Association News
APA Web Site Receives Extreme Makeover
Psychiatric News
Volume 43 Number 5 page 16-16

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. APA's Web address is the same, but the look of the site—and how you navigate through it—are brand new.

On February 6, APA's old Web site was retired and replaced by an updated, redesigned site. It can still be accessed at<www.psych.org>.

"We are now live and open to the public," Michael Gritz, APA's manager of Business Systems and Development, announced in a staffwide e-mail.

The old homepage "wasn't a portal; it was a huge page of links," explained Inayah Shakoor, APA's Web and graphics manager in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, who led the redesign project. Now the homepage is a true portal, she said.

Gone is the lengthy old menu of links along the border and such homepage fixtures as "Hot Titles" and "Spotlight." Introduced is a well-organized, classic-looking Web site with these features:

♦ The Google search engine has been replaced with a more robust search operation that's driven by a psychiatry- and APA-specific keyword taxonomy.

♦ The circular seal depicting Benjamin Rush, M.D., considered the father of American psychiatry, has been placed in a prominent position. The graphic, previously positioned on the lower left side of the homepage, has been raised to the top of the page and placed in the banner alongside the American Psychiatric Association homepage title.

♦ Topical sections (such as "Psychiatric Practice,"" Education & Career Development," "Research,"" Advocacy," "Newsroom," and "Members Corner") contain vertical, drop-down menus with subtopical links. They run horizontally below the Rush seal and APA's name and above a boxed area that presents new information each time the page is refreshed by the user.

♦ Replacement of "Spotlight" on the right side of the page with a menu box divided into the following three topical areas:

There are other new items on the site as well. For example, featured under a new section titled "Resources" on the left side of the homepage is the link to the Office of Minority and National Affairs (OMNA) homepage. Until now OMNA had no home on the APA Web site. Other links in this section lead to the homepages of the American Psychiatric Foundation, books and journals, HIV psychiatry, district branches and state associations, special interest groups, and Psychiatric News, among others.

Were there any glitches in the transition from the old site? Yes. And there have been some controlled disruptions of the site by staff for further tweaking.

"With a site as large as ours, it is still possible that a stray broken link slipped through," Gritz told staff in his e-mail." We'll continue reviewing things, but if you find something that seems amiss, please let us know."

And doing that is easy: just click on another new feature—the" Website Feedback" link found on the right side of the homepage within the "APA News" box. User comments—compliments and criticism—are welcomed.

APA's Web address is<www.psych.org>.

Interactive Graphics


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