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The Infernal Misery Of The Columbia Course Directory

Abandon all hope, who enter here

Course registration time is finally upon us, and that means sifting through the many courses available. Bwogger Sarah Braner journeyed into the directory and survived to tell the tale (somehow). 

When I had journeyed half our year’s way, I found myself again within a shadowed forest of shitty graphic design. With no Vergil or Beatrice to guide me through this particular pit of misery, I made my sojourn alone, enduring raging user-unfriendliness and bare-bones aesthetics. And oh, the horrors I saw.

Like the gates of the damned themselves, the directory makes its purpose of inflicting pain and woe quite clear. This hits a journeying pilgrim immediately when they realize that they are not looking at the Columbia University Directory of Classes, but something else entirely: Directory University Columbia of Classes.

Ah yes, the prestigious Directory University

Sure, it makes the slightest effort to be legible with the color coding, but come on, did whoever designed this not realize that the typical human reads things from left to right? Why is this necessary? How hard would it be to…not have this issue? Who is responsible?!

After struggling to figure out what exactly they’re looking at, this poor pilgrim has to contend with how ugly the thing they’re looking at is. The “can’t be bothered to make a decent website” aesthetic extends to every corner of this hellscape.


The way that “search” button extends beyond the drop shadow haunts my fucking dreams. No thought at all was put into the design. Seriously, Columbia’s multibillion-dollar endowment can’t get us a directory that looks like the graphic designer gave a fraction of a shit about what they were doing?

If a pilgrim dares to venture deeper, they may find the reason for their suffering; this website hasn’t been updated since 2001. SINCE 2001! Just let that sink in. (For some perspective, this monstrosity was last updated before most high schoolers were even born.) How could the powers above allow for such misery?!

To whoever’s up there, be it Prezbo or a better graphic designer, let us ascend from this chasm of design sins into the world above. I pray thee, deliver us from this pit, so that we may see – once more – the stars.

The gates of suffering, Directory University, and shitty search buttons via the Columbia Course Directory

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