October 15, 2003
Oct. 2003 -- Come early October, visitors to the American Sheep Industry Association?s Web site, www.sheepusa.org, are in for a treat ? a totally restructured Web site.
?The first thing visitors to the new site will notice is the change in navigation ? we worked hard to make movement around the site intuitive,? says Judy Malone, information specialist for the American Sheep Industry Association. ?In fact, the entire foundation of the site was built around the four categories or ?groups? of people ? producers, industry affiliates, media and consumers -- who typically visit the site. Users will be able to immediately identify and access the area of the site that will best serve their needs and move there quickly.?
Another important feature of the site is the inclusion of a content management system, which allows for prompt and constant site updates. ASI staff will have the ability to maintain and update site information, keeping it current and fresh.
?One of our goals in launching the revamped site was to provide visitors with a one-stop source of accurate and current information,? says Malone.
Equally exciting as the multitude and accurateness of the information is the ease in which it can be accessed, which has been made possible by the addition of a ?Search? button on each page. Site visitors need only type in a key word/words to access a variety of information posted to the site on their selected subject.
Other site features include:
- Quick access from the home page to the most frequently accessed information. A secondary header, across the top of the page, includes the headings About ASI, News, Industry Facts, Online Resources and Upcoming Events while the lower half of the home page provides access to USDA Weekly Market Summary, ASI Materials Order Form, What?s New Section and a ?Search? button.
- A ?print? function, which allows the printing of simple-formatted copy ? without all the boxes, subheads and other graphics that drastically slow down the printing process for some computer users or make it undoable for others.
- Viewing and printing PDF files. You may have already accessed PDF files on other Web sites. For those unfamiliar with PDF format, it provides a visual and printable version of a document in Adobe Acrobat as it appears in hard copy. This applies to many ASI print pieces, such as the ?Fast Fact? sheets and various brochures, including the series on ?Sheep and the Environment.? (Users will have the ability to download Adobe Acrobat from the sheepusa Web site.)
- A visual calendar of events: events are posted on a monthly calendar allowing viewers to easily spot items of interest. Associations and organizations will still be able to post their events to the ASI site by submitting the information via the ?Tell Us About Upcoming Events? option.
The Web site?s design and content is the result of combined efforts of ASI Executive Board members and staff, who provided input during the process over a period of about nine months.
- ?It came to fruition through the efforts of many,? says Malone, ?but we are anxious to hear what visitors to the site think. Suggestions and recommendations can be submitted to ASI through the ?Contact Us? link located at the bottom of each page.?