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User research focused service design

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University of London have recently created a brand new team that is focusing on research and development around its Moodle based services Bloom. This team are working on improvements to these services and will be making regular updates on progress from its user research programme.

So far we have interviewed over 30 different roles at various colleges and universities about their experience around Moodle generally. These roles have included a mix of lecturers, students, administrators and learning technologists. We have also surveyed over 190 students on their main activities in Moodle and why they use it. We will be continuing to increase the sample size over the coming months whilst also targeting lecturers needs.

Key Findings

59% of students say they use Moodle everyday, largely on laptops and phones.

Students main pain points in the user research were uploading work, viewing grades and accessing course materials. Students find it difficult to find their assignment submission boxes and access grades as links to them are not always in the same place. They also find it difficult to find content is relevant to them when they click into a course and would like a consistent design across all courses and modules they complete.


From the initial research the R&D team have created a number of personas that help identify groups of needs for users. These have included the two below as well as personas for distance learning students, higher education lecturers, further education lecturers, administrators and learning technologists.


Additional personas will be added as we continue to adapt and conduct further user research.

User Workflow

As most of the research to date has focused on students, the R&D team will be focusing on improving the student experience for viewing grades, uploading work and accessing course materials. Initial workflows have been created and are available for view in the attached slide deck. This deck covers the first release goal.

What we Prioritised

From the research so far we have found that the following targeted areas are best suited for our first release:

  • Improving Accessing Grades
  • Improving Uploading Work
  • UX Focused Default Moodle Theme
  • Demo Site
  • Disabling unpopular Plugins
  • Course Creation Tool*

*Still to be determined.

We will also do the following if we have time:

  • Improving Accessing Course Materials
  • New Agenda Schedule view of the Calendar.
  • Increase Moodle Message Outputs to include social apps e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook etc.


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