The Design of Moodle’s Activities and Resources Aren’t Perfect – But They Could Be

One of Moodle’s core elements are the activities and resources that users can add to topic sections for students to complete. These resources can be books, text, interactive lessons and many more (interestingly, there is no option to add a video as a specific Moodle activity or resource). As a graphic designer with a focus on readability, I have never felt comfortable with the alignment or hierarchy of these resources. I don’t think they have been revised in many years and I have finally decided to redesign them! I’m not saying this is a perfect solution, but I’m hoping to visually show what’s possible.

I will let the visual BEFORE and AFTER graphics below speak for themselves, but the basic overview is that these adjustments solve issues I raised in a previous post by:

  1. Increasing the size of the label and decreasing the distance from its own description – this brings in a clear hierarchy of label and description with the viewer clearly reading the label first and then the description. This will also allow users to scan down a list of labels without interference from the descriptions.
  2. Adding a modern icon that begins initially in a grey colour and then once the user has spent a certain amount of time in this resource changes to a green colour to indicate completion – this allows the user to see at a glance what they have completed in their course.
  3. Adding an automatic sub-label and time frame to the resource – this allows the user to get a better feel for what is required at a glance. Many articles on the web now use this method (

I hope that this layout feels a lot more visually comfortable and makes the experience of browsing through tasks much more enjoyable with no readability barriers. The addition of the completed resource/activity indicator and time frame indicators also put the user at ease because they will know what is required at a glance. I would hope that there would be customisable options when creating these resources which would allow even more flexibility, but in its default state, it is neat, orderly and readable.



As well as a complete visual redesign, I have also supplied some basic CSS to improve purely the readability of the Moodle Resources (see screenshot below). So please feel free to use this quick fix. I created these adjustments using the Stylish extension within Chrome, so if you’d like to trial the CSS changes on your own site before you implement them, add the Stylish extension to Chrome and paste the CSS into the extension to see the results on your Moodle page. Below are the results when applied to the basic Moodle Demo site.