Truckee’s Web portal gets a new look | SierraSun.com

Truckee’s Web portal gets a new look

Paul Raymore, Sierra Sun
www.truckee.comThe new Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce Web site boasts new features to attract visitors and aid local businesses.
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Locals and visitors alike who visit the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce on the Web may be surprised to find some major changes at the site. Gone are the funky Old West graphics and primitive navigation tools, and in their place is a Web site the chamber hopes will better represent everything that Truckee has to offer.

According to chamber President and CEO Lynn Saunders, after being on the Web for more than 10 years, the old site at http://www.truckee.com was badly in need of a face-lift.

“The other site did not convey really the beauty and diversity of what we have up here,” she said.

With that goal in mind, the chamber staff and board of directors sent out a request for proposals to approximately 40 Web design companies in the Truckee, North Lake Tahoe and Reno areas.

The chamber chose Reno-based design firm CLM to redesign the site for them.

“They [CLM] were just very proactive, they were very creative right out of the chute,” Saunders said. “They had a [mock] design and navigation already prepared for us. They had come up here and taken some photos that they put in this [mock] site. So it was real easy to see at that point, and I felt like we were almost one-third of the way there.”

Working closely with chamber staff, the CLM designers have integrated a great deal of new information into the site along with an array of color photographs of Truckee and the surrounding area.

Though the new site contains more content than the old one, Saunders feels that they have balanced the need to provide information with the need to provide a user-friendly experience.

“We’re trying to make it easier – more easy to navigate, more intuitive, more diverse, more sophisticated to the point of really trying to represent what we’re about now.”

Complicating the site design was the fact that the Chamber’s Web site serves a dual purpose: On one hand it should help local businesses and chamber members market their products and services to other businesses and individuals in the area; at the same it must offer visitors relevant information about the town and its business community.

“We wanted to make sure it was businesslike enough, but yet it was enticing and attractive to visitors as well,” Saunders said.

The chamber spent approximately $12,000 on the site redesign – a bargain, Saunders said, considering the greatly improved look and feel of the new site.

One of the most interesting new components of the Web site is the interactive historical timeline that CLM incorporated with help from the Truckee-Donner Historical Society. In this section, visitors can learn about how Truckee got its name, the importance of the railroad to the town’s development, Truckee’s Olympic history and more.

“This was really one section where, when CLM presented it, they were saying that they wanted to do some sort of interactive timeline, and we just said ‘You go for it.'” Saunders said. “I didn’t really know exactly what they were going to do but… It’s very cool.”

So far, reaction to the site redesign has garnered nothing but praise, Saunders said, adding that she hopes Truckee residents and chamber members will all have the chance to take a look at it soon.

The newly redesigned Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce Web site can be viewed at http://www.truckee.com. People who have trouble viewing the site might need to adjust their Web browser. Detailed instructions can be found by clicking on the “About the site” link at the bottom of the page.