Site Redesign: Updated Design and Features

We are excited to share with you the redesign of the Udacity website!  Our goals are to offer an improved look and feel and a seamless and consistent experience.  The new design is founded on these key design principles:

Simplicity:  Clarity in an interface is imperative for a great learning environment.  To that end we have created a new look and feel that relies on the content to provide the structure of the page and reduce unnecessary distractions and adornment.  We have also eliminated clutter to allow students to focus on the most important content, while keeping tools for navigating to other parts of the course and site on hand.

homepage subway_nav

Integration:   At-a-glance tools are offered in the interface for easy access to the information you need.  My Courses gives you a quick overview of your progress within a class for all the classes you’re taking.  Discussions are integrated on the Classroom page below the video so you can see what other students are saying about the class.


Responsiveness:  Recognizing that there are a plethora of ways to consume content on the internet, we have employed the most modern web technologies to offer a responsive, elastic interface, which scales and changes based on your browser screen size.  We have also addressed latency issues which has improved real and perceived responsiveness on the site.

We strive to offer the best online learning experience for students with each change we make to the site.  We will continue to evolve and improve the site experience.  If you have feedback, please email us at

Irene Au
VP Product and User Experience


155 thoughts on “Site Redesign: Updated Design and Features

  1. I love everything ! But earlier progress bar was really good. Now I have to browse through all the courses to see what I have left. Please do something about it ! Thank you !

  2. Can't say I really agree that this "eliminated clutter." It seems to me that pages have been broadened which forces the user to scroll to see stuff at the top and bottom. What's even worse is the now non-linear menu for selecting lessons in a given class. If I want to get to a specific lesson in a given unit, I now have to click on the unit first, then *mouse over*

  3. I agree with Jim Jin for some things :I am on Chrome with a screen resolution of 1280 * 1024 : problem with an horizontal scollbar at the bottom of my web explorerplus no marginsBTW i can't find the syllabus for the next courses (especially intro to parallel programmingwith CUDA) whereas I had accessed them before the revamp of the UI<br /

  4. Anyone else having browser version problems? I have Chrome v. 17.0 (old I know), Firefox 18.0.1 and IE 8 and all three are either telling me that I need to upgrade my browser or just plain aren't working.

  5. I like the physical layout of the page but I miss having the names of the lessons listed. Mousing over the boxes to find the lesson topic takes more time than scanning visually.I seem to be missing some completed work as well.

    • Thanks for providing feedback. Are you losing completed work in terms of progress or actual quizzes and assignments? You may be seeing a discrepancy in progress. This can be attributed to the way that we are accounting for progress, as on the new site we are tracking in more detail.

    • Hi Kristy, it looks like the multiple choice quizzes retained the answers but some of the coding quizzes no longer have the code I entered. Is there a way to view specifics when the progress bar indicates the section is incomplete? I have a section that shows all videos and quizzes as dark blue in the overhead bar, but the progress bar shows the section as incomplete. I don't know

    • I must say I preferred having the sections listed on the right as well. My question is, why take these away just to put a title at the top and a button or two at the bottom, thus wasting so much screen with empty space 99% of the time.

    • We broke down progress to be more granular so this may be where some people are seeing discrepancies. We're working on updating this so previous progress is more reflective of what you're used to seeing.

    • I noticed this as well. Some of the quizes embedded in the videos are showing up as not completed, but when I go to the quiz to answer, my previous answers are there. I just have to hit submit to get it marked again.

    • I am finding that when I want to submit the answers to a quiz the screen only shows the places to mark but not the questions. Are they meant to disappear so that we are supposed to memorise the questions before answering?

