The web interface of myPurdue has lots of problems, but the one bothers me the most is the course navigation, since I use it quite often to look for courses. When I log in to myPurdue, and click the “Academic” tab, and then click the “Look Up Classes” at the navigation bar on the left, the interface of Pic. 1 shows up. The issue on this page is that the “Reset” button is completely useless, since I can just switch among different terms using the drop-down menu or choose “none” to reset, though I don’t think anybody looking for courses would choose “none”. This is okay, since I do not use it, it doesn’t bother me much.
Then I choose the term, and click “Submit”. Pic. 2 is what shows next. The two buttons at the bottom are confusing, since we usually see “Search” and “Advanced Search” elsewhere on the web, rather than “Course Search” and “Advanced Search”. Based on the instruction on top, “Course Search” is to search by subject, while “Advanced Search” is to search by section. Here, the order of concepts is that each “subject” contains a series of “sections”, while each “section” contains many individual courses. When you click “Course Search”, it goes to the sections under the subject you choose. When you click “Advanced Search”, it would go to the list of individual courses after your specification. So “subject” means “major” here, which is really confusing for me. I thought subject means an individual course! Put all these aside, the subject list on this page actually only applies to “Course Search”, not to “Advanced Search”. The two buttons on the bottom are a bit far away from the subject list window, so my laptop screen usually cannot display all them at once. So I would only see the subject list window at the beginning, then I would start to choose the subject. The list of subjects is kind of long. After I spend a long time scrolling down and choose the subject, and then realize I can click “Advanced Search”. After I click “Advanced Search”, a new interface shows up, my choice of subject is gone, it asks me to choose from the subjects again! Maybe myPurdue should move the two buttons to the top of the subject list window and also make other accommodations to make all such buttons consistent.
If I click “Course Search” button, it will take me to a series of sections shown in Pic. 3. Here, I don’t have a button to go back and start a new search like the one in Pic. 4. I have to choose a section to view, unless I go back to the Academic tab.
Pic. 5 is what it shows when I go to “Advanced Search”. The instructor list here is really really long, and I never have the patience to use it. If I have a specific professor name I would like to search for, the system should just let me input the name to search. For now, I’d rather go to the entire course list, and use Ctrl+F or Command+F (on Mac) to search for the professor’s name in the broswer, which is much faster than this humongous name list.