Redesign the new Calendar display to make improvements to functionality
There are two issues with the new calendar functionality update: color bars too small and selecting cal event details inconsistency
The new display look and functionality for the calendar is causing a LOT of issues for end users. I understand the new look is designed to be a "clean" look for the purpose for ADA compatibility for contrast, which is perfectly fine and worked very well for that purpose, the issue is it went TOO far and took the functionality of the color categorizing away for the other 97% of users. (Roughly 3.1 - 3.3% of users have a either a hearing or visual impairment)
Yes, the color bars are technically still there, but they are excessively thin to be useful, they need to be at least twice as wide as they currently are. My suggestion would be to modify the color bar from the tiny Vertical bar on the left to more of a square checkbox sized bar. This will significantly increase visibility of the category coloring without interfering with the ADA color contrast element in any way while still leaving plenty of space for text description. This should resolve all three concerns and still provide the functionality intended.
The second issue, and they one causing the biggest problem, is there need to be a modification made to what happens when selecting a specific event in the calendar view, specifically the Month view. Blackboard is handling this functionality inconsistently, which is causing a lot of frustration to end users.
Specifically - When a user click on an event to see the specific detail, it should NOT change to a different view format (Day View), but instead open the actual event they are trying to view the details for. This is how it works when in both DAY and LIST view when you click an event, but not on the MONTH view. When clicking on an event in MONTH view it instead switches you to DAY view forcing you to repeat the event click to see the actual details.
There is a specific button to switch from Month, Day, and List mode so why would it behave in a manner that when you click an event in Month mode it instead switches the view mode?
This inconsistency in how the calendar handles this action depending on its view mode is infuriating the end user because it appears that it is not working correctly, which creates a mixed message of both functionality and design, which gets reported as an “Error” or “bug”.
If there is a desire to have it look at the day view mode from the month view, users should have to click on either the day view button, or possibly the # of the calendar day, but clicking on the specific event, should open the event itself
Elliott Gurwitz commented
I agree with the calendar color issue -- it looks great when you select a category and are editing the calendar; however, when you view the public calendar the category color is so small it is often indistinguishable.
Hello! First, thank you all for your feedback and patience. We are looking at ways to address feedback around the calendar changes.
For starters, we are considering:
a) renaming "All Day" to "Today" where it is referenced.
b) moving times on the month view to after the Event title (so that we can display more of the title... likely removing them from this view).
c) allowing the clicking of individual events to go right to the detail view.
This sounds like it would begin to address some of the most common issues, but I would welcome any feedback around these changes or the calendar in general at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Search calendar option ... that would be nice.
I completely agree with the other comments. In order to learn the details of an event the user has to click twice (Month view then day view). There also is no way to get an overview of the activities of the month so if a student cannot remember what day an event occurred they have to move to the list view (which now only lists a week at a time) or click on each day.
The new format is terrible! The month-view calendar is unreadable - it's no longer possible to see the month at a glance. Every single day has to be clicked on to see what's on that day. It's no longer possible for example to see if something is a 2-day or 5-day event or to see the sequence of events. I'm trying to fathom how this is now ADA compliant.
Bryce Nieman commented
I'm not as concerned about the size of the color coding, but I completely agree with the functionality within the Month view. Any other calendar that people use (iOS, Google, Outlook, etc.) has the ability to click on an event in Month view and open up the details directly without switching to a Day view first. This functionality makes the new calendar less user friendly and more confusing to use.