  6. I don't really see much benefit in the new design. Selections items are now spread across the page, but worst of all is you cannot see your progress in the course. In the previous design, it was very easy to see which sections you had completed. I appreciate the effort, and I think Udacity is great, but I like the old design better :(My suggestion is to allow a preview of

  7. The progress bar is not so useful with users who study the courses woth downloaded videos because they can't access YouTube. Because I can't watch the videos online, they can't be marked as watched, and I'll never fill up my progress bar. It bugs me when I see the bars are not completely filled. My suggestion is to give the users an option to mark a video as watched (and un-mark

  8. Kudos on the new design, I like seeing improvements being made. I have a few problems with the &quot;Account&quot; and &quot;My Courses&quot; pages. On the &quot;Account&quot; page, you have a section for linked accounts but do not provide a way to link any account. On your &quot;My Courses&quot; page, it shows that Introduction to Computer Science is a current course, it shouldn't be since I

    • Your feedback is appreciated. We're looking into some of these issues your seeing and for the features we will take these into consideration. Thanks!

  9. The fact that I can't find a list of the videos in a unit is terrible. It's like a text book who has a table of contents with only dots and you have to hover over dots in order to find the exact video. If I want to go back to a unit and an exact video, I could find myself having to hover over 200+ blue squares to find the one video I need, where before I could quickly scan the video names

    • I just got my Nexus 10 yesterday, the first thing I wanted to try is Udacity, unfortunately it says I don't have the right browser. Did anybody get Udacity working on a Nexus tablet (with Chrome)?I also tried to get the desktop version, but that doesn't help at all

  10. Lost data on some progress to. At a first glance I liked the old design better. But that may be because I was just used to it.Definitely liked the old classroom layout better though.But I will probably get used to the new one. I love Udacity! PS: The online python interpreter isn't working very good on my firefox version. Some text is invisible when I type

  11. I'm seeing the same thing for the Robotics Course. It is now showing that I have not completed the course and there is not a link for the certificate. If I try to get the certificate from the original email I get a 404.

  12. I'd like to suggest that you create a blog post on the kinds of user involvement you used as you created this redesign. At the very least, such a blog post would be highly welcome as a great case study of &quot;Eating your own dog food&quot; and &quot;Getting out of the building&quot; to those of us enrolled in EP245 – How to build a startup. It would be great to know what you learned

  13. The planned outage was not what we expected last night during our study group's planned viewing of EP245. Where was this outage announced? How can we incorporate future planned outages into our plans?

  14. Your data may not be lost. Were accounting for progress in more detail than we did before. However, none of your work should be lost. Please let us know if you're still experiencing issues.

  15. I can't see the contents of the course in my iPad 1 (iOS 5, can't be upgraded to ios6) using safari mobile. When I load a course it redirects me to the upgrade page.It worked with safari before the redesign, and works under iOS chrome with the new design, so I think is a mistake/bugAlso using a hover event to show the name of the lectures is making the God of Usability

    • I'm having problems in Chrome with my 4th gen iPad, also, but it is working in Safari.Hover states in today's day and age, however, is a bit inexcusable. The buzzword is &quot;post-pc&quot; which has no room for hovering. I hope they change it soon.

  16. I dont like how the new course content page takes longer to load and I have to scroll to see what all of my classes.I like the new look but functionally I wish I could go back to what Udacity was.

  17. The new look of Udacity amazed me! The whiteboard is more wider and bigger so that I can focus more on board. But the old style is really convenient for me to check the skipped unanswered chapter so that any time I can go back when I am ready to fix the quiz. Now I have to massage the blue box to take a try.Anyway, I respect the great effort Udacity tried really HARD than others in a

  18. It wasn't broken so why did &quot;you fix it.&quot;. The new site has frozen several times when completing assignments. In addition, the new format is difficult to understand.

  19. I just wanted to write the same thing, then I saw your post. Your are exactly write, it's really annoying to browse through all units to find the one video you are looking for.It would be great if you can find a better solution for this. But the speed really improved!

  20. actually, i love the old one, because it is more direct. like the title of every short section(video) of a unit used to be rendered directly, but now we need to hover on it and see what is it.

  21. I miss the old version as well. I wouldn't mind the newer version if I could still actually see the lectures, but I cannot anymore. I was using Safari but had to download Chrome. Now, when viewing in Chrome the video quality has gone kaput. Anytime there is movement on the screen (most of the time), it becomes inhabited with green and pink squares and makes it unreadable/unwatchable. <br /

  22. Another vote here for going back to listing lecture titles (without mouseover). The new design just replaces this useful information with a big empty space. It's a definite step back.

