Iconic Categories

Iconic Categories are a visually appealing alternative for displaying categories of courses using images instead of an outline list of courses. With Iconic Categories, you can group courses from more than one LMS category to provide content tailored to specific groups of user, for example, different kinds of employees or customers.



Adding and editing Iconic Categories

User's experience

Administration options

Set Up

This feature is developed to work with the Element theme for Refined Training and can be customized for client’s custom LMS theme, speak to your account representative for more information, if there is interest in adding this display to your custom theme. 

Before you begin to set up the categories, you will need to create the icons to be used to represent the categories and sub-categories, along banners that can be switched out depending on the selected category. This images need to be stored, and publicly available, if you will be displaying the categories to non-logged in users. If you do not already have your own storage location Refined Training can set you up with and S3 Bucket from Amazon. 

Turn editing on and from the Add a block drop down select Iconic Categories. The block will typically appear at the bottom of the column of block, just above the Add A Block option. The standard configuration options are available to define the block placement and custom work may be required depending upon the theme being used. 

Adding and Editing Iconic Categories

To add or edit an Iconic Category, turn on Front Page editing and select Edit Iconic Categories which will appear just below the block title but only when editing is enabled:


There is a category titled TOP. This category houses all the other categories created on the site and must not be deleted. If the TOP category is deleted, none of the iconic categories will appear. In the event that the TOP category is deleted, you will need to uninstall and re-install the iconic category plug in. 

On the following page you will see the option to Add Category:

Select Add Category to create new iconic category:

You must give the new Iconic Category a Name, the name will be displayed with the icon. Next enter the URLs for the banner and iconic images and specifying any sub-category and/or courses that are to be listed under that particular Iconic Category. Until the URL of Icon field is populated, the category will not display in the Iconic Categories block. The Category Description is just for the administrative user and does not display to the end user.

Click on Save changes.  Ensure that any categories are made subcategories of the TOP category. The new Iconic Category will now appear in the list and on the Front Page and within the block.

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Users’ Experience

Once the icons are all uploaded into the Iconic Categories block, the user will see all the LMS categories represented by icons as well as category names in an interesting visual display in the middle of the LMS instead of list of categories and courses:

When they click on a particular icon, they are directed to the category page that will display the category icon as well as the selected banner. The user will see the courses and sub-categories grouped in the category:

Under the blue links to the courses the user sees any course descriptions entered into the Course Summary section in Course settings. These descriptions can be used to generate interest in a particular course. The user simply clicks on the link to enrol into the course. The course will also display the icon and banner for the category. If the same course is grouped under more than one Iconic Category, it will display the icon and banner for whichever category the user is accessing it from. For example, from the Coaching iconic category:

Or from the Communication iconic category:

The Iconic Categories can also display when the user is logged out:

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Administrative Options

For this reason, you may want to change the name of the block. You can do this by going to Administration>>> Site administration>>> Language>>> Language customization. From the drop-down menu select language and then click on Open language pack for editing and then on Continue. Scroll down to block_iconic.php and highlight it and click on Show strings. Scroll down to Title and enter the new title you wish to display:

If you do not wish the iconic categories to display when the user is not logged in, you need to configure the permissions for the block. On the Front Page, turn editing on and click on the role icon in the upper right of the block:

On the page that appears, go to the Administration block and click on Permissions:

Next to the role Guest beside block/iconic view, click on the red X:

Then click on Continue. Users will not be able to see the Iconic Categories when they are not logged in. You can reverse this if you wish by returning to this location, clicking on the green + sign and approving the role of Guest.

Now your iconic categories are all set up and your users will enjoy the ease of navigation that the iconic categories provide.

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  • 0
    Kate Clutton


    I am wondering if you have any guidance on the size of the icons and banners and the best file type.


  • 0
    Kim Smith

    Hi Kate - The sizing is really dependent on the theme. We reviewed your theme and recommend 1400X500 for the banner and 200X200 for the icons.

  • 0
    Kim Smith

    Hi Kate - The sizing is really dependent on the theme. We reviewed your theme and recommend 1400X500 for the banner and 200X200 for the icons.

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