By Ashley Quadros
Out with the old and in with the new! In recent years, we’ve received emails, comment cards and phone calls with suggestions regarding our website and functionally—and we’ve listened. Thank you to everyone who has taken a moment to share how we can improve.
In order to increase the user-friendliness of our website and to make it easier to navigate, we teamed up with design and technology firm, SDBX Studio in Tahoe City, Calif., to create a new website with our membership in mind. The new website aims to make information easier to find while keeping key information at the forefront. If you haven't already, watch the video above for a quick tour and tutorial.
Alerts: Stay in the Know
Alerts are a new feature that will appear on occasion at the top of our homepage to deliver important information to our members as fast as possible. For example, if there is fire danger, flooding, a scheduled power outage, etc. we want to increase the timeliness of our communication efforts and reach our max audience, which is currently limited by email communication alone. By having an alert appear on our homepage, or on select amenity pages when appropriate, members and visitors will be alerted to major news immediately and can take action accordingly as needed. Alerts will only be used to share important, time-sensitive information, so you’ll only see these sparingly used, but when activated, you’ll see a color bar across the top of the page.
Alerts are also color coordinated by level of importance. Red is the more serious, orange is medium and green is mild.
Weather and Ski Conditions: Front and Center
Our weather and ski conditions is another section of our new website we have enhanced. Previously, ski conditions were only accessible by clicking through three or more sections of our old website. To eliminate the hassle, the wait, and the number of pages to click through, our new website offers current weather, snow reports, snow accumulation and number of trails open at each ski area right on our new homepage. Fast, easy and convenient! In the summer and fall months when ski operations are closed, only weather will be depicted on the homepage.
Our web cams, which have always been the most popular page on our website, also remain front and center on our new homepage, now featuring live streaming video, in addition to live pictures and additional and recent videos we’ve produced. Just click on the video camera icon and check things out any time of day since the cameras are always live.
How to Navigate: Easy-to-Use Dropdown Menu
Our homepage is meant to showcase the most sought after information but if you click on the menu button on the top right corner of our new website, you can quickly choose from a drop-down menu list of options, including recreation, restaurants, facilities, events and additional pages of interest. Any page noted with an asterisk(*) is exclusive to members or member guests, along with our Member’s Area on the top right. Just click on an item of interest and start exploring! Example of the main menu once clicked:
Event Improvements: Find All Events in One Click
One inefficiency of our old website was the way in which visitors learned about our events. We always aimed to keep our signature events front and center on the homepage but smaller events were sometimes overshadowed. We had a basic calendar listing on our homepage for all events, but it was hard to find and navigate, and events at times were missing from the calendar. Events were also listed under each individual amenity and restaurant, but if you weren’t on that page, they were easy to overlook. Making our events easy to find and searchable was something we wanted for our new site.
On the new website, events can now be found a number of ways. In addition to featuring events on our home page, a link to our events is also included in the new menu (as seen above). All events for every amenity and restaurant will automatically appear for the entire year to date. Planning to come to Tahoe Donner on vacation next month? No problem. You can search events by the current month, following month, or same day, or you can browse through every event we have planned to date for the entire year. You can even do a custom search for one or more amenity. Going cross country skiing? Just select “Cross Country Ski Area” and only cross country-related events will be displayed. Likewise, if there is an annual event you’re curious about, you can just type the name of the event in the events search field to see if any information is available for it just yet.
All events list the event name, date, time, address and description so you’ll always know where to go and when. Events can also be found at the bottom of each individual amenity or restaurant page. Only events specific to the page you are viewing will automatically appear; however, performing a search to see all or some additional events at other locations is an option too. Explore the new events page.
More Pictures and Videos
We kept hearing people wanted to see more pictures and more videos, so we’ve enhanced these aspects on our new website too. All of our amenity pages are now geared up to show you new pictures with a rolling gallery on all main landing pages. At times, you’ll even see videos too (see Tahoe Donner Downhill or Cross Country Ski Areas as examples). Additional pictures and videos will also be regularly featured on our homepage so you will always know how much fun we’re having at Tahoe Donner. For the latest action at any moment of day, just click on our webcams to watch live video.
What We’re Keeping
Rest assured, we have not deleted any information you may have found useful in the past. All information on our old website appears on our new website, but may be located in a new space and may function differently in an effort to increase overall efficiency. Popular aspects, like live chat with Member Services and booking programs and lessons directly on ShopTD, all still function the same.
We encourage all members to explore our new website. We trust you will find it as enjoyable and user-friendly as we have. If you have comments or questions regarding our new website, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.