The conversion of the Minnesota Stormwater Manual into a web-based application will create a new learning curve for users of the Manual. In addition to the web-based format, versus the traditional hardcopy and pdf formats, the contents of the manual have been re-arranged. This guidance provides Manual users information on why we went to a web-based format, why the content was re-arranged, what the formatting style is, and most importantly, how to navigate the website.
We live in an electronic world. There are now more mobile devices than people in the United States, and more than half of these devices have Internet access. People not only want electronic access, they want to find a topic quickly. This requires powerful search capability and advanced use of links. Although many users may wish to print out portions of the Manual, printing options are excellent and can satisfy most user's needs.
A wiki was specifically chosen for the following reasons:
It was determined that the content of the Manual could be better organized. There were three areas where improvements could be made.
The Wikipedia Manual of Style guide was adapted for this website. It provides information on formatting guidelines.
The Wikipedia Accessibility Manual of Style guide was adapted for this website. It provides information on formatting guidelines for ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance.
Most of the material in the 2008 Manual was migrated to the wiki. We have developed a Guide for finding old manual content to help you determine where the old material now resides.
The left sidebar on the website provides many potentially useful functions for the user. Each of the items in the sidebar are explained below.
This link takes you to the Main Page. This is the "Home page" for the Stormwater Manual. From here you can link to the Table of Contents or find some general information about the website, including access to guidance on using the website, Acknowledgements, a summary of recent important updates, and feedback.
Each webpage within the website is essentially an article. The Manual is therefore a collection of articles, each with its own webpage. Articles usually contain multiple sub-sections. We attempted to keep articles at a reasonable length, dividing a topic into multiple articles when the length for a single article became too long.
You can access the Stormwater Manual Table of Contents from the home page. There is a link at the top of the home page. The Table of Contents is divided into the following chapters:
Each of these chapters has two or more sub-sections.
Clicking on a topic link from the Table of Contents may take you directly to an article or to another table of contents. For example, most of the BMPs discussed in the chapter Best Management Practices have multiple articles. We have attempted to minimze the number of clicks needed to get to an article while not making the articles excessive in length.