  23. The certificates do work for me but they are definitely not as nice looking as the old ones and are missing the signatures of the instructors. I assume you are still working on those aspects but I would definitely suggest the look of the old certificates was much nicer even with the cute robot.

  24. I think the new design, while aesthetically fresher, is not as responsive as the old one, in contrast with the stated goal of the new design in the first place. Some how pages take longer to load, and more clicks are needed to get to specific lesson in my course. I too noticed that some of my completed courses are showing incomplete progress bars.BTW, will you blog about

  25. The new site is really slow. Page loads that used to be near instantaneous now take about 5 secs. I also find myself clicking a lot. It used to take one hover and one click to get back to where I left off. Now it's 3 clicks (with 5 second pauses in between).I also find the progress bar confusing. It must be using more information than I have available. An explanation would

  26. My class does not work on my ipad. I cannot select from the drop-down menu of units in my course. And the quiz screens are blank except the spaces I am supposed to fill in. I do not like this new format. Like another poster, I really liked being able to see the linear list of all of the videos, quizzes, etc. in that right-hand list. I often clicked on one to go back and review. This new &

  27. Yeah honestly this update broke allot and It is not faster, it is way slower. I sent a feedback using heuristics and a proposal to clean up the new design. Instead of updating you should have meassured with A/B testing which website people like most. I feel this update was horrible and really confusing. No good at all. It took me 32 seconds to get into class, it now cuts my video

    • if I could, I would love to go back to to old cleaner and faster design. None of the tasks I want to accomplish has been made easier to compleate. Please please please give me the option to use the old design.

    • also before when I finished a video it was marked green, like well done. Now it is… blue with a dot? Super confusing and I do not understand what has been finished and what is done. Also before I could jump to a quizz but now I am forced to view the video. The user control over what to do has been removed. Before I could see all the videos and what they were. Now they have been turned into blue

    • another irritant: when resume class, I get to lesson one instead of lesson 5 where I am currently. The sidebar – is that really supposed to just be the name of the video? Or is it just my computer? I feel so frustrated over the loss of user control. Go back – please! You were awesome.

  28. I like the redesign.I like My Courses page since I can see my overall progress. however the classroom area but can be a little confusing when trying to navigate to a specific part of the class. I also like how you have integrated the discussions and supplemental material for each lesson for easy access

  29. I really dislike the new UI, it makes browsing lessons much more difficult than it used to be. I imagine it was inspired by EdX which take a similar approach, but the old Udacity interface was far superior. I couldn't stay engaged with EdX specifically because of their layout making it really difficult to tell at a glance how far you've progressed or what units/lessons are available.<br /

  30. I completely agree, and was coming here to say the same. I also noticed that at first load of the new classroom it dumped me to the Intro page, instead of the last section I was in. I will see if it remembers where I stopped next time.

  31. I agree with the comments about the navigation of lessons. I prefer the old style with the lessons listed at the side of the video and title/description of the lesson visible without having to hover with the mouse.The videos do seem to load faster in my case. And it is nice to have an overview of my course progresses displayed in one place, however some of my course progress seems

  32. The new classroom navigation is killing me. I often used the navigation &quot;tree&quot; to jump back to review while I was working on a problem. This new system makes that a pain. You should have implemented a &quot;Try new version&quot; option instead of pushing such a dramatic change in usability on unsuspecting students. My wish now would be for you to revert to the old site and get testing

  33. PLEASE give us the option to revert to the previous site version. We were finally able to learn on the iPad with Udacity since August, and now the site is broken for IOS, not only Safari but also Chrome.

