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 new look of the web site is actually not new. We are trying to standardize the various web pages throughout the USGS so that no matter which USGS web site you visit, there will be a sense of familiarity to them so that you can quickly and accurately navigate through the sites so you can find the information you want with as little wasted time as possible.
The new layout is now divided into four sections, no matter which page you bring up. There is a banner section, a navigation section, a content section, and a footer section. The banner, navigation, and footer sections are identical on every page, with the banner providing website navigation buttons to major sections of our website, and a link to our headquarters website. The footer provides links to the USGS discipline websites, various policy and informational web sites, along with a Department of the Interior link and our webmaster's contact information. The navigation section occupies the left side of each page, and provides direct links to commonly sought information. The content section occupies the rest of each page, and this is where you will find the content for each web page.
Home Page Elements
On our home page, the content area has four elements: a welcome message, the "USGS Water News in Louisiana" section, a section with additional links to water-related data called "Additional Information and Sources", and the "Streamflow Conditions in Louisiana" section.
Of particular note is the "Streamflow Conditions in Louisiana" section, which shows the current status of streams in Louisiana with a clickable map that will take you to the WaterWatch web pages. The Waterwatch pages are something of a gateway to our real-time surface-water data in Louisiana. The critical importance of this information to the public is the reason for its prominent location on our website. This area also has links to the various water-monitoring networks we operate in the State.
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 refine this idea in the navigation section of every page, which provides the "shortest distance" between you and the information you want, no matter which web page you are currently viewing.
The Refining Continues
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.