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ordwaye
New Member

We are going to switch to the new UI on friday. How screwed are we?

Got your attention?  Anyways last year was our first year out of pilot and we kept moodle up in parallel to help people transition.  This will be the first year that we will only be providing Canvas as the lms.  So we have about 25% of the people that switched over last year and we expect the rest to come over in the next couple weeks now that summer session has ended.  So our options to switch are 'now', 'after newyears', or hope that the force switch does not bit us in spring.  Our spring term runs into June.

All the documentation seems to have switch over to the new UI so people looking at the docs will have interesting results.

So for those reasons we are moving now and the questions stands.  What is going to bit us?

50 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Honestly you'll probably be fine as long as you communicate with your Instructors about (1) what's happening, (2) why it's happening, and (3) what has changed (not *that* much really). I think Canvas is probably going to be tweaking the UI for a while, but it seems like it's pretty stable and user-friendly. But hey, if not, then at least you'll have some great war stories to tell about how awful it was and the rest of us will pat ourselves on the back for waiting. Smiley Wink

mmitchell
Community Contributor

Hey Erik,

Best of luck! We have a hefty amount of custom JavaScript and CSS, so the switch is going to be a much longer and trickier transition for us. Does your institution utilize much custom CSS/JS?

Mike

Not much customization.  We switched over on beta and test in a couple hours.  We found the other than colors most of what we were doing had been implemented in the new theme.

ssnider
Community Member

I say tell them to buck up and stop complaining. Smiley Happy  I liken it to your bank, credit card, FB or Amazon.  They change their interface and nobody blinks they just move on with a shrug.  Of course for some reason when an LMS changes you do hear some complaining.  May it's because you can't very well complain to you bank or Amazon about their interface change but faculty know you and ring you up personally.

We just jumped from pilot to production and used that as the excuse to turn on the new UI.  A fresh start.  It also didn't affect as many users.  We had little backlash.  Our business school was the biggest user in the pilot and they can be cranky.  Take a deep breath and make that click!  Good Luck!

mdthomas
Community Contributor

We are similar, coming off our Spring pilot and going to full production for all faculty now.  Because it was new for the majority, we made the switch to the new UI.  Some things we have noticed thus far:

  1. 1. After cross-listed courses the Dashboard does not immediately display the new cross-listed master course on the Dashboard.  We have had to guide faculty to click on the Courses, All Courses to locate all of their courses and then also favorite the one they want on their dashboard.

  2. As others have said, logout is hidden - under Account.

  3. Biggest issue right now is the responsive design on computers.  We have had several faculty state on their office computers that the course navigation menu collapses as well as the right options will move to the bottom of the page.  So, if anyone knows - I'm looking for details as to what are the resolution/screen sizes in which this will happen?  I want to pass it along to our IT department for configurations.

- Melissa

Melissa,

The UI team continually makes the pages more responsive over time, so any exact pixel breakpoint would probably change in the long run. I do know that they're thinking about exploring options with the course navigation menu as well, so everything is still subject to change at this point.

Thanks,

Erin

clong
Community Champion

Hi Melissa, I can help you with #3

There appears to be two different window size thresholds that the new UI uses to determine what navigation items to show/hide on course pages. Of course this could be subject to change, but as it stands now here is the breakdown.

1. Browser windows is less than 992 pixels - Course Navigation hidden, Sidebar appears at bottom of the page.

146809_pastedImage_0.png

2. Browser windows is greater than or equal to 992 pixels - Course Navigation hidden, Sidebar appears on the right.

147164_pastedImage_3.png

3. Browser windows is greater than or equal to 1200 pixels - All elements shown as normal.

147165_pastedImage_7.png

Just FYI, this release makes a change to #2, as there no longer is a breaking point for Course Navigation and the Menu is always expanded. The only way it will collapse (after January 9) is if the user clicks it. Smiley Happy

Hope that helps!

Erin

clong
Community Champion

Thanks for the tip Erin!

jthoms
New Member

In my experience, Friday isn't a great day for a major change. If there is any confusion, or a technical problem (however remotely possible), you'll be stuck dealing with it over the weekend. This advice was handed down to me long ago, and I've regretted it a few times when I haven't followed it.

I'd hold off a bit and get up early on Monday Smiley Happy

I could not agree more with John!  We have a change management policy here to not make any production environment changes unless it's an emergency to avoid problems when people are not/less available due to the weekend.  I'd strongly recommend waiting until Monday if you can, especially since this is a significant overhaul to the UI/UX.

irishb
Community Contributor

 @jthoms ​ and  @pcraig ​,

Thank you for your replies but no worries - "Friday" was used to get responses, as I was not getting many with my post to the general community - when we make the switch, it will be on a Monday. ; )

Best wishes,

Bridget

(one of Erik's co-workers)

Curricular Technology Support Specialist

The Evergreen State College - Olympia, WA

erinhmcmillan
Community Team
Community Team

Erik,

The documentation is actually showing the current UI; the only thing that is different is the first step of the majority of lessons, which shows the navigation of both the new and current UI. Functionality for all other features are the same, so most users should be just fine (at least that is our intention). We are always open to feedback for documentation so let us know if you come across anything that is significantly confusing.

Thanks,

Erin

We haven't switched yet, however, I have it on in BETA.    The 1 big thing I notice is that it seems to only limit users to 10 Accounts.     We have many users with up to 66 Accounts.    

0 Kudos

I think limiting to 10 Accounts is a function of Beta environment. In production it shouldn't limit to 10. I have more than 10 accounts myself and I asked Canvas that question a couple of months ago and they told me that's expected behavior in Beta. Hope this helps!

Hi Jared,

One of the UI engineers added a link to view more accounts if you have more than 10. You can see this link in beta right now. This link will also appear in production for the September 19 release.