  34. I agree that the new design is very annoying.What happens if I want to go back to a video in a previous unit while answering a quiz in this unit? I have to open a tab with the home page and navigate all the way to the course, enter the course, wait for it to load, go to the old unit, then look at all the little mouse-over titles for the one I want. In the old design, I scrolled up and

  35. I can appreciate wanting to improve things as one should always strive for improvement. I'm just wondering if these changes were made as a result of what I call &quot;developer blindness&quot;. 😉 I see this quite a bit on a day to day basis and it is basically where developers start looking at things and saying &quot;hey, maybe we should try this or that&quot;. All the while forgetting that

    • I'm afraid I've found a bit of a show-stopper, at-least from my point of view. I just went through all of section 3 in Intro to AI and answered all but 3 of the quizzes with the intent of coming back to those later. After going through every video and completing (submitting and getting a &quot;Correct&quot;) all but the 3 quizzes, I came back to the list of my courses. The progress bar

  36. Don't care much for the new format. Unless you are intentionally trying to restrict information available on a course you need to return to the old format or add several things to the new format. I can no longer preview a course – I really liked this feature. Information on the units is restricted – used to be able to scroll thru the units and see the descriptions tied to a unit number. Now

  37. The re-design is less intuitive. You now have to HUNT for the lessons. When you are scanning for lessons (sometime you want to quickly review of a previous lesson before watching another), you were are to click the '+' and it revealed the lessons (both past and future) AND it indicated which lessons you have taken/watched it. This all occurred on the one page. Now

  38. Please please please go back to the previous interface. With the new interface it is not easy to find what you are looking for. You have to hover over links to see the contents. If you want to see a different unit, you have to go to a scroll down menu, choose a unit, and then start hovering again over the links to see what is in it. It is not user friendly at all :( :( :(. I love

  39. In addition to my previous comment about this new interface, I cannot see my progress and I cannot see the syllabus of the course in one go. I have to click and scroll and hover all the time. Please go back to the previous interface. Thanks!

  40. Hi guys, Just the heads up that course codes (e.g. CS 253) have been removed from the list of courses. Now I read the forums and I see the course code, but I don't always know which course it is. Cheers :)

    • There is also the problem that there are a lot of comments in the forum that refer to a video by number, such as 1-19. Now that there are no numbers on the videos, there's no way to relate back to the video from the video.

  41. I completed &quot;How to Build a Startup&quot; course today but I have not yet received any certificate. And I cannot find any option for the same. Can somebody help?

  42. I also dislike the new interface. Finding things is a problem in the new hierarchy. The old hierarchy was (in my opinion) more straightforward. (Examples of problems with the new: Progress should be accessible from within the course. It should be easy to find individual lessons without navigating through several pages.)Many of the wiki items in the CS215 course are missing from

  43. I really miss the old design… I thought the icons for the classes were a lot nicer than the pictures that they have now. I liked how much more compact the old one was. I also liked how it looked when you were going through a course before better- how I could look at everything in the side, with everything on top I have that feeling of needing to speed up to cover more. Also, while the new

  44. I am completely lost. Nothing is working as I expect. I can't see my karma, and don't know how to see it. In the old design, my karma was always in the upper right corner. Now I don't see it anywhere or how to get to it.I can't search for questions or tags. In the old design, I could select search by question or tags at the top of the web page. I don&

  45. There also seems to be a bug in the Udacity forums. I cannot post while logged on — it asks me to sign on to post and neither the sign in to post button nor the sign in menu item work.

  46. Really frustrated with the new format. My question is this: What was so wrong with the old format that you had to change it? Holy cow! Please don't fix it if it isn't broken!!! I just finished one of the programs in my CS101 class, submitted it, and it tells me it does not work, but it DOES. It runs with no mistakes and gives me the desired outcomes. I went to try and post

  47. Hi, I am taking the Udacity Lean launchpad course. Previously I could access to the site by Firefox but now I could not. Going to the class via IE, I found it very confusing to find the video I have watched. I seems that the new site does not remember my progress in the course. Further more, when I click on several video, the sound of the video continues after I close the IE window!

  48. I just want to mention that you guys are awesome regardless of anything. I thought I'd mention how super cool you are in the midst of all the not so positive feedback regarding the new interface. So this is just a short message to send you guys lots of positive energies and to let you know that the whole world appreciates your super awesome work :)

  49. I also feel the new website is just a change, and not a fix, and not for the better either. I miss the original layout already. I do love the courses, especially the main focus on comp sci.

