June 9, 2006
Redesigned portal page provides immediate options
Colonial Williamsburg’s new portal page for its Web site, www.history.org, offers multiple navigation choices and showcases the depth and diversity of the site. The new page includes a bright, colorful background and photographs, rotating promotional images for featured sections, and a hotel room booking option. An event calendar, expanded, up-to-date “What’s New” section, and drop-down menus provide direct access to a user’s area of interest.
“Users are more sophisticated now, and they expect to be able to get where they want to go in less time. Offering more options to the user from the moment of access to the site makes navigation easier,” said Robyn Eoff, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of the Internet.
Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site offers podcasts, a webcam, audio and video clips, online museum exhibits, live streaming of Electronic Field Trips, interactive games for children, links to the Colonial Williamsburg Journal, and special Internet hotel and ticket packages.
“When we launched our site in 1996, it was like most Web sites of the time – static with photographs and text. There was little animation,” said Richard L. McCluney, the Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker vice president of productions, publications, and learning ventures. “Today, our site is interactive. Images may be enlarged to view detail or they refresh with different photographs. Audio and video clips enrich the user’s experience, and podcasts allow people to download content to access later from portable mp3 players.”
Colonial Williamsburg is a dynamic living history museum, and we are excited about using technology to support our mission ‘that the future may learn from the past,’” McCluney added. “Content on the Web site is constantly updated, and in the fall we’ll add our second online museum exhibit.”
Users can reach the Foundation’s Web sites through www.history.org and www.ColonialWilliamsburg.org, which offer education-rich material, and through www.ColonialWilliamsburg.com, which provides destination information. Other Colonial Williamsburg resources are found at www.williamsburgmarketplace.com, www.goldenhorseshoegolf.com, www.williamsburglodge.com, and www.pastportal.org.