Canvas Evaluation

Maisie Wells
8 min readJun 26, 2020


1. Color

Canvas uses lots of color. On the main page you can change the color of each class box you have.

2. Progressive Disclosure

On the main page on the right hand side there is a “to do” column. The “Show All” at the bottom is a form of progressive disclosure.

3. Face-ism Ratio

This image is from a discussion board in one of my classes. Since the picture is pretty close up of her face it will make people pay more attention to her “intellectual and personality attributes.”

4. Iconic Representation

The icons are on the inbox page. They represent different functions.

5. Confirmation

Normally I feel like sites give you a confirmation box making sure you want to send your message with no subject line. Canvas does not give a confirmation box like that though, it just sends with no subject entered.

6. Proximity

On the calendar, each days assignments are grouped together so you know what is due each day.

7. Contrast

The column on the left has great contrast between the green and white.

8. Legibility

Information is very easy to read throughout canvas with the nice black text on a white background in a lot of places.

9. Redundancy

On the calendar page it is a bit redundant to have the big calendar with all your assignments and then have the small calendar in the upper left corner. It is showing redundancy as well by having boxes around the days you have things due and showing you what day it is. You can see all those things on the big calendar.

10. Signal-to-Noise Ratio

On the calendar you can eliminate noise on your page by unselecting groups or classes you’re in and removing them from the calendar. This eliminates the noise on the page and gives you the specific, needed content you’re looking for.

11. Consistency

The courses link and the live help link on the left column are consistent with each other because when you click on them they slide out from the left.

12. Comparison

Grades on canvas are an example of comparison because you can compare your different percentages for each class.

13. Constraint

In the messages there is a constraint because you can only message people in classes you’re currently in or ones that you have taken previously.

14. Contour Bias

The squares have rounded corners instead of sharp edges. People tend to like round better than sharp edges.

15. Mnemonic Device

My exercise class is a mnemonic device, it stands for physical education sports.

16. Accessibility

I think Canvas could improve the accessibility of your grades. I don’t feel like they are in super convenient places. On the home page you have scroll to the bottom and click “View Grades” and the other way that I know of is to click on the class and then on the left hand side there are some different options and you can click “Grades” there. I feel like there should be a more obvious, quick place to view your grades.

17. Aesthetic-Usability Effect

I think the calendar (month view) could be organized in a way that is more aesthetically pleasing, therefore making it look easier to use and digest at first glance.

18. Fitts’ Law

The buttons on the bottom of the square are small so there is a likelihood that you could miss when you try to click on them or you could click on something that you didn’t intend to.

19. Five Hat Racks

You can view the information you want in a time organized format. You can click through different months, in order, to view the assignments/information you want.

20. Hierarchy

The modules section in the Principles of Digital Design course is a good example of stair hierarchy. The module number is the top of the hierarchy and then you can click to expand the module and you can see the assignments and other information inside that module. These items are lower on the hierarchy.

21. Symmetry

The live help icon is symmetric. If you were to fold it in half it would be the same on both sides.

22. Uniform Connectedness

The assignments on the calendar are connected to a class by color. You can use the classes on the right as a legend for the calendar.

23. Highlighting

When you click and hover over the image file it gets highlighted.

24. Rule of Thirds

This image shows rule of thirds as some of the main part of the image are to the left.

25. Picture Superiority Effect

Canvas should have more images! Or they should provide us with more options to add them. My immersive authoring class box has an image for the background and I think it would be cool if we were able to do that for all the classes if we wanted to.

26. Priming

Canvas should give professors the option to put a picture of their eyes on the calendar or on their class page to see if students feel watched and do better work and turn their assignments in! :)

27. Performance Load

The setting are not exactly super user friendly. That being said it is easier to leave the settings at default then messing with them and ruining a good thing.

28. Readability

It is important that professors make their assignments readable so the student knows what to do and the assignment is done correctly.

29. Scarcity

Extra Credit is not always offered so when it is you want to take advantage!

30. Top-Down Lighting Bias

In one of my fellow students profile images it is darker at the top left and on the left side of his face so it looks like a light source is casting a shadow.

31. Hick’s Law

There is a limited amount of choices you can pick for each notification so it doesn’t make the decision that difficult or timely.

32. Forgiveness

When turning in an assignment we are provided with forgiveness by being able to reverse our actions. If we accidentally submit the wrong assignment or want to make changes to it after we’ve submitted it, we are given the option to resubmit.

33. Wayfinding

The column on the left uses wayfinding by highlighting the section that you’re on so you know where you are.

34. Alignment

The class boxes on the dashboard are nicely aligned.

35. Affordance

In the inbox the text box affords you to type your message.

36. Interference Effects

The ‘x’ in notifications is green which can cause confusion in our brain. ‘X’ is usually red, having it be green makes us have “competing mental processes.”

37. Mimicry

The folder icon is an example of surface mimicry.

38. Nudge

The announcements icon with the number above nudges you to click on the announcements because if you don’t the number stays there.

39. Entry Point

Canvas has a good home page (dashboard), users can see a lot of their options on the site just from looking on that main page. This would be points of prospect entry point.

40. Layering

The module information is layered on top of the big grey box.