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NC Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Public Affairs

Webmaster Notes: August 2009

Sixth Edition

In this issue:

See also the previous editions of Webmaster Notes

DHHS Website Redesign is in High Gear

The website redesign project is taking off. A site for the new division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities went live on July 22. Watch for redesigned sites for Vital Records and DIRM later this summer, as well as a new site for the Office of Rural Health and Community Care. The redesign for the Division of Services for the Blind, Oral Health and for Women’s and Children’s Health are also well on their way.

The rest of the department’s divisions and office websites are now scheduled to be redesigned this fiscal year.

What does this mean for departmental webmasters? It depends on which site(s) you maintain.

Because the department’s web presence is massive, this effort will deal only with the “parent” sites for each division and office. If a division has multiple websites, only the site that contains the division’s home page is part of the current effort. Facility websites, such as for schools and psychiatric hospitals, will be handled after July 2010. Public Health’s many program websites are in the same category.

If you are a webmaster for a division/office home site, you can expect to be involved in the redesign sometime in the coming year. Here is a brief summary of the schedule:

  • Group A: Straight to Template: Human Resources, Long-Term Services and Supports, Procurement and Contracting, State Center for Health Statistics: Webmaster training in August. Redesign to be complete by February 2010
  • Group B: Simple Sites: Services for the Blind, Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Controller, Privacy and Security, Economic Opportunity. Webmaster training in January. Redesign to be complete by April 2010
  • Group C: Complicated Sites: Child Development, Citizen Services, Education Services, Social Services, Vocational Rehabilitation. Webmaster training in early March. Redesign to be complete by June 2010
  • Group D: Highly Complicated Sites: Aging and Adult Services, Health Service Regulation, Public Health, MHDDSAS: Webmaster training's in late March. Redesign to be complete by July 2010.

Some issues webmasters may be concerned about:

  • After the site is built, time is built into the schedule for usability testing and managerial review. See the full schedule.
  • Webmasters will be given detailed “wireframes” that show exactly the content for each page. Sample wireframe page (DOC, 60KB).
  • Webmasters will be given personal training for the Dreamweaver templates. More about the templates is available in chapter 5 of the Website Style Guide.
  • Websites hosted at ITS can be built on a QA server, apart from your currently operating site. That way you can maintain your current site while building the redesigned site in a separate place.

Questions about the template or the redesign project? Ask Lois Nilsen.

Website Certification is Underway.

If you were here last year, you will remember website certification. That is the process by which every web page in the department’s massive web presence is checked for accuracy and currency by the appropriate subject matter expert. Web content managers received spreadsheets listing all division/office web pages. The deadline is the end of October. Webmasters can expect to maintain pages as subject matter experts identify issues.

There are two unique aspects to certification this year.

Sites being Redesigned are Exempted

Websites being redesigned are not undergoing certification. There is no need to check something that is about to change. So divisions and offices with a single site are exempted this year. The rest will not have to certify their home page websites, only the sites that are not being redesigned.

Photo Guidance Implemented during Certification

Certification implements the department’s new guidance on photos on the website. Basically each photo must be documented to be obtained legally. It can’t simply be downloaded from a website. The documentation takes the form of a comment tag next to the image tag. The comment tag tells where terms of use are on file, and if the photo was purchased, where the receipt is file. Photos taken in-house of employees must have a consent form on file. Chapter 2 of the Web Style Guide has the full guidance.  

Style Guide Update: Offsite Links

Section 4.3 of the Web Style Guide has just been updated to include an icon for offsite links in the redesign site. Webmasters do not need to add the link to sites that have not yet been redesigned.

The icon Example of icon denoting link to exernal siteis located in the /library/images/ folder, called "external-link.gif". It should be used whenever a link takes you to a site that is not managed by N.C. DHHS. The ALT text says "Link goes outside of N.C. DHHS." At the bottom of any page that includes this icon is an explanation: "Link to site outside of N.C. DHHS Denotes link to site outside of N.C. DHHS."

Previous Editions of Webmaster Notes



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