  50. like most here,I liked the older format better it seemed more straightforward to me. I am enrolled in multiple classes and it now take a lot of time to find were I was last in any one class. Also, I used to be able to udacify from iphone anywhere I had wifi. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case as new configuration doesnt seem to want to respond to the iphone. this to me is really the

  51. Eric, Thanks for your feedback. We're taking your feedback into consideration our goal is to improve your overall learning experience. We're also working on fixes for some of the issues you are seeing. Can you give me some more details as to what items in CS215 that is missing? Also, if you could provide more detail as to the error you are seeing when you try to login to

  52. The new design looks nice, but I have a lot of problems with it. Progress is shown wrong all the time and right solutions are not accepted. And I think I am not the only one, because I have this problem on 2 different operating systems with 2 different browsers. It seems that the design was not tested well enough. I would really appreaciate an officiell announcement here about these problems.

  53. Today is the worst iPad problem I've run into yet. I go the site and click on the My Courses button, but I cannot access any classes from there. I have to go into the course catalog, click on the course, go to the next page and then click on Resume the Class. I love Udacity. It has been a terrific continuation of my IT Degree. I am really rooting for you. But this update needs some serious

  54. Hear! Hear! I am very happy to have the content, and especially grateful that I can create a community in our living room to work through it. First order feedback — this is great. Tenth order feedback — some tweaks are necessary.

  55. (By the way it's painful to post here– why isn't my Udacity logon recognized here — why do I need a separate profile? Just posting a problem report is unnecessarily difficult.)(1) In the CS215 Wiki, there are plenty of examples of dead links. In Unit 5 alone, all three links are missing. Wiki -&gt; CS215 Unit 5 -&gt; CS215 Wiki -&gt; CS215 Unit 5 -&gt;

  56. More missing files:Under CS215 -&gt; Problem Set 5 -&gt; Least Obscure Path(By the way: Under the old interface, this would be CS215 PS5-3 — why do we need a more complicated numberless reference system? This is just bad design!)Missing files: You will need to use these two data files: imdb-1.tsv imdb-weights.tsvBoth

  57. Mobile, ever hear of it?I was VERY frustrated tonight when I tried to watch my class while on the elliptical. The new site does not work at all on the iphone! Please fix this ASAP. Perhaps you might want to watch the lean startup class too — the one I am trying to watch. BUT, be sure you do it on a computer. I also tried to watch the videos on youtube, but you don&#39

  58. 1. New interface is very slow: it takes 30 seconds to load my classes, then, I can't go directly to the class, I am forced to open 'progress' – which takes another 30 sec.. Compare that to the old UI: 1 click to directly access the class I want from the drop out menu at the top left corner.2. Continuous play now takes a looooo-ooong time to load the next quiz/video – at first, I

    • So Udacity looks like smaller Coursera now… OK. What really bugs me is the browser upgrade page, it gets me boiling. What have you done, people?&gt; 5. I am now explicitly prohibited from using Opera, which happens to be my favorite browser. Not only is it disrespectful to the user to force them to use particular browsers of your choice, but it is also unnecessary: let users try

  59. I have to agree with most comments on this thread. The new layout makes it harder to navigate to a particular lesson. I frequently find myself needing to go back and review a topic on a class. Specially since, due to lack of time, I can take up to 6 months to finish a course. Since udacity splits lessons into very short videos (and rightfully so) it used to be really easy to go find that equation

  60. With the new site, I can't login using LastPass and Chrome. Was no trouble before. the little login box shows my email and dots for the password are filled in by LastPass, but I get an error message that I didn't provide them. It DOES work when I use Explorer 8, but THEN I can't actually view the lectures, I get the bad browser warning. Come on, folks, let's value

  61. How does one browse a past class under the new interface?I can think of at least many good reasons to do so — my first four: (1) to review a lesson, (2) to retrieve a problem solution (e.g. Python code), (3) to work on a &quot;challenge problem&quot; set aside while course was &quot;in session&quot;, and (4) to see whether something previously incomplete in the course design is now

  62. &quot;Oh darn… Unfortunately, your current browser does not support the features we need to give you a great learning experience.&quot; That's odd… it worked fine for over a year. Now, it just doesn't work. This comment would be longer, but I'm struggling to keep it from turning into a rant. The &quot;old&quot; site was a full year of incremental improvements

