Proposed Navbar Updates Coming 2024

Exciting Navbar Update Coming in 2024!

Activation Date: Coming in 2024 will be the rollout of our new, user-centric navbar. This update is the result of extensive feedback and is tailored to improve your experience on our eLearning platform.

Try It Out Early: Curious about the new navbar? Test it in our sandbox environment! Simply request a shell and explore the changes firsthand (instructions).

Need Help or Have Questions? If you encounter any issues or have queries, please reach out to us. We're here to assist you every step of the way.

 The image displays the top navigation bar of an online learning management system with the following items from left to right: "Course Home", "Course Content", "Grades", "Student Resources", "Course Resources", and "Help". Each category appears to be clickable, potentially leading to more detailed sections within the platform. The design is simple and user-friendly, with clear, readable fonts against a light background to facilitate navigation for users.

Comprehensive Overview: For a detailed walkthrough of these changes, watch our video overview.

Why Are We Updating the Navbar?

Our decision to revamp the navbar is driven by the need to address current challenges and align with best practices:

Outdated Design: The existing navbar, designed almost a decade ago, no longer aligns with modern web design best practices. Essential items should be easily accessible, typically placed to the left and top for optimal visibility.

Adapting to Web Navigation Patterns: In response, we're reshaping the navbar to ensure that the most frequently used items are prominently positioned for quick access, adhering to standard web navigation patterns.

Clutter and Non-Functional Links: Over the years, our navbar has accumulated links to tools that are outdated or no longer functional, leading to clutter and confusion. The update will streamline the navbar by removing these redundancies.

Inconsistent Access in Current Setup: Our quality review revealed that relying on instructors to add a widget for central student resources on their course homepage resulted in inconsistent access. This was due to a lack of awareness or knowledge on how to add the widget.

Strategic Integration by Deans: To address this, a group of Deans, as part of a semesterly review of hybrid and virtual quality, agreed to integrate essential student resources directly into the navbar. This decision, complying with requirements from our accreditor (HLC), ensures consistent availability of these resources in every class, regardless of the modality.

 Highlights of the Navbar Update:

Comprehensive Overview: For a detailed walkthrough of these changes, watch our video overview.

Revitalizing Our Navbar: Objectives and Community Insights

A few months ago, we embarked on a mission to revitalize our existing navbar, with several key objectives:

As part of this effort, we conducted a survey last October/November to gather your thoughts on our proposed changes.

Survey Highlights:

A deeper dive of the changes:

With those themes in mind, here is a preview of the new navbar with some annotated highlights.

 The image displays the top navigation bar of an online learning management system with the following items from left to right: "Course Home", "Course Content", "Grades", "Student Resources", "Course Resources", and "Help". Each category appears to be clickable, potentially leading to more detailed sections within the platform. The design is simple and user-friendly, with clear, readable fonts against a light background to facilitate navigation for users.

1. New Course Home Button: To address navigation challenges, we're introducing a 'Course Home' button at the top left. This will allow students to easily return to their course homepage from anywhere within a course, making navigation more intuitive.

2. Simplified Navigation: To streamline the navbar, we've combined several elements under the 'Course Content' menu. This includes:

3. Direct Access to Grades: A new 'Grades' menu item has been added, providing quick access to grade books. This was a frequently requested item from students.

4. Revamped Student Resources: The 'Student Resources' tab has been restructured based on positive feedback from our survey. This ensures that every student has access to essential student services in their eLearning classrooms and eliminates the need to rely solely on the PCC Quicklinks widget.

5. Course Resources Tab: This tab has been restructured to eliminate tools that were not supported or are not widely used. It's important to note that all tools remain available to instructors through the course admin button. We emphasized tools that most students would need to access infrequently here (groups, awards, rubrics) and tools that are used frequently but not in every class (video assignments, virtual classroom, etc). We did not include external tools in this section (Panopto, packback, etc) since there are a great number of those tools (some are very niche), and they can be accessed through the existing activities button.

6. Reconfigured Help Button: The 'Help' button has been updated to offer more streamlined support for both students and faculty. Since those options will differ based on user role See samples below (faculty on the left student on the right). 

 The image is a close-up view of a section from an online learning management system's help menu, with options including "Get Help with D2L", "Knowledge Based Tutorial (Screensteps)", and "Brightspace Community". The text is set against a plain background, and each item seems to be designed as a hyperlink for users to find additional support and resources related to the platform. The "Help" dropdown menu is currently expanded, indicating these are specific sub-options available within this category.
 The image shows a snippet of a dropdown menu from an online educational platform labeled "Help". The dropdown contains links to various support resources: "Get Help for Students", "24/7 Support", and "Knowledge Based Tutorial (Screensteps)". The design suggests these are clickable options for students seeking assistance, with the interface having a clean and straightforward layout for ease of use.

7. Global Navbar: You may also notice a few changes on the Global Navbar with the addition of faculty resources, student resources and the same reorganized help menu. 

The navbar contains three dropdown menu items labeled "Help", "Faculty Resources", and "Student Resources", suggesting they provide links to various services and information for users. Above the navigation bar, there are graphical icons representing different functionalities or services. Prominently displayed below the navbar is the name "Pima Community College" in large, bold font, indicating the website belongs to this educational institution. The overall design is clean and minimalistic, with a neutral color palette.

Bonus: Revised Login Page

Have a look below at the new login page launching Spring 2024

The image features a central white login box with a blue "Click to Login" button for Pima Community College members, and a "Non-Pima Login" option below. There are two additional text links at the bottom: "Need Help Logging in" and "Request Help from the D2L Team", suggesting assistance is available for login issues. The background is partially visible, with a faded blue overlay on what seems to be campus images, and there is a design element with orange and white stripes, resembling caution tape, across the bottom. The overall color scheme is blue and white, reflecting the institution's branding.

Authored by Tony Sovak