Materialize all the thing!

Open source has a huge problem (typically). It's built by lots of people focusing so heavily on the acts of doing and contribution of building blocks that no one stops and makes it all look and work seamlessly. This leads to tons of FOSS solutions that look terrible (closed systems usually are too when built by many) but that do amazing things. Well, no one cares about your project no matter what it does unless it looks awesome.

I lump this under the umbrella of accessibility. If we aren't getting people to install and use solutions that can be free (yet they still pay millions for) then we have an access and accessibility problem. So, I finally got out of my comfort zone of module development and dug in deep to intentionally redoing our design. As in, more then just @_mike_collins providing a mock up and then me attempting to make it work.

No, the ELMS:LN user experience is now entirely driven by MaterializeCSS, a FOSS project that's pretty like Google's Material Design standard but easy to use like Twitter Bootstrap. With Materialize we've been able to improve usability, consistency and accessibility of our systems. There's also an increased transparency of design because any materialize design component / library will "JustWork" visually.

We then took Materialize a step further, getting pull requests accepted (others pending) to improve accessibility of their awesome project. There's also additional accessibility enhancements that go beyond what's possible in the current Materialize library, such as accessible (WCAG 2.0 AAA conformance) on font color contrast, while still sticking to within the design ideals of the library (.accessible-yellow-text  .blue-border light-green-outline for example).

Check out the video below for my tour through what's coming in the next version of ELMSLN.