Since its inception, Canvas has always been open and transparent about our business and our features. We believe in being open. We believe in allowing you to use Canvas the way you want to use Canvas. And branding is one component that we’ve been working hard to improve, specifically relating to the use of the existing style guide and Instructure UI (InstUI), Instructure’s own component library.
Previously, Canvas engineers implemented a style guide to be used for internal engineering teams and ensure consistency throughout the product, hosted as part of each Canvas account (e.g. canvas.instructure.com/styleguide). Over time, we noticed that some of our customers started to leverage that style guide. We know that you enjoy being able to design your own Canvas-theme projects within the Rich Content Editor. Now, with the evolution of additional technology advancements, we’ve discontinued the use of the old style guide in favor of InstUI.
InstUI, Instructure’s own UI component library, is built using React, which allows our developers to deliver new features more efficiently and makes all of Canvas easier to maintain and innovate. InstUI ensures consistent, accessible experiences throughout Canvas and delivers custom themes made with the Theme Editor to all interactions, just like the style guide intended. With React, those experiences are better tested, better maintained, and more reliable than ever for our users.
If you’re interested in using the InstUI components, InstUI is open source and available for you to use in your LTI tools. To get started, visit instructure.design. If you’re starting from scratch, InstUI works great with React boilerplates like Create React App.
We haven’t enabled the use of InstUI in the Rich Content Editor yet; however, other tools are currently available for integrating custom changes. Some options as noted in the community include H5P and other canvas embed tools.
In 2019, the InstUI team will begin work to improve documentation and support for third parties.
Additionally, we recognize we don’t have an ideal solution for making changes in the Rich Content Editor. For now, we’re focusing on building a better Rich Content Editor to give you a better experience and give you more controls to design pages the way you want. This project is in the planning stages, and if you want to get more involved, watch for additional details to be posted in Canvas Studio.
If you’re not using InstUI but have used elements from the style guide in your pages, please let us know in the comments which elements you used and why they were helpful to you. Style guide feedback may be considered for future development.