(posted on behalf of Jolie Tingen, Learning Technology Analyst, Duke University)


In the last few years, Sakai’s user interface and user experience has improved significantly.  The community’s effort to make Sakai a responsive and easy-to-use application is evident in the latest release. Improved navigation, streamlined workflows, and a modern interface are all noticeable improvements in Sakai 11.  Yet, these improvements have not been documented in a style guide for Sakai.


To address this gap, Duke University is partnering with the Sakai Community to develop an updated style guide for Sakai.  Duke’s approach to the project is rooted in the principles of Atomic Design. Atomic Design, developed by Brad Frost, provides a common language for both developers and designers.  This provides clarity and consistency when building an application’s user interface.  It also approaches design from the smallest element on a page then builds up to full-page templates. This modular approach allows designers and developers to consider the purpose of each design element.


The first step in developing Sakai’s new style guide is to conduct a UI inventory of the entire application.  Since late June, many schools have been participating the inventory effort. Illinois State University, University of Notre Dame, and University of Virginia, among others, have signed up to take part.


Once the UI inventory is complete, UX professionals from Duke’s Web Services group in OIT will review the findings with the Sakai community.  This review will spark the conversations needed to move forward with a guide. The project’s tentative timeline for the style guide deliverable is late fall/early winter.  Collaborators are welcome at any point in the project.