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Community 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

Thanks  @tom_gibbons ​ for sharing your transition webpage, very helpful!

Things are going well. Nice to hear from you, just down the street!


Thanks again everyone! In the spirit of sharing, here are the online resources we are sharing with faculty: Getting Started - Canvas Help Center - Seattle University

That is a nice site, Mark!  Have you considered linking to the Canvas Guides here in the current Canvas Community website vs. linking to the old site like you have now?  For example, I'm looking at your links for "What is the New Canvas User Interface?", "How do I use the Dashboard? (New Canvas UI)", etc.

Community Member

So technical items aside, the number 1 step in making change happen is creating urgency.  What is the urgency for an organization to move to the new UI?  I need some good talking points for my teachers, students and parents. 

Well, July 9 2016 is the date that it will be turned on for everyone. Is that enough urgency?

Unfortunately, Canvas setting a date does not cause urgency. Yes, we have to meet the date, but we need to convince our stakeholder groups - teachers, parents and students, why there is urgency to make the change.  "Because Canvas said so..." is not really a compelling reason.  I'm still in search of the elevator speech that will get people behind the reason for the change.  Thanks.

So, maybe this is a matter of semantics. When you say 'urgency', it sounds like what you mean is what I would call 'buy-in'. What we'd ideally like to do is convince people that the change will be for the better. I don't have any compelling arguments for that. The new UI is different, and we know people don't like change. I've heard it claimed that the new UI requires fewer clicks per operation. Haven't really noticed it myself, but it makes a good talking point if you can confirm it. Then again, maybe the best you can do is convince them that the changes are easy to adapt to. For the most part, I think that's true.

We switched over the winter break, and my only complaint is that my sub-account custom js isn't sticking. I had thought that was supposed to be working by now.


Thanks for your thoughts. They are helpful.  How big is your school audience?  Its impressive that you switched over the holiday.  We are a K12 with 55k students, 106K parents, and 8K teachers, so I will be switching in the early summer.

I'm at the University of Delaware. We have around 20K students, grad and undergrad, but not all of them are in courses that use Canvas. I don't actually have a seat count handy. Switching over the holiday didn't feel particularly brave to me. One major advantage is that we have a Winter Session during which a tiny fraction of our student population is exposed to new things. Gives us a much better chance to react to problems, and pave the way for the full spring semester. In any case, it was not my call, although I did push for it.


In addition to the comments from Becky, I have found the most significant improvement to be the reclaimed vertical space.  Most devices utilize a widescreen format for their display, so moving the navigational elements to the left freed up room to fit more content in vertically when viewing long assignments, pages or any list of information.   I do wish the far left nav would collapse when in a course site to increase the available screen real estate even more, but there may be accessibility implications if it were implemented in that fashion.  It would be great to hear what the project goals were for the team behind the redesign, it would help better formulate the elevator pitch!