To coincide with the launch of our new Web CMS training module, we created a new branded theme for the e-learning platform Xerte. We wanted something flexible and functional that would suit any potential e-learning application, while effectively implementing the University’s new look and feel.
The process started with our Graphic Designer mocking up some slides, based on content we’d already written for a new training module. The designs make use of the bold new colours and rounded edges that are key to the brand, with a subdued grey background to ensure it suits all kinds of different projects and subjects.
We passed these mock-ups over to an external developer who talked us through the various considerations for designing Xerte themes. There are many different applications of Xerte, from complex maths problems to fire safety training, and over 80 types of pages available to creators, meaning each one had to be specifically designed and checked.
We worked through these in collaboration with Lilian Joy, the University’s Xerte contact and digital accessibility whiz from the Programme Design and Learning Technology team. She offered valuable insight into the needs of Xerte users at the University, which informed our approach to designing the pages. The developer then translated our designs into a working theme that is fully accessible.
Colours and typography
Our brand makes use of a bespoke font, York Grot, and we’ve used that to offer a striking heading option. We also updated the body text to Graphik, our secondary font that pairs perfectly with York Grot.
Colour-wise, we settled on a deep, vibrant blue as our header colour that would suit a wide range of topics and also complement the widest range of secondary colours. Secondary colours are available for in-text forms such as highlight boxes, to focus attention on important content.
Xerte also has a style of template called Bootstrap, which gives projects more of a web page feel. Don’t worry – we’ve done that up too!
Using the theme
The new theme is available for Xerte users across the University, offering a branded template with a cohesive look and feel for student-, staff- and externally-facing training slides.