Last Updated:

March 15, 2002
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    Frequently Asked Questions

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    1. What are the basic steps (processes) for adopting the template?

    The basic steps for adopting the template are:

    a) making contact with your regional LINCS and asking for the template

    b) mapping your existing content to the categories and determining whether you have content for all of the categories (buttons) and categories

    for all of the content c) locate additional content as needed . . . or plan to point to regional or national resources

    d) create additional buttons as needed; blank buttons and additional help are available (from Bob Long, Tim Ponder, and Chris Fullerton)

    e) determine what mechanism or software you need to build your page

    f) do a test page to create a template for your whole site

    g) start filling content into the pages and creating links across your pages

    h) seek reviewers of your page before you launch it officially

    i) make suggested changes, improvements, or corrections

    j) launch your page officially

    2. How long will it take for customizing the template, organizing content, moving content to the template, and reconstructing the whole site?

    How long this process takes varies a great deal according to the amount of content, the number of pages, and the number of links you will create. Customizing the template to your specific needs will probably take about ten hours, not including the time of a graphic designer (should you have or use one). Organizing the content should be given a good 6-8 hours of time, preferably with two or three people conferring for much of that time. Moving the content should not take terribly long; however, you may elect to re-write older content. That can be time consuming. Reconstructing the whole site and testing it should be given another 10-15 hours.

    3. How do you get the template, graphic files, and other resources for the new design?

    These images can be downloaded from various sites within the LINCS Network. We can also send images on disks or email them as attachments. Documentation on the redesign can be faxed, mailed, or sent via email to you, as well. The existing documentation includes this Style Manual, a fax of marked up pages showing the steps needed on each page, and a write-up of those steps outlined on the fax. Tim Ponder, regional LINCS representatives, and National LINCS staff are also available to offer assistance in the redesigning of your site. Please also check the topic "Where to Get the LINCS Template?".

    4. What kinds of support can a state have in adopting the template?

    Any technical assistance is fair game. Because many states have gone through the process of redesigning their pages, there is a great deal of wisdom available, as well as some shortcuts (like pre-made blank buttons). There are no monetary resources available for the redesign; there also are no staff people at the regional Hubs or at NIFL devoted to assisting states in the redesign. But, staff members are available to answer questions, solve problems, and offer technical assistance or critique sites in development.

    5. How do states/local level adopters achieve uniqueness? What areas can states customize in order to realize uniqueness?

    States and other adopters of the template are encouraged to use their own logos and color schemes in the redesigned pages. Adopters are also encouraged to create buttons (for the left-hand navigation bar) that express the true contents of their sites and meet the needs of their users. States are strongly encouraged to include the LINCSearch image, the basic categories/buttons, and the buttons for the 4 national features (Collections, Hot Sites, Discussions, and My LINCS) on their pages. Ideally, a LINCS logo would also be included, with a statement to the effect that the organization building the sites is a partner in the LINCS Network. (Examples are available; see the benefits outlined in #6.)

    Adopters will express a great deal of uniqueness through the content they include, the design of document-level resources, and the partners, resources, and links they include on their pages.

    6. What are the benefits of adopting the LINCS template?

    One of the primary benefits of adopting the LINCS template is that the categories were developed as a tool for developing content. The categories represent the types of information people around the country have expressed interest in and need for. The template should also minimize the need for constant redesigning of Web pages; content will need to be updated continuously, but the look will not need to change because the form is following function. Another benefit of the template is the connection to a national network with national recognition.

    (Wil Hawk, NIFL) __________________________________________________________

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