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I searched previous questions and mine doesn't exactly fit... I am working on a User Interface for a school course online application. The integral part of the application is choosing which term you would like to select and then it populates an adjacent drop down with the courses you have enrolled in for that specific term.

My question is: What would be an alternative or even better way to present this information?

Basically alternative solutions to drop down menus. This idea has to be on 13 other pages. Here is a screen shot:

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There are a lot of interesting ways to do things, and a lot of ways that work for the user/provide them with a good experience, and these categories do not always align. Could you say more about the UX drawbacks to the current approach and what it is about the experience you need/want to change based on user feedback? – jcmeloni Mar 20 '12 at 16:41
and what is the end-result? After selecting both options, what does the end user see? – DA01 Mar 20 '12 at 16:49
I am trying to move from a vertical from a 1995 vertical nav to a horizontal nav. My boss is telling me this needs to be a on every page. Upon selecting a current course based off of the term, you go to this page, – YoungGuy Mar 20 '12 at 17:58
This course selector has to be present on every page. I am making wireframes currently that are centering the design and I am to give a more "updated" look. The main purpose of this UI overhaul by my bosses standards is to give a more updated look. The functionality supposedly isn't being complained about too much. – YoungGuy Mar 20 '12 at 18:06

If the dropdown is your choice, why not try a enhanced version that offers more flexibility?

As an example, consider checking

You can see that the dropdown adds some styling (not a compelling feature) and adds a very useful searchbox inside.

The benefit of this solution is to provide an alternative (quicker?) way to find the informations.

A more radical approach could consider using a search box with autocomplete.


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Based on the details you have provided and some experience from when I was attending school, a simple listing might suffice better then a drop down. Most people including myself only had at max 6 courses at a time (thought you do have the space for the overachievers).

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This was my initial idea, but my boss shot it down. – YoungGuy Mar 20 '12 at 18:07
What are the reasons it was shot down? This seems like the best idea to me. No point hiding choices if there is space to show them. – Mongus Pong Mar 21 '12 at 15:10

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