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2016 Theme

Blackboard 2016 theme description and things to avoid.

After 2018 year-end upgrade, CUNY's Bb will be using 2016 theme (prior the upgrade, we are using 2012 theme). The 2016 theme is a more modern user interface that combines colors, fonts, spacing for better accessibility and mobile compatibility. 

Key Improvements

  • More Accessible: Fully visible keyboard focus has been built directly into this theme. ARIA landmarks have been added in courses to the course menu and the content area to define the page structure and assist users with screen readers in navigating page elements.
  • Modern Look & Feel: With updated colors, fonts, and spacing, you’ll notice a more modern and visually appealing look and feel.
  • Consistency Across Your Devices: Expect a more uniform experience across all your devices, making it easier for you to switch from your laptop or computer to your phone or tablet.
  • A Better Mobile Experience: With more tools and features optimized for your mobile browser, it’ll be easier for you to complete activities on-the-go from your phone or tablet.


Course Themes and Menu Buttons will NOT be supported due to accessibility issues.

What You Need to Do

If you copy your course content from a previous course

Change the course theme to default by clicking the rainbow icon on any of your course page and then choose "Default".  

Course theme icon

If you start to build your course from scratch

You are good to go. With the default 2016 theme you and your students will have a more accessible and mobile compatible course user interface.

If you prefer different colors for your course menu

In the "Course Management" section, click Customization > "Teaching Style". 

Do not change the course themes as they will cause accessibility problems.

Do not change course theme

Do not use Buttons as they will cause accessibility issues, too. 

Click the color pallet for "Background Color" to pick a background color. Click the color pallet for "Text Color" to pick a text color. To ensure accessibility, use WebAIM's Color Contrast Checker to help determine which background and text color combination meets the accessibility requirements.

Do not use Buttons



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