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Change the quill icon to a pencil icon for Compose a new message

Change the quill icon to a pencil icon for Compose a new message

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

In the Messages section of Canvas, the way to compose a new message is to click on the icon of a quill. Some students don't even know what a quill is. And several of my students though the quill icon was a picture of a leaf.

A pencil is a standard icon on the web for "edit." Let's make the button easy to find by changing the quill to a pencil. (See attached files for examples.)

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13988-canvas-production-release-notes-2018-01-27 .

89 Comments
jbrady2
Community Champion

Deactivated user  That's a quill? All this time, I thought it was a leaf, and I couldn't figure out why they put a leaf there. Now it makes sense. So, yes, I agree, it should be changed to a pencil.

James
Community Champion

If pencil is a standard icon for edit, then shouldn't you use something else for composing a new message lest people think you can edit it? You cannot edit an existing message -- yet. But if it gets to the place where you can edit and you have anticipated the need for a different icon, then you're ahead of the game.

Note: That "yet" isn't a prediction. My wife did a presentation on "growth mindset" and said we should start adding yet to the end of sentences.

lezonl2
Community Contributor

I like the idea of a different icon, but i don't know that I agree that a pencil is the best replacement due to the points  @James ‌ makes above.

cdoherty
Community Member

It definitely looks like a leaf. The stem should be longer if it's meant to look like a quill. Anyway, today's students would not relate to a quill. The standard icon for new message is pencil or pen on top of a square (paper). That makes a lot more sense than a leaf.

kim_flowers
New Member

I'll admit it! I've been calling it a leaf. :smileylaugh:

kara_robinson
New Member

It's definitely a quill!!! Smiley Wink

haha  @kim_flowers  and I regularly have this amusing debate with our students... I can think of a possible reason for both icons... quill for writing (though old fashioned - definitely the more reasonable reason :smileygrin:) and the leaf for something 'new' (as it looks like a new baby leaf).  But agree with Erich it should definitely be a standard icon that people are used to seeing in the world of message composing.

tchilt
Community Participant

We have had users asking how to compose a new message because they couldn't figure out what the leaf meant. It's a pretty poor design choice. There is a pretty universal compose icon out there. Here you go:

252594_Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 3.24.05 PM.png

frederick_smith
New Member

I also definitely thought it was a leaf, which is what I have been telling my students.  I know what a quill looks like - and that "ain't" it.  The stem/shaft is far too short and the feather far too large.  I agree the icon should be changed.  

eholtmann
New Member

What does it take to change the icon? A certain number of votes?

kim_flowers
New Member

I'm sure the same principle applies for all requests - 100+ votes to be put on the product radar. 

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @kim_flowers ...

The 100-vote thing changed a while ago...and you can find more information here: How does the feature idea process work? 

kim_flowers
New Member

Ah ha! So... that leaves us where...? Smiley Wink 

It certainly makes our training interesting which I guess isn't a bad thing!

daniel_horsley
New Member

I have heard on high opinion that it is in fact a leaf. Change it Canvas. I dare you!

david_heath
New Member

This shouldn't need a hundred votes to get changed - it's clearly not a very clear indicator for students!

eholtmann
New Member

It seems unreasonable to me that quick fixes (like changing an icon) have the same voting threshold as major changes. The time spent in voting is many multiples of the time that would be spent in making the fix--which no one opposes.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Deactivated user‌

As  @chofer ‌ pointed out above, there is no longer a "threshold" for feature ideas.

Kelley

kara_robinson
New Member

I knew I'd seen this icon somewhere else too, but couldn't remember where... It seems it's also used in the Course Settings menu under Course Details... it's the icon next to the 'Change image' option.  Another very confusing place for this icon to pop up.

Quill Icon used for

frederick_smith
New Member

I will be surprised if it happens quickly and not surprised if it doesn't happen at all.  I hate to be negative, but I haven't been impressed with Canvas's concern for actually listening to users.  There are many areas that need improvement and that have been suggested (such as adding an editing bar to instructor comments boxes), but that show no interest or progress in being implemented.

awilliams
Instructure
Instructure

Hey  @eholtmann  Welcomeback to the Canvas Community and thank you for taking the time to share your ideas. It looks like you have an interest in our Ideation process and I'm glad you have found the guide How does the feature idea process work? I can empathize. I have been in your situation of wishing that what seems like a great and simple idea would arrive sooner and I can understand why it may seem unreasonable to treat a "quick-fix" the same as other ideas. However in my experience it works out pretty well for a variety of reasons. Some ideas that seem easy may turn out to be a lot of work and conversely some ideas that seem hard may turn out to be easy. Ideas that are technically easy to implement still require significant time to test and still need to be prioritized (which voting helps with). Regardless of how technically hard or simple an idea is, the change may still have a significant impact on users and benefit from a comment period. Sometimes this discussion around a "quick-fix" can lead to an even better fix.

All that being said, the product development process gets ideas from a lot of different places and they can find their way into development even if the version that exists here in the community isn't the most highly voted idea (or even still open for voting for that matter). So the status you see here isn't always the full story of any given idea. I hope this helps explain the approach better and alleviates some of your concern that good ideas aren't going unnoticed. In fact, in the most recent archive of ideas (which you can read about at Ideas: Archiving Anew) 24 ideas were included that didn't meet the same threshold as the others because of how they related to current priorities, and this is still but a fraction of the overall input that goes into product development.

PS. It looks like you might have had a previous account with us (link to profile Deactivated user). Would you mind checking that link for me and letting me know if that is a duplicate account we can retire?

eholtmann
New Member

Yes, please retire the duplicate account.

Thank you,

Erich Holtmann

925-473-7654