UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory

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About Our Web site

As you know if you happened to visit our Website prior to mid-December, 2000, we've made extensive changes to the site. On this page, we'll briefly discuss some of the goals we wanted to achieve with our new design. We hope that our Web site is of value to you, and that you will contact the Webmaster if you have any problems with it.

Website design goals

We are trying to serve several distinct groups of people—professionals in the electrical power infrastructure, scientists and other researchers, teachers, students, and the public at large. Attempting this has contrained our site's design, but we've worked hard to make it:


Useful. Much of the Lab's solar radiation data are now available here, with more to come. Eventually, we hope to provide a rich assortment of resources for everyone who has an interest in solar resource assessment.

Accurate. Many people depend on our data, which is of high quality; similarly we want our Web-based software to be accurate and reliable.

Accessible. Even though some of our Website visitors have high-speed Internet connections and fast new computers, we know that many do not. Consequently, we've avoided technology choices and page designs that would limit access to our site. Here are some of the specific choices we've made with this in mind:

Limit Java and JavaScript. These programming languages can be extremely useful, especially for interactive Web pages. However, some people use browsers that don't support them, and many other people choose to disable them.

No cutting-edge page layouts. For reasons similar to those mentioned above, we've avoided using newer standards and newer features of older standards. As a result, we think our Web pages will display properly on nearly any browser in use today.

Support low-end monitors and video cards. Our Web pages should be legible at screen resolutions down to 640 X 480 pixels. No more than 216 colors are used—the so-called Web-safe color palette. No one should have to scroll horizontally to see everything on one of our pages.

Support no-graphics browsing. Some people disable graphics when they browse the Internet; others run files through speech synthesizer programs to access the Web. We have tried to follow guidelines that facilitate this type of interaction. For example, images have text labels, and full navigation is supported through text-based links.

Support slow Internet connections. Our site is perhaps heavier on text and lighter on graphics than most. That helps to speed up file transfers on the Internet. Where we do employ graphics, we generally do so in support of text or to make pages more navigable, and we are careful to compress them as much as we can.

Efficient. This point is discussed above as it affects accessibility. However, increasing efficiency entails more than just speeding up the delivery of a Web page through cyberspace—it has as much or more to do with facilitating the way you usefully interact with a Web site. We've attempted to make our site easy to explore and to navigate within. The common "look-and-feel" of all our pages allows you to quickly find salient page elements.

Printable. Long Web pages (like this one!) don't have to be read on the screen just because that's where they first appear. If you have a printer, it's often best to print out long pages for off-line reading. We encourage this by keeping our margins narrow enough for nearly any printer, and by our choices of fonts, graphics, and colors.

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© 2000, UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory.
Last revised: December 11, 2000.


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Home page URL: solardat.uoregon.edu