Using SmarterU LMS themes to create the right first impression

First impressions are essential, and one of the first things learners notice when they log in to your LMS is how it looks. Perhaps you want your training environment to represent your organization’s brand and culture to create consistency across your tools and sites. Alternatively, you may want to allow learners to customize their experience and pick their preferred color scheme. SmarterU LMS makes it easy to handle both of these scenarios and more. 

Introducing the new Sky theme

You can choose from a wide selection of 20 built-in SmarterU themes, from simple and light to dark and elegant. Recently, we added a new theme — Sky — that features a sophisticated, modern design. Both inviting and professional, this theme is an excellent option for organizations across many industries.  

ProTip: To browse SmarterU’s full catalog of themes, check out the Themes article in our Success Center.

Managing themes in SmarterU LMS

We understand that depending on the audience, you may want things to look a certain way. That’s why SmarterU LMS allows you to choose different default themes for each of your portals (login pages), learner dashboard sets, and the admin interface. You can also control whether or not learners can edit the theme you’ve selected. If you want to maintain brand consistency, you can lock things down, but if you want to give learners the flexibility to personalize their experience, you can let them pick the theme they like best! It won’t affect their content or assignments — just the colors used to display things.

Keep reading to learn how you can manage themes in your SmarterU account. 

Choosing a theme for your LMS portal

The first place most learners end up is your login page, also called a portal. 

Every account has one portal by default, though you can easily add more to provide unique login experiences. For example, if you offer training to various clients, you can customize where they go to log in. As part of this, you might want to pick a theme for each login page that most closely matches that client’s branding. 

To choose the theme for a portal, follow these steps: 

  1. View your Account Settings
  2. Open the Portal accordion.
  3. Create a new portal by clicking the +Portal button, or edit an existing one by clicking the edit icon.
  1. Select a theme from the Theme dropdown menu. 

To further customize how your login page looks, you can upload a logo and customize the background image by either selecting one from our library of images or uploading your own. 

ProTip: Visit our Success Center to learn more about creating and customizing portals in SmarterU.

Choosing a theme for your Learner Dashboard

As mentioned earlier, you can customize the theme for each learner dashboard set. A dashboard set defines how the learner interface — all your available training and resources — will display to learners. While every account has a default, editable dashboard set, you can also create new dashboard sets from scratch. This flexibility is valuable when you want different groups of learners, such as learners from different departments, to have a unique experience. 

ProTip: Contact our Success Desk if you have questions about how many dashboard sets are available in your account.

You can create and customize dashboard sets using SmarterU’s Learner Dashboard Builder

To pick the default theme for a dashboard set, follow these steps: 

  1. Select Account Admin in the menu.
  2. Click Learner Dashboard Builder
  3. Create a new dashboard set by clicking the +Dashboard Set button, or edit an existing one by selecting it in the grid.
  1. In the Main accordion, select a theme from the Theme dropdown menu. 

Do you want your learners to be able to change the theme? If not, you’ll also want to set the Theme Visible toggle to No. This setting will prevent learners from seeing the Theme dropdown in their profile settings.

Some learners may find certain themes easier to read than others, so giving them the option to choose their own is nice if you don’t have a specific reason to turn that setting off. High contrast mode will always be available regardless of your settings, as it is an accessibility option and not part of the list of themes. 

Choosing a theme for your LMS admin interface

You can also define the theme used for the admin interface. SmarterU’s admin interface lets you create and manage everything in your SmarterU account. As the name implies, it is viewable by admins but also by any user with elevated permissions. For example, users with group permissions, home group reporting, or course manager access can see specific areas within the admin interface. 

To choose the default theme for your admin interface, follow these steps: 

  1. View your Account Settings
  2. Open the General Information accordion.
  3. Select a theme from the Theme dropdown menu.

Using SmarterU themes, you can create a specific first impression for learners and users managing your account. By customizing the theme used in different areas across the LMS, you can reflect your organization’s brand or the brands of your departments and external clients. You can even let learners customize their experience by picking their favorite theme.  With 20 themes to choose from, including the exciting new Sky theme, you have plenty of options!

Questions? Contact us at

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