DefenseLink puts on fresh face

DOD home page

The Defense Department has put a new cover on its Web site, redesigning DefenseLink's home page to help users navigate the site more easily.

Defense officials noted that the new home page, launched June 25, clears up the excess of links organized within departments that made navigating the previous home page confusing. In addition, the new page aims to provide more news, features and photographs by DOD writers and photographers.

"We're trying to make the public Web site more attractive and more user-friendly," said Chris Willcox, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public liaison. "There are so many interesting people and missions in the Department of Defense, we wanted a home page that would showcase them."

The new home page is the result a recommendation by a working group that called for the department to undertake a complete overhaul of the site.

Although financial and personnel limitations made a complete overhaul of the site impossible for now, the new home page provides a cover page — "like a book cover" — as a means of addressing the need to improve the usability of the site, according to Harold Heilsnis, DOD's public affairs interim director for Internet operations.

"We've asked the Congress for money that has not been forthcoming," said Heilsnis. "But what we'll do now is. . .start looking at some of the individual sections. We can do some things with existing or only slightly [increased] resources."

Two people, supplemented by "in-house folks," took six weeks to complete the redesign of the home page, according to Heilsnis

For those familiar with the old home page, it will remain available by clicking on the DefenseLink logo on the top right of the new home page.

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