This model is designed for public affairs managers at any level who would like to design a publicly accessible external information web page for the Internet or the World Wide Web.


These pages are established to provide an introduction to the theoretical basis for communicating and learning about web page design. Also included, is a review of existing literature regarding characteristics of effective web page constructioon and design based on current state-of-the-art and military standards, and an analysis of current military web pages based on a Likert-type scale derived from literature.

Effective page

The Yale Study (1997), provides the seminal research in web page design and is a compilation of information on the current state-of-the-art. It includes general organization elements and elements of composition including content and design. Content concerns the information placed within a site. Design concerns the presentation of information within the site. For more information on the Yale Study, a site link is provided. Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide


A content analysis was conducted using a web page evaluation scale, similar to a Likert-type scale, to determine if effective design characteristics are present in the quality of military public affairs web pages. Internet web pages measured were predetermined by the researchers due to unique service force structures and to ensure sample equivalence.

Using the Diffusion of Innovtions Theory, and Berger and Calabrese's Uncertainty Reduction Theory this model is provided in an effort to reduce one's uncertainty about the process and a standard used as a tool to promote good external information web pages. For more information on the Department of Defense Joint Program in Communication's research, contact the organization provided..


A primary requirement of the web page content is that it answer four basic questions.

First, the site should answer, Who is the site author? Second, it answers, What is the site about? (clear titles). Third, the site answers, When was the sight built and last updated?, and finally, the site answers Where does the site originate from? ULR and link to a "Home page."

Basic design requires that each site have an index of a site's content. The content should be organized locally following a hierarchy from a generic label. Likewide, the page should allow graphic and alternative view pages to satisfy visual and text-only users. Good design is critical to a web site.

Service public affairs offices can assist in guiding web page designers to the each service's regulations , guidelines or restrictions regarding web pages. For more information, service Public Affairs Offices are provided.

DefenseLINK , ArmyLINK: U.S. Army Public Affairs , Air Force Link - Official Web Site of the U. S. Air Force , U.S. Navy - Office of Information , MarineLINK


Public relations practitioners will be challenged to deal with an increasingly interactive public becasue of the internet. Future uses of web sites may include technical innovations allowing the public to a greater access to news.

Based on evaluations of current web pages and the disparity in content and design, this information and model can be used as a standard upon which to base future web page designs and constructions.

Please submit all questions and comments to:

General Email:

To view research for this project:

Internet Style DoD page
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