In preparation for getting rid of the course search “button” and using just a regular course search link in the left navigation menu (and anywhere else you want to add the link), I have updated the course search application to have the ability to directly link with a selected campus. While the search forms on your home page currently search for courses using the campus they are sent from, the course search button just goes to the course search page and prompts the user to select a campus.
It seems like everyone is on board with making the course search just a standard left navigation link rather than a “button.” I really feel this will be more apparent to students. While the graphics may stand out more, it is counterproductive because it doesn’t act like everything else on the page. A common theme with web design is this:
Buttons should look and act like buttons. Links should look and act like links.
The course search “button” didn’t look like a button nor a link. It acted like a button because it changed when you hovered over it, but it didn’t look like a link because the rest of the left navigation links looked differently. Rather than just change the graphic, I think we can solve both problems by making it look like the rest of the links and act like them as well. If you like you or I can still make a graphic of some sort to put in the link’s place. If we run into problems with students having trouble… we can make adjustments, but I think this will give a nice uniform feel to all the sites and still allow access to the course search feature. I have some plans to make a course search mobile app, but those are still a bit down the line.
How to Link to Course Search
So linking to course search is pretty simple now. You can still link to https://rcde.usu.edu/coursefinder/ as you did before and students will be prompted to select their campus center. It can be a tiny bit confusing because it only shows centers and not campuses. I am not sure how students at the smaller campuses search for courses, I would image they work those details out with their campus and probably don’t use course search a ton because it’s just not as useful to them. Regardless, you can still link straight to course search as always.
In order to link to course search with your campus/center pre-selected, all you need to do is add a variable onto the end of the link. I have looked around the websites/CMS and I don’t see a simple way for you to find your center IDs so I am listing them for reference below:
- Brigham City – 1
- Logan – 2
- Moab – 3
- Kaysville – 4
- Orem – 5
- Price – 6
- Salt Lake – 7
- Blanding – 8
- Southwest – 9
- Tooele – 10
- Uintah Basin – 11
- USU Eastern – Price – 18
- USU Eastern – Blanding – 19
It should be pretty obvious which campuses go to which center. So let’s pretend we are making a course search link for Brigham City to add to the left navigation menu, remembering that their id is 1. I would go to my left navigation menu that I want to edit and click the [+] to add a new link and type something in similar to the following:
”]And that is it. You can test you link and it should bring them straight into course search with their campus selected just like the image below. If you have any problems or questions, please let me know. Please add course search links to the pages that you want to link to course search from, or all of them if you want. In a few weeks I’ll take down the course search button, but I’ll leave them both up for a while so as to “gradually” make the change.