Navy brings substance, style to JWID '97 site

To stand out in the sea of images available on the World Wide Web many sites take the outdoor-billboard approach relying on graphics that visually scream at the click-by Net cruisers.

That might have worked well in the pioneering days of the Web but to stand out today it helps to adopt a subtler approach in which the graphic itself has an intrinsic connection with the information contained on the site such as the Navy's home page for the Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration '97 (JWID '97) scheduled for mid-July through Aug. 1.

The annual JWIDs serve as the Defense Department's premiere exercise to test emerging command and control technologies. The JWID '97 home page (www.jwid97.bmpcoe.

org/control.htm) conveys the purpose of the exercise with a graphic built around a stylized control room.

The control room graphic which features a desk with four monitors set in front of a world map bearing the legend "JWID '97 Sites " has a utilitarian as well as a design function. Clickable monitors include "General Information " "Demonstrations " "Participants " "What's New" and the "JWID '97 Sites" legend and thanks to active links you quickly can zip to the relevant page on the site.

A Good Start

It is best to start at the Demonstrations section. This no-nonsense page lists each demonstration such as "Mobile Expeditionary Cellular " and its industry and service sponsors. The page also allows users to download either Microsoft Corp.'s Word or PowerPoint descriptions of planned demos along with an identifying number (JWXXX) a key piece of information needed to understand the Participants page.

Click on the JWID '97 Sites icon and up pops a page with a comprehensive site list that covers all the units/agencies participating in the exercise with five ships featured in this Navy-run JWID. Click on the USS Stennis to view a list of the demonstrations that will run on the aircraft carrier listed only by the JWXXX number. Now you will understand why browsing the Demonstrations page was a good first choice.

Clicking on the General Information section launches you into another clickable graphic this one an organizational chart with each box on the chart boasting its own smart link. Clink on the "Navy" box and zip to another page of links starting with the Space and Naval Warfare Command (www.nosc.mil/spawar/welcome.page). This page shows that the merger between Spawar - which recently moved to San Diego - and the NCCOSC has come off fine at least in Web space.

The General Information section also contains a policy statement that makes it clear that Capt. Dennis Murphy the JWID '97 project director wants to ensure that the Web site serves as a focal point for the services industry and the public. "JWID '97 is operating as a Virtual Program Office " the statement reads with each working group in the exercise responsible for ensuring that all relevant information about the exercise (meetings schedule changes members) is posted to the Web site in a standard format defined as Word 6.0 Excel 5.0. PowerPoint 4.0 and Access and Project 4.0

This makes it easy for anyone who can't make it to any of the JWID sites to activate his own control room on the Web and cruise the demonstrations from the comfort of office or home.

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