|About This Website
The first goal we set for our website is to help position the Museum as a leading resource of information about nature and natural history. The focus and content of the website strive to support the museum's mission:
We make every effort to deliver an accessible site, one that is available to those with older computers, slower modems, and text-only or early versions of web browsers. We want to create an interesting and valuable experience for the website visitor, so that they can enjoy and find the information they are looking for.
We continue to keep our navigation and formatting relatively simple, and will amplify our graphics with good alternate text. We somewhat reluctantly decided to use tables to make columns on most of our pages. We realize that this can cause difficulty for screen-reading software used by the visually impaired. There are several text-based browser programs such as Links (with partial HTML 4.0 support including tables, frames and support for multiple character sets) that successfully deliver readable, text-based content.
We believe in using technology improvements where they support our goal of delivering useful and accurate information. No technology for its own sake. Too many high-tech tools, "eye-candy" and "gimmicky" features have come and gone in a short time, not serving our goal of purposeful content delivery and accessibility.
Things that constantly move can be a distraction from the information on the page. We avoid creating information that blinks, scrolls, pulses, flips, rolls, twitters, flashes, or crawls. The only exception is when such an animation or Flash™ piece conveys information or is an integral part of the content of the page, especially in the kids' area.
Links to pages outside of our own website are carefully selected for direct relevance to the subject of interest to our visitors. We don't want to lose visitors too early, yet we want to take advantage of and contribute to the interconnectedness of information on the Web.
Suitability for Children
The study of nature legitimately involves subjects, such as reproduction and death, that may be difficult for children. These subjects are handled in a way that places them in their context as part of nature. Links to outside sites will be made only if they don't easily lead to subject matter unsuitable for children. To provide the most protected web experience, parents and educators should always carefully monitor children accessing the internet.