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DoD Web Homepage to Have New Look June 25

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2003 – Defense officials are revamping their public face on the World Wide Web. Beginning June 25, visitors to the department's homepage, www.DefenseLink.mil, will see a completely new page.

"We're trying to make the public Web site more attractive and more user- friendly," said Chris Willcox, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public liaison.

The revamped homepage will highlight more news, features and photographs by Defense Department writers and photographers, often from the military services.

Willcox noted that a source of concern with the existing homepage is that it contains so many different links people often wouldn't know where to begin. It was helpful for individuals who were looking for something specific but contained no focal point to capture the interest of the casual browser.

"There are so many interesting people and missions in the Department of Defense, we wanted a homepage that would showcase them," Willcox said.

People should look at the new homepage as a "book cover" to entice people to go deeper into the site, said Harold Heilsnis, DoD Public Affairs' interim director for Internet operations.

Heilsnis, who is overseeing the improvements, said the current changes to the homepage are the first of many to come on the overall Defense Department site. Some enhancements will be obvious; others will not, such as a better content management system.

"But all will have better usability and service as their goal," Heilsnis said.

Because the new homepage is an interim step, visitors familiar with DefenseLINK will still be able to see the old page, if they wish, simply by clicking on the DefenseLINK logo on the top right of the new homepage.

Heilsnis also encourages visitors to the site to make use of the "Contact Us" feature to ask questions or provide feedback.

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