I know what you’re thinking. Who is this girl and did she seriously choose D2L as the topic of an entire blog post? The answer is yes. Hear me out. I chose our handy-dandy school website not because I am passionate about homework and certainly not because I think it is the best website ever made. I chose it because after 3 years of college, I have memorized it like the back of my hand and am fairly certain that the majority of my audience will know exactly what I am talking about.
As many people know, Desire2Learn is the learning management system that connects students at the University of Colorado Boulder to the courses they are taking both on and off campus. Desire2Learn, or D2L, provides instant access to class materials such as notes, homework, discussions, class-lists, quizzes, grades, and anything else school related. The website serves as a medium for students to study, track their progress in class, answer any questions they may have, and get in contact with their professors. On the flip side, D2L serves as a medium for teachers to deliver pertinent information to their students, receive and grade assignments, and track involvement in the class. The website is decorated in the university colors which makes it easy to read, neatly organized for all users, and allows for quick and easy navigation from page to page.
User Centered Design
The design of Desire2Learn is very simple and easy to navigate. Along the top border of the site, separate pages are labeled and indicated by an icon, representing the content each contains if clicked. This makes it easy for students to know where to look for in order to find information about a specific portion of the class. Furthermore, the homepage of every individual class is divided into useful sections that give students a quick snapshot as to what is going on in the class at the given moment in time. The front of every classroom homepage has a “News” section that holds any important information, reminders, or messages that a professor might want to communicate to his or her classroom. In addition, there is a calendar that shows any upcoming duties or assignments for the purpose of keeping students informed and up to date on their work. Lastly, the professor’s contact information is located on the top right corner of the page so that students can get in contact with their professor at the click of a button. As a whole, the graphic design is made up for simplicity and the user in mind. Desire2Learn understand that students and teachers need information and communication at their fingertips and provides a product that is clearly labeled and organized.
As I mentioned previously, Desire2Learn is centered around the user. The needs of a student or teacher are organization and simplicity, which is exactly what the website provides. The purpose of this website is to easily transmit information between a teacher and their classroom, in a clean and organized manner. The audience and stakeholders of the website are both teachers and students, as they are the two primary users. These two groups of people are the consumers that benefit the most from the service and it is in their best interest of the website to make sure that the needs of these two classes of people are satisfied.
Although the website is easy to navigate and understand, Desire2Learn is also appealing to the eye. Considering that both students and teachers spend a considerable amount of time on the sight, it needs to be appeal to a variety of senses. The website offers soft colors that are big and easy to read. The feature that helps the product sell to its users is the easy accessibility. The website can be reached on any computer, but can also be downloaded from the app store so that users can use it from the comfort of their tablets and smartphones.
To conclude, Desire2Learn consistently delivers to the needs of both students and teachers in order to make access to learning organized and easy to understand and navigate.