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Tristream was started in 1995, in Grass Valley, California. (Originally with a different name, Trillium Design Group, but it became Tristream in January of 1999.) The three founders, Joseph Selbie, Bill Fehr and Phil Dyer all come from entrepreneurial and marketing communications backgrounds. The founder’s intent was to develop a first tier company in the foothills (Grass Valley, CA) taking advantage of the ability the Internet offers to do much of the project work remotely.

Tristream has met with much success, resulting in work for highly recognizable companies such as Wells Fargo, Cisco Systems, KPMG, Logitech, Hooked-On-Phonics and many others. In 2001, Tristream received recognition from the Nielsen Norman Group for its work with Cisco System’s I-Deal intranet application. The founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, Jakob Nielsen, is widely considered the most influential person in the field of web usability.

The Internet boom allowed Tristream to rapidly develop methodologies for web development in general and application user interface design in particular. Tristream’s work with Cisco’s I-Deal intranet application led to other projects at Cisco and eventually to major engagements with Cartus (Formerly Cendant Mobility) and KPMG.

Currently Tristream is focusing the majority of its time on application user interface development. The development process includes application strategy and planning, extensive user research, user interface/user experience design, and display implementation and back-end integration.

Tristream was acquired by Performance Learning Systems ( in November of 1998. PLS is the leading provider of continuing education to public school educators in the U.S. The value in the merger is the co-development of distance learning through an online delivery platform for PLS coursework in close collaboration with tristream. PLS began offering online continuing education courses in the fall of 2000.