Steamboatpilot.com gets a new look | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboatpilot.com gets a new look

Newspaper launches redesign of more user-friendly Web site with variety of new features

— The Steamboat Pilot & Today this morning launched a redesigned version of its Web site, steamboatpilot.com.

In addition to an extensive redesign, the updated site includes a variety of new features intended to enhance the online experience of Pilot & Today readers. Those features include a new video browser and player, a live Web cam and improved photo displays and gallery sections, among other changes. Readers also will find drop-down menus providing links to a variety of news and multimedia content.

Many of the changes were the result of feedback from readers, said Dan Divens, Internet services manager for the Pilot & Today.

“The new design is the result of a usability study and feedback directly from our online readers,” Divens said. “Every little change was done with purpose, with our online readers’ best interests in mind. Steamboatpilot.com is more user friendly, has more relevant features and does a better job of delivering content to the Web site visitors.”

Site users will notice a prominent video display in the center of the homepage. The display highlights a main news video and also features thumbnails of other news videos. Each of the videos can be played simply by clicking on the thumbnail photo.

“News videographer Matt Stensland has produced excellent pieces for our readers, but our old site made it difficult to find those videos,” Editor Brent Boyer said. “My hope is that readers will regularly access that content to complement the information they get through our traditional print journalism.”

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Users also will notice obituaries and births displayed at the bottom of the homepage, per the request of readers. A link to a Lincoln Avenue Web cam can be found at the upper right corner of the site, and a list of the most popular news stories, as determined by reader comments, is at the bottom left of the page.

The redesign is the second such effort in the past 14 months. The Pilot & Today first went online in 1997, and a major site redesign was completed in August 2006. That redesign allowed readers to post comments to stories, create their own blogs, receive breaking news alerts via e-mail and cell phone and set up an RSS feed of the newspaper’s top headlines.

All of those features remain in place. Registered users will not need to set up a new account, and all reader comments will remain unchanged.

“As a news and information company, it’s critical for us to deliver information in the quickest and most user-friendly format,” Publisher Bryna Larsen said. “The Internet is the most up-to-the-minute venue when delivering the news. I’m thrilled that we can bring our readers a more navigable site.”

For more information or to provide feedback about the site, call Boyer at 871-4221 or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com.