Thanks!

Erin

Thanks!    

ordwaye
New Member

So far it has been fine.

And continues to be fine. 

anthonem
Community Contributor

Would any other early adopters of the new UI like to chime in?

We've been told from our CSM that roughly a third of institutions have switched to the new UI.

We are planning for a switch over Winter Quarter because that is the only time that none of our schools/colleges are in session (we run on both quarter AND semester schedules). Our CSM said she thought another bunch of institutions will be moving over winter break as well.

Any more reports from the field?

The only issue that we have run into is in the test and beta instances where the new UI sometime freaks out and has to be turned off.  I think that this is now a resolved issue but I will not believe it till the end of the quarter. 

ssnider
Community Member

I've also seen this nasty problem but only in test.  For me it displays HUGE icons from the left sidebar.  Turn the new UI off and then back on and it's okay again. 

In your production be careful of the CSS.  You don't want to upload an old UI CSS to the new.  That totally wrecks it.  We haven't written a new CSS for our university yet and may not.  We will likely just rely of the stock editor to change the colors and add a logo.

We have the EvaluationKIT LTI installed.  For that we have a few lines of code in a CSS and JS file uploaded to the new UI.  Those lines are only what is required for EvaluationKIT and nothing else.  It's worked fine.

We've had in the new UI production since August and it's been fine in production.

We have just used the editor to make almost all of our changes and upload the logo images.  Most of the changes that we made via javascript and css where implemented already in the update.  We hide some stuff that lets faculty nuke their course but that is about it.

anthonem
Community Contributor

Thanks  @ordwaye ​ -- do you know if any faculty/students had specific problems using the new interface?

Do you all have any LTI's installed (like EvaluationKit as Stephen Snider mentioned) that gave you problems in the new UI? We have Turnitin, VoiceThread, OneDrive for Business and Dropbox enabled through LTI.

ssnider
Community Member

Turnitin hasn't been a problem for us with the new UI.

anthonem
Community Contributor

Good to know thanks  @ssnider ​!

Our setup is pretty plain and that was one the reasons we could jump so easily.  I am going to tag irishb​ who does more of the direct support to see what student/faculty issues she saw if any?

irishb
Community Contributor

Hi  @anthonem ​ - it appears many of our faculty haven't been bothered by the UI change,

though here are a few issues some faculty have remarked on and/or I've seen first-hand:

  • "Account" and "Help" in the left bar get cut-off from view sometimes, even when in full-screen on a laptop (have seen this occur more with Mac than Windows).
  • The "disappearance" of the course menu and users not being familiar with the burger icon.
  • Not seeing there are two views available for the Dashboard so not seeing differences between the Dashboard and Courses (in the left bar) resulting in "why have both?" question.

Maybe students are experiencing these too - I'm tagging  @houstond ​ for input in that area.

Hope that's of help.

Bridget

So far students have been pleased to see their mobile (without an app) experience improve. We've seen positive reactions from tablet users and those on mobile devices that are not able to have the Canvas App in their app store (windows phones.) All around a great change.

anthonem
Community Contributor

 @houstond ​

Good point about Windows phones not having a Canvas app, I hadn't thought about that!

I'm glad to hear students are liking the new interface on mobile devices.

anthonem
Community Contributor

Thanks irishb

Good point about the Help icon being cut off. There's a feature request to fix that here: -- you should vote up this request.

Burger icon! I've heard faculty describe icons in other LMS's this way. Too funny! I'll make sure to point out the disappearing course menu in our documentation.

Thanks for you insight, I appreciate it!

irishb
Community Contributor

You're welcome and thank you,  @anthonem ​, for the tip on the feature idea to fix the Help-less issue in the new UI!

Thank you again,

Bridget

P.S. Other terms our faculty have used for the "burger" icon: cake, accordion, garden burger.

BKINNEY
Community Contributor

Have you found any work-arounds for the cut-off links? Seems like a fairly major issue to me.

tom_gibbons
Community Contributor

It's a pretty uncommon thing. The only way I can get it to do this is if I set my resolution very low, or have a very small window (I'm imagining that Bridget was seeing it on 11" MacBook Airs, on which users had adjusted the native resolution). The only way around it would be to adjust screen res or browser zoom.

If you're using a mobile device with a browser, the problem is much more common. The best way around it is to rotate your screen, and then snap the zoom back to as much viewable area as possible. In portrait orientation, it's almost impossible to lose the bottom of the persistent nav.

tom_gibbons
Community Contributor

Hey Mark--

Hope all is well at Seattle U. We've had pretty good success with the transition. At South, we have a bunch of people on 4:3 monitors, still, so some problems with the responsive part of the UI.

Here's what we did for transition material: User Interface Transition - CANVAS (Seattle Community Colleges) Learning Management System (LMS)

Having been tasked with planning my campus' transition to the new UI, your transition info link is SUPER helpful and appreciated! Thank you  @tom_gibbons ​!

mdthomas
Community Contributor

 @cheryl_colan ​ - We had a similar page as Tom's.  It is available at Salisbury University - MyClasses Canvas - New User Interface if that helps you.

anthonem
Community Contributor

mdthomas​ -- thanks for sharing your new UI transition page! It's really helpful to see different examples.

 @tom_gibbons ​ and mdthomas​ THANK YOU so much for sharing links to the faculty resources you have created!

I just created a new discussion where we can hopefully get folks to share their advice and rollout strategies. Tom and Melissa, feel free to elaborate if you have any other advice or resources to share!

Rolling out the Canvas New UI - Shared Practices

 @anthonem ​ and  @cheryl_colan ​ how has your transition been thus far? I'd love to see you post any thoughts, ideas, suggestions about your experience as well, in that thread above! Let's work together to make this a nice, smooth transition!