Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia's leading universities and ranks among the world's top 100. They help change lives through research and education.


UX Research

Usability Testing

User Interviews

System Usablity Score (SUS)

Affinity Mapping

Persona & Journey Mapping

How Might We Questioning

UI Design


Lo/Hi-Fidelity Designs

Interactive Prototyping

Tools Used

Figma, FigJam, Protopie, Adobe After Effects


UX/UI Design

Moodle (LMS) UX/UI Project

Re-designing the learning management system (LMS), Moodle based off findings from user research.


Our design team was approached by the MADA faculty at Monash University to redesign their existing learning management system (LMS), Moodle. For the past 10 years, Monash University has partnered with Moodle to provide students and staff an academic learning space through their learning management system (LMS). With the everyday use from their users, Monash University is constantly looking to improve the usability and experience of their current LMS for their students. This case study details the interviews and usability studies conducted by our team, where we investigate and observe how Monash students navigate around Moodle. From there, discover the underlying issues from their experiences. Moodle was assessed through two UX methodologies: Interviews and Usability Tests. Results from our research study guided us with our re-design of Moodle.

Project Timeline

This project was split into two stages: UX Research and UI Design (Prototyping)

UX Research                                                                                                           UI Research

  1. Background Research                                                           1. Wireframing
  2. Usability Testing                                                                     2. Lo-Fidelity Wireframes
  3. User Interviews                                                                      3. Hi-Fidelity Design
  4. Data Synthesis                                                                       4. Interactive Prototyping
  5. Affinity Mapping
  6. Key Findings
  7. Persona & Journey Mappping
  8. Conclusion & Recommendations


Stage 1: UX Research

✏️  Doing the Background Research

It was important for our team to conduct research about our client and what exactly an LMS was. The client provided us with a broad introduction of who they were and the system they were using. Being a student at Monash University myself, I was very well familiarised with Moodle and understood the workflow of the system itself. Together, our team came up with the following purpose, goals and research objectives for our study.

Purpose: To investigate and observe how Monash students navigate around Moodle and discover the underlying issues from their experience.

- Observe the end to end process of how Monash students currently use and navigate around Moodle-

- Improve Moodle’s navigation (logical hierarchy, simplicity and versatility)

- To address issues with Moodle, offer solutions and propose to Monash University

- Explore solutions to the underlying issues within Moodle to suggest to the client for further improvements

Research Objectives
1. Understand the end to end process of how Monash students currently use and navigate around Moodle

2. Understand the significant reasons why Monash students use Moodle

3. Investigate how Monash students approach issues that occur on Moodle

4. Explore the potential opportunities of Moodle in adapting with future study at Monash

5. Understand Monash students’ perceptions, emotions and thoughts towards their current experience with Moodle

💻  Usability Testing

Usability Test Outline

Usability Testing is a common research method used by UX designers that allows us to test the functionality of a digital product. We do this by observing real users attempt to complete certain tasks with modelled by us, that help us answer our research objectives of the product. The main goal of usability testing to help us reveal any user confusion and pain points, and from there, uncover potential opportunities in order to improve the user experience.

A Usability Test conducted with the current Moodle LMS.

Usability Testing: How it went
Number of participants: 5

Test Duration: 1 hour (max)

The usability testing for this Moodle study was conducted with five chosen participants given to us by Monash University. We started off by giving a small introduction of who we were and what our study was about. From there, we conducted a quick pre-test interview to get to know a little about our user and their Moodle backgrounds.

Participants were then given 5 tasks to complete, with each task given with their complementary scenarios so that participants are able to easier picture the task easier. All participants were asked to follow a ‘Talk Out Loud’ method when completing each task, which allows us to easily recognise user’s thought processes and pain points.

Usability tests were completed with a post-test questionnare, to any additional data, feelings and thoughts that wasn’t clearly conveyed from the tasks. Participants were also asked to perform the ‘System Usability Scale’ (SUS) test, so that we could measure the participant’s overall test experience.

🔍  User Interviews

User Interview Outline

User interviews are are quick and easy way to collect qualitative data and understand a topic more deeply. Interviews usually are 30 to 60 minute converstations with users, where they are asked a series of questions that allow us to understand their feelings, perceptions and thoughts about the product of interest.

Interviews: How it went
Participants: 8

Interview Duration: 20 - 40 minutes

Interview sessions were arranged and conducted on site, allowing our team to gain more insight directly from Moodle users and understand them better. Our interview questions were constructed based on our objectives, including user's background, motivation of use, end-to-end process of using Moodle, technical difficulties, and their overall thoughts and opinions.

