Custom menu and blocks (left and right)

This post is to answer this question:

Good Day Sir Daniel,
your theme’s awesome!
Is there a way for me to direct the Navigation,administration,bookmars,etc (basically the whole accordion navigation tab menus) into the custom menu while also hiding the original accordion tab?

IT SEEMS TO BE POSSIBLE…

What you want is similar to something that I wanted to do, indeed I did a small research sometime ago and I think is possible.

If you take a look of this article you can realize that Moodle gives us good tools to customize its appearance.

http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Extending_the_theme_custom_menu

As long as you can fetch the information of the blocks you want to put in the horizontal menu, you can create new ‘branches’ in the custommenu. In the article, they show us a way to fetch the information:

$mycourses = $this->page->navigation->get(‘mycourses’);

THEY SAYS IT IS ONLY AN OPTION:

“This line is a little bit of smarts, what we are doing is getting the mycourses branch from the navigation. We could make all of the database calls and work it all out ourselves but this will be much better for performance and is easier!”

BUT…

It is useful for navigation menu, bookmarks, courses, profile information. .. but it doesn’t work for other type of blocks: online users, maps, chats…

I AM NOT AGREE WITH THE SENTENCE

…basically the whole accordion navigation tab menus…

Some people say you can have a maximum of 7 because of this: The magical number seven. If you think this human limitation is important to your users, put all options of blocks in the horizontal menu doesn’t seems to be a go option.

Other people think you don’t have to worry about the number of options as long as they have a good structure to help people to get what they want quicker. I am agree with this, but I underline the importance good design of the hierarchy of navigation options.

If you follow this approach your limitations are: the space and select to correct blocks to put in the horizontal menu (custom menu).

SOLUTION FOR SOMETHING SIMILAR IN A PERSONAL PROJECT…

I hid the blocks for students. the lateral blocks (left and right) are only visible for managers and admins. I put relevant information in the custom menu and I also use blocks in the center of the page for blocks like maps, progress bar, etc.

This solution works in my project, I have a lot of things to improve but it is good enough.

Here is an image of what I did:

Example

As a personal opinion each platform has different needs because their users and content is different (obviously there are common patterns, but details are very important). The best way to realize what information is relevant to your users and realize where to put that information is through testing, for example: AB testing.

So, you can identify which information must be in the horizontal menu using testing and after do it, evaluate if you really need the other information which is in the lateral blocks.

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2 Responses

  1. J Cunanan says:

    Thanks Sir Daniel, I will try this then.

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