    • I was pleased to read in the tech support forum that Udacity will soon stop blocking unsupported browsers. I'm also pleased to report that my first experience with the new classroom design was quite good, using Safari 4.1.3 (with a custom user agent string). I finished unit one of CS344 with no problems. And on my system, the new design (as of 2/7/2013) is in fact faster and smoother than

  63. I do like the new &quot;in course&quot; interface, but what I dislike is the way of showing all the available courses. I really miss that courses &quot;big picture&quot; on the main page. One had a clear and nice picture of *all* courses (each with its own handsome &quot;badge&quot;, as someone noted above) offered by Udacity, which is lost with the new, limited &quot;grid&quot; (used by most

  64. Although I liked that Orange colour the site had , Just had the first experience with the new design . Its fantastic . I liked it soo very much . Its simpler and things are easily accessible . Used it with Firefox , don't seem to have any problems !

  65. I just wanted to say that i'm thrilled about redesign of I must say taking courses for me is now totally different experience. And i would like to thanks to your design team and i hope i will have such UX knowledge soon…All best, Dino Kraljević. Rijeka, Croatia

  66. I absolutely dislike the new design!The old design was much more intuitive and gave Udacity a &quot;The content is the most important&quot; feel. Now there is a overstyled webpage with lagging web elements and a confusing navigation, where the basic information about course progress is now hidden on many different pages.When I realized there is a new design i was really, really

  67. New UI is really ugly and inconvenient! Previous was way better!It is hard to navigate to specific units now, I can't see unit titles. I study at different courses and often switch between them and it is urgent for me to seek for specific units.The other thing I want to be added is subtitles on the right like EdX has. I am not a native speaker and it is helpful to see

  68. I think the disadvantages of the new design outweigh the advantages: It is really inconvenient to not know whether you already submitted an answer to a quiz or not and and which lessons you already watched and which not.Also, the overview to the right in the old design allowed to switch between lessons without searching them, when i wanted to check up something from onother Unit, i just

  69. I do love the concept of Udacity, but I have to say that I'm getting to a point where I'm wondering if I shouldn't just wait until all of the issues are worked out. It's so frustrating to spend all of the time going through a lesson answering all of the quizzes only to come back later and see that about 1/2 of that progress doesn't get &quot;remembered&quot;.

  70. I recommended Udacity to a friend of mine who was using another website's learning software as an alternative because I found Udacity's to be superior. He responds to me, telling me that he can't figure the site out. So I come to the site, and instead of the simple, easy to understand layout I saw before, I find a kludgy, unresponsive, obfuscated mess. Helpful hint: ANY

  71. update, able to access coursewear on my iphone but much more limited.Iphone 4S, Safariyou can access the site, (if you are able to login in the 1st place as the login box now renders very oddly)by going to the course catalog then using the resume class button. I still cannot access any class via the &quot;my classes&quot; page as the buttons there do not respond. also,

  72. I have listed the negative points a little more clearly by pairing the way the navigation worked before and the way it has to be done now: – Navigation: – Selecting a specific Unit: Before: scroll through scroll-bar, select unit, click lesson-&gt; loads lesson (waiting) // Now: click drop-down box, scroll, select unit-&gt; loads unit (waiting), hover over blue boxes, click lesson -&

    • Please change it back to the old design!!! As someone said before &quot;add the green checkmarks that in the old design signified you had completed the respective lesson/quiz!&quot;

  73. Dear Irene Au &amp; everyone at Udacity:We all appreciate your efforts and for trying to better our experience here at Udacity, thank you.But what I learn from the latest update, is that you shouldn't think that you know better than the user, regarding usability and accessibility. The overwhelming majority on these posts agrees that the problem with the update is not really

  74. This was the first site I attempted online courses at and it was great. It was such a simple matter for me to go back and review a lesson with one click. I've been waiting for this &quot;update&quot; to be fixed, but that apparently is not happening. Some warning would have been nice. I feel like I wasted my time here, and now have to go look at other options. I will return and make the best

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