Touring the new.lds.org

By Emily W. Jensen

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 23 2010 12:02 a.m. MDT

Sit back comfortably on the Bloggernacle Back Bench as I walk you through some of the amazing features of the new.lds.org.

First a basic navigating tip: If you click on "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" in the upper left-hand corner, it will take you right back to the main page. Good for anytime you might feel lost.

Opposite that, on the upper right-hand corner, is the "Sign in" link. If you have not signed up for the site, find your membership number, enter it and your birthday and use the easy-to-follow prompts to register. You can take more full advantage of this new site if you can be signed in while navigating.

Now jump down to what will likely become the most-used part of the site, the drop down buttons. First we have the main "Menu," which opens a five-tiered list of links relating to Our Heavenly Father's Plan, The Family, The Church, Service and Study. Looking through all the sub-topics, I found many from the current lds.org that I use often, and it's so nicely organized!

Next to "Menu" is "Tools." This, to me, is one of the most exciting features of this new site (and where you need to be signed in) as well as the one still in development in places. I'm excited to further explore "My Study Notebook" and the "Calendar" but found the "Maps" site easily navigated.

I've heard (and experienced) frustrations with the search feature on lds.org. The designers are taking feedback to heart and are working hard to make the search as workable as possible. In fact, they explain, "Search results are improving daily. Please submit feedback to help us improve search." Try it out to see what you can find (and click to refine as needed).

The most prominent feature of the new page is the large changing "channel," which highlights videos, talks, counsel, doctrines and more. This will be ever-changing, so check back often.

Scrolling down, you'll find a three-tiered section filled with latest features, world news, upcoming events, quick links, related sites and more. This is similar to what you will find on the current lds.org homepage, and most of this content will also change as updates and features are added.

As you get to the bottom of the page, you find another nice section that summarized the most-visited content. This handy feature lets you know what pages others are searching for and using.

Let me finish this new.lds.org tour by highlighting how you can provide suggestions. Near the bottom of the right-hand side of the main page, before you hit the bottom menu is a flag asking for feedback about this new site. It opens a new window with a suggestion box where you can detail your critiques, comments and commendations. They say to "Feel free to be as candid as you wish," and you can even remain anonymous. Help them make the best possible lds.org site for everyone.

Emily W. Jensen updates "Today in the Bloggernacle" every weekday, and her extended "Bloggernacle Back Bench" appears on MormonTimes.com on Tuesdays.

More columns online

To read more from Emily W. Jensen and other regular columnists and bloggers, visit MormonTimes.com.

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