Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

March 2, 2006

New Design for Website

by @ 11:02 am. Filed under Website

We’ve started work on a new design for our website. A reaction that we should leave well enough alone is understandable, but we can only ask for your patience - and your input. What about the website could be improved? What information is hard to find? What information that should be there isn’t? Two things have led to the decision to change the site.

We are nearly finished loading all document images from Book 1 through Book 1128 onto our website. This will give us coverage from 1855 up to 1950. These images were digitized by scanning the microfilm of those books. Unfortunately, the quality is not uniformly high and many of these new electronic images will be illegible electronically. We will work to improve the poor images, but the vast majority of the images in this range are fully usable. There’s an old saying that “the perfect can become the enemy of the achievable.” In our case, if we waited until we had 100% perfection in our older image collection, we might never get any old images up on the web. By going with what we’ve got right now, you’ll have access to about 80% of our pre-1950 images (which is 100% more than you have right now). Also, these new (old) images will not be made part of the ACS database with the more recent images but will reside on our website and be viewable through the image viewing program we used when we first had a website. It’s an old program but it works just fine. We’ll be reviving it along with the new website.

The other reason for changing the appearance of the website is to make more information available to you faster and more efficiently. The current format is dominated by short words or phrases with hyperlinks to other pages. Unless you’re quite good at discerning the thought process of the website designer, you may often have to engage in guesswork to find what you’re looking for. The new site will have a front page packed with links AND explanations. Your eye and your brain can scan through that information faster if it’s all on one page than if it’s scattered about in many different pages.

This process has just started so don’t look for the new site for at least a couple of weeks. In the meantime, let us know what features you like, dislike or can’t find at all.

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