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Publications > Dateline Houston > February 2004 > From the Editor

Volume 43, Issue 5

February 2004

From the Editor

Check Out the New STC Web Site

By Rebecca Taylor, Product Marketing Manager, Hewlett-Packard

The Society office has released a new version of its web site this month. The announcement sent to STC leaders and editors offers a good chance for some basic instruction on Web design.

Many web designs these days heavily rely on tables to accomplish delicate spacing and column designs. The new STC web site has moved away from relying on tables and has instead used Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to perform most of the formatting. According the Society announcement, the advantage of CSS is that it "separates site content from presentation" and offers the following benefits:

  • Consistent look and feel across the entire site
  • Smaller page size/lower bandwidth usage (less demand on servers)
  • Better user experience (smaller page size leads to faster site loading)
  • Better search engine optimization (increased information/markup ratio)
  • Cross-browser compatibility (CSS is supported by most browsers)
  • Future compatibility (valid, standard-compliant markup ensures reusable data)
  • Better accessibility and usability (screen-readers, access keys, alternative formats)
  • Better extensibility (i.e., printer-friendly, handheld-friendly)

The STC web site has also enhanced the following features:

  • The Jobs Database includes an option for employers to edit or delete their listings and a field for employers to provide job titles.
  • A new multi-step online member application will be easier to complete.
  • The improved search engine returns accurate, live results (both web pages and other types of files) and an option to search PDF files only.
  • The Member Publications section is now much more dynamic. The front page of this section will randomly spotlight a member book each month.

The new design is based on member feedback and usability testing. According to the Society office, the STC staff plans to continue making improvements based on member feedback, so I encourage you to visit the new site (still at and send your input to the STC webmaster.

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