The School of Public Health (SPH) has launched a new window onto its e-world with a redesigned home page that aims to direct visitors more quickly to where they want to go – for instance, a new Nutrition Source Web site unveiled this month that presents the latest scientific findings on nutrition and diet.
Though the timing of the two sites’ launches is somewhat coincidental, together they illustrate the increasing dependence on the Internet, both for the internal community at the School of Public Health and for outside visitors seeking information about the School and about its latest scientific findings.
School of Public Health Webmaster Deane Eastwood said the new home page was needed because the old site, created in 1998, was increasingly plagued by problems because of increased use and aging technology.
The resulting effort, begun about a year ago, came up with not just a visually different page – it is presented in shades of blue and is designed to fit onto a single computer screen – but also one whose underlying technology is updated and automated.
Eastwood said a major goal was to eliminate the technology that those who need to update Web pages have to wrestle with. Now, he said, the process is more automated, with the information entered into a form. The updating, along with insertion of links to relevant Web sites, is done automatically.
“This is much more than a visual redesign,” Eastwood said. “Our biggest change is in the underlying technology.”
One new feature Eastwood said he thought would prove useful is a global research map, where information on SPH projects in different countries can be accessed by clicking on colored dots on a map. The map provides a single, graphical way to explore SPH’s overseas research.
“The linking and integration of information makes it easier to see what information is related and how to get more information,” said SPH Communications Director Robin Herman.
The nutrition site, called Nutrition Source, is designed to be a comprehensive resource for the public, journalists, and nutrition professionals. It features news and information compiled by the SPH’s Nutrition Department faculty. It includes department Chair Walter Willett’s research on a new food pyramid to replace the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid and Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Frank Hu’s research on diet, lifestyle, and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Topics include fats and cholesterol, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables, calcium and milk, vitamins, and healthy body weights.
“Making healthy dietary choices is one of the most important ways an individual can influence their long-term well-being,” Willett said. “The Nutrition Source aims to provide visitors with the best available scientific evidence to inform their decision.”
The School of Public Health¹s home page can be found at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu. The Nutrition Source page is located at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource.