Following our recent creation of 3 concept designs for social housing provider, The Hyde Group, we had a chat with Annie Hammond, Resident Engagement Communications Adviser, about their initial theme requirements for their Moodle site, and the final design created by the HowToMoodle team.
What were the reasons you decided to have a theme created for your Moodle site?
Annie: "We are a social housing provider, and we use our Moodle primarily to engage with our residents through online service improvement activities, as opposed to it purely being an LMS system. With this in mind we needed our site to be as visually engaging as possible, as we are asking residents to come onto the site out of choice and give up their personal time to engage with us on there. Also online engagement in our sector is not particularly common-place, with many residents preferring more traditional, face to face activities, so again we wanted the site to visually draw people in as much as possible and to be enjoyable to use."
What was your design brief for the new design?
Annie: "We wanted our site to loosely reflect the look of our website and to be in line with our branding guidelines in terms of the colour palette and fonts etc. However we did want it to be a bit brighter and - as it is distinct from the Hyde Official website - separated slightly design-wise. We wanted the theme to incorporate clear, simple buttons to lead residents easily to the most important areas of the site as residents had previously told us that navigation could be an issue. Communication and discussion/debate are also important outcomes of our site, so we wanted the visually appealing image slider in the new theme to be able to show nice big images and promote new stories, consultation opportunities or discussion topics."
Since the theme launch, what has been the response by your learners and colleagues to the Moodle site?
Annie: "Response has been great, our users seem to really like it and the feedback about the improved navigation has been very positive – with users telling us it’s much easier for them to find the category and activities they need. We’re really happy - we think it looks really clean and vibrant and it’s much easier for us to get our messages across. We’re about to open the site up more to other colleagues around the business and improve the links externally from our website to encourage more residents to enrol, so we’re really hoping that they all like it too!
We have also been very proud that the site has been shortlisted for 3 awards relating to innovation in digital engagement in the last year, including TPAS, the Chartered Institute of Housing and the UK Housing Awards. We won our Southern stage of the TPAS awards so can justifiably say that our Moodle site is award winning!"
Annie concluded by commenting on the new theme and working with the HowToMoodle team...
"We are Resident Engagement specialists not web designers, so we were very glad to have HowToMoodle helping us with our site! They have translated our brief really well. We did have some quite conflicting requirements, for example we wanted to have the page bright and colourful, but at the same time our users need content and links to be clear and unhindered by too many busy images. I think the new theme balances these needs really well, so we’re very happy with the outcome."
Why we love this theme...
This theme has a bright and vibrant feel that engages the visitor from the start. It’s Quicklink buttons provide a clear navigation path that demands attention and promotes ease of navigation. The slider image is a simple to use, attractive and effective way for The Hyde Group to promote their key topics.
We also love that the challenge of creating a sector leading, engaging online portal has been achieved – as testified by resident feedback. Our best wishes to Annie and the team as they continue to extend their roll out within the organisation.
Need help with your Moodle theme? Get in touch to discuss your requirements with our experts on 0330 660 1111 or contact us here.