💾  Data Synthesis

After all the usability tests and interviews were conducted, we began compiling our data into visualisations for so that they would be easier to analyse.

Data involves:

Task Success / Fail Matrix, Average Time on Task, Severity Score, SUS Score, Post Interview Survey Answers

📍  Affinity Mapping

Affinity mapping is a UX tool used to help us group and organise information taken from our interviews. This was used to help us group and analyse our quantitative data and observations. We took key quotes from each of our interviews, coded them, grouped them and made common ‘Key Themes’.

👀  Key Findings

In this section, we compile and highlight our key findings taken from the results of our usability studies.

Key Insight 1: Navigation Confusion & Difficulties when Finding Resources on Moodle

Whether they it was finding class weekly slides, teacher’s contact information, or assessment due dates, it is interesting to see that each student has their own way to find what they are looking for. All of them eventually accomplished their task, however, a common issue was that it just requires too much effort and time in order to find these basic resources. With the way Moodle is currently set up it creates for too much inconsistency between units. Students are currently forced to forage around the unit page, opening and closing different tabs, in order to find what they need.

Key Insight 2: The Reliability of Assesment Timeline

Although all were aware of the assessment timeline on their dashboard, when we asked them to check for their upcoming assessments. They never used the assessment time line.  One student pointed out that she doesn’t have complete trust in the timeline feature as the timeline doesn’t recognise all the assignments for all her units.

Key Insight 3: Unaware of the ‘Star a Course’ Feature

As this feature is not commonly used, most participants were not aware of this feature. Many of them mentioned that they never noticed this customisation feature but realised after the test that this feature could actually help them with navigation. A reason why participants may not know about the ‘Star a Course’ feature could be due to poor visibility.

Key Insight 4: The Visuals on the Dashboard Does Not Have Any Correlation with the Unit

Participants mentioned that the visuals for each unit card does not has the correlation with the unit, which makes it difficult to differentiate between each unit. Hence makes navigation from their dashboard confusing. Images also look too similar to each other and hence, adds to the confusion when navigating around the dashboard.

Key Insights 5: The Poor Functionality and Motivation in Using ‘Chat Box’ Feature

Most participants were not even aware of this feature. Those who knew of this feature futher explained that they don’t even have a reason to use this feature as nobody is using it due to poor functionality (e.g. Extreme long loading).

🚶 Persona & Journey Mapping

After recognising the issues from our key findings, we created a persona and journey map of what Moodle's users are currently experiencing whilst using the app.Meet Julie! A Master of Architecture (full-time) student at Monash University. Learn a little about her and her journey map of submitting an assignment down below.

Created Persona

User Journey Map
📎  Conclusion & Recommendation

According to our UX Research Methodologies, we observed that the majority of participants had trouble with navigation, lack of understanding of some functionalities within the LMS, as well as clarity issues when locating and understanding certain information on Moodle.

Our five primary recommendations in re-developing the product suggests that the new version of Moodle should:

1. Maintain interaction pattern consistency across different courses and units

2. Enhance content and visual hierarchy, main resources should be present in the most visible and convenient way

3. Simplify and clarify the process of assessment submission

4. Improve the accessibility of communication channels on the platform

5. Include onboarding to introduce new students to the platform


UI Design

📔  Lo-Fidelity Wireframing

Taking into consideration of our user research and the final recommendations that we presented to Monash, we began the wireframing process for the re-design of Moodle.

🎨 Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

Here we refine our lo-fidelity wireframes. At this stage we added graphics, colour, focused on typography hierarchy, created and refined components.

⭐️  Hi-Fidelity Wireframes (Final Design)

From our mid-fidelity wireframes, we further refined our design and inspected small details such as spacing, pixel shift, animations, consistency, etc.

🖱  Interactive Prototyping

Here we took our designs and created basic interactions to demonstrate what the new design of Moodle would potentially look like in action.

Prototype Link

Moodle Re-Design Summary

This was overall a enjoyable project to work on and it was great to work with current Monash students and lecturers to dive straight into the world of Moodle. Recommedations as what to do next at this stage is to test the basic prototype with students again and work out what needs to be improved from there.

UX Research Summary

UI Mockups


Winner of the 2022 Interaction Design High Achievement Award, chosen from a select group of 40 designers for the Top UX Design Prototype, earning $800 for the originality, creativity, and usability of the Prototype

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