Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland announced last week a new, redesigned Web site by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The new site links Web users to information about recreation, conservation, environmental research, resource management, and other activities on millions of acres of state-owned aquatic and trust lands and other areas managed by DNR.
"Whether you're interested in preventing wildfires, finding hiking trails, exploring our state's geology and natural features, or understanding how to protect plant and wildlife habitat, it's all here on our new Web site," said Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland. "We asked Web users what they wanted to find on the DNR Web site and how they wanted to find it. The result is an easy-to-use, one-stop portal for anyone who wants to explore, work in, or study Washington's forestlands, mountains, rangelands, and shores."
Sutherland said participation of the state's Department of Information Services was integral to the successful launch of DNR's new Web site. The Department of Information Services is a Governor's Cabinet-level agency that provides information technology assistance to state and local agencies, school districts, tribal organizations, and qualifying nonprofit groups in Washington.
The new Web site is designed to help citizens, scientists, teachers, students, businesses, government leaders, and others learn how DNR helps manage and conserve natural resources and natural areas in Washington.
"We talked to hundreds of people, young and old, statewide," Sutherland said. "They told us what they liked and didn't like about our old Web site, what they understood and didn't understand about us. We used that feedback to redesign, restructure and rewrite what's on the Web site to make our management of natural resources in the field more understandable and accessible to the public."
In consultation with Ascentium, a Bellevue consulting firm, the new DNR Web site was created through "user-centered design," focusing on what Web site users told DNR they wanted to know about the agency and its programs.