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Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center -- Louisiana

Picture of USGS employee in a Louisiana swamp.
LAWSC Web Site Makeover– 25 May 2007

The Louisiana Water Science Center is pleased to present its new website format. We hope that this new look and layout will make it easier for you to quickly find the data you want. Although the look is drastically different, a lot of the content is essentially the same. As of this writing, the NAWQA and Water Use sections have not been converted to the new style and layout, as they are completely self-contained subwebs and have some technical intricacies that must be worked out first. However, since they could stand alone, we felt we could proceed with the rollout and simply provide links to these two areas until we have had a chance to make them consistent with the rest of the web site.

The old pages were originally written at a time when web design tools were not nearly as sophisitcated as they are now. As Cascading Style Sheets, and other web tools became available, we felt is was essential that we rebuild our site from the ground up and try to incorporate some newer methods and techniques, as well as some of the lessons we have learned over the years as our experience with web design and maintenance has matured.

The new layout is essentially divided into three section, no matter which page you bring up. There is a banner section, a content section, and a footer section. The banner and footer sections are identical on every page, with the banner providing website navigation buttons and a link to our headquarters, and the footer provides links to various policy and informational web sites, along with a Department of the Interior link and our webmaster's contact information. The middle section is where the page-specific information resides. For example, on our home page, this area has four elements: a welcome message, the Louisiana Hydrowatch section, and a LAWSC News section, with a navigation sidebar. area. Each of these elements provide specific and intuitively obvious information, so that you can view the home page like the front page of a newspaper, skimming quickly over the various articles and sections, so you can locate the specific items of interest you are seeking. We further refined this idea in the Quick Links area, which provides the "shortest distance" between you and the information you want right from the home page. Other pages echo this theme, with the content located in the middle section of every page. We stop providing the navigation sidebar after the first sublevel, since by then we figure you are hot on the trail of something specific on our website and are not interested in links that go other places. Instead, we recapture the space and use the entire content area for information relevant to that one page. This page is an example of that philosophy.

We are constantly tweaking the design of our site, trying to find that best combination of content and design that will allow you the easiest access to our information, and provide you with a positive experience when you visit. We welcome any and all comments you have in this regard, so if there is something you would like to see that is missing, or something that is broken, wrong, or just doesn't make any sense, please drop us a line and we will do our best to address the problem.

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Page last modified: January 13, 2017 8:20:13