team does have to work with other teams to accomplish their goals, but they are aware of the need. I'll keep asking, just like others. 

Check the parameters of the Application.

Alweather Martin

Cyber Security IT

On Dec 20, 2017 2:20 PM, "" <>

Community Participant

HORRIBLE illegible white text on very pale, nearly white background is pervasive and on almost every screen in the Canvas teacher app for iOS for Bellevue College WA, as of 1/3/18!!!

I can’t actually use the app since you can’t see the back button or other commands to tap on.

Also the courses icon does nothing- it won’t jump me to the full course list, ever. Thumbs way, way down!

Here's an example:


Community Participant

Thanks, but since our school system will not pay extra for Canvas Data - nor for the developer that using Canvas Data requires - that's a nonstarter for us, I'm afraid. 😕

As for the first issue, the tool bar being white on a grey background is definitely a "hiccup" and not intentional. I suggest you quit the app and try opening the app again. If the issue persist, I highly suggest you report a ticket with your local support or Canvas. 

As for issue two, I would definitely report that as an issue. I have not heard of this with our users or the community.

One last suggestion is uninstalling and reinstalling the app. 

I know this isn't ideal, but I hope your issues can be fixed, and in turn, help others. 

Hi  @gorsi ‌ -

It looks like you've got your course color set to "#FAFAFA" - which is very near white. You can change it in Canvas web or in the teacher app by clicking/tapping the top right of the course card. That should fix your problem.

263741_Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 10.31.59 AM.png

Courses button fix coming soon!

Community Participant

Yup, the app still has the poor color scheme AND that courses button doesn’t work - I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled the app twice now.

Gabrielle Orsi, PhD