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#1273069 - 15/08/2014 10:09 Weatherzone refresh
Matt Pearce Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 26/01/2001
Posts: 4381
Loc: Kariong, NSW
Hi all

We are giving Weatherzone a facelift!

Over the last few months, we have been working to build a new homepage, update and enhance the look and feel and provide a better experience for our users. Most of the content is the same but these changes have provided us with a platform to make further continual enhancements into the future.

Today we have opened up our beta test site for all forum users to experiment with as we look to add the finishing touches and fix any remaining bugs.

Weatherzone Beta: http://beta.weatherzone.com.au/

A summary of the changes includes:

New Look and Feel

Things to look for include:
- New icons
- New design with backgrounds that change with the weather
- New fonts and colours
- New navigation - live content to entice users into other sections

New Home Page

- Large Dynamic Map
- Zoom in on your area
- Easier district and map management
- Warning Ticker
- New Video panel
- Enhanced Extremes and records

- Auto complete location search

We would be really keen to hear your feedback - particularly if you notice any bugs or functionality that is not working correctly. Please post any of these reports in this issue.

While we are always interested in suggestions for additional content or things that are missing on the site, that is not the main intention of seeking feedback right now. So, if possible, please keep "suggestions" out of this thread and just send them through the normal feedback channels.

Have fun!

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#1273077 - 15/08/2014 10:36 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
Ben Quinn (BSCH) Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/06/2001
Posts: 2987
Loc: Caboolture, ~45km north of Bri...
I like it so far! I think it's great, a nice improvement... not too 'radical' a change for people. I think that's one big consideration for upgrades/enhancements to websites these days, in that people will have been using this site in it's current form for a great many years and if things change suddenly, even if the changes are great, just having to retrain your brain where to look on screen for things can be too much for a surprisingly large percentage of people.

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#1273080 - 15/08/2014 10:54 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
Scud Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 1207
Loc: Mcleans Ridges
Yep agree with Ben there Matt, looking really good! Everything I use is still easily accessible and the layout is nice and modern. No bugs that I can see. Looks good!

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#1273081 - 15/08/2014 10:54 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
northdandy Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 03/02/2010
Posts: 82
Loc: North Dandenong, Victoria, 66m...
In all honesty, I don't like it (and leaning towards hating it).I hope the subscription price doesn't rise because of changes to cover the cost.

The map of Australia looks amateur with the bold numbers.They completelyt cover the country, and ofcourse Melbourne is now located somewhere between Adelaide and Canberra, but where?

I suppose it is following the format of 'The Age' which is owned by the same company as WeatherZone.

For a long time I thought Weatherzone was superior to the BoM website, but now it looks like another weather site created by a Year 10 High School student looking for their first weather project working on their first website.

Please please please don't change the format- although this is unlikely now that the money has been spent.

Also, why are the tweets the dominating feature on the right hand side instead of weather news. Also makes it look unprofessional. The tweets should be at the bottom instead of the news.

Please keep it looking professional like it is now.

Why change something if it is working fine.

Sorry for the blunt review, but honesty is the biggest asset.

A step backwards for Weatherzone.


Edited by northdandy (15/08/2014 10:55)

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#1273083 - 15/08/2014 11:11 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
northdandy Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 03/02/2010
Posts: 82
Loc: North Dandenong, Victoria, 66m...
Also, a shame that some of the forecast areas are missing as well. Specific example includes the forecast for Dandenong is missing for metro Melbourne even though BoM has it in their list.

I know this is quite specific but it is a wider issue.

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#1273084 - 15/08/2014 11:21 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
ColdFront Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/06/2008
Posts: 17163
Loc: Wide Bay..Near the beach
Love the global synoptic and location zoom on the main map.
_________________________
“Don't blame Trump. He did everything he could to prove he was unfit to be president.”

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#1273088 - 15/08/2014 11:43 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
roves Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/02/2005
Posts: 1631
Loc: Paringa-Riverland
Yeah I like it, the dynamic map is a real winner.
_________________________
YTD-74mm AVE-260mm

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#1273582 - 18/08/2014 07:50 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
retired weather man Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 01/07/2007
Posts: 4178
Loc: Wynnum
I use news.com.au ( for free ) for local forecast area which includes tidal, sun and moon info as well as most of what WZ already provides. Maybe for my $60 WZ could include these.

I really only use my $60 WZ access for the Forum for a greater diverse knowledge of what is going on, but it is so heavily censored it is really not worth the outlay.

As for the revamped version I find I have to go through extra steps to find what I am after compared to now.
_________________________
Wyn Nth 2017-Jan107.6(158),Feb24.4(149),Mar410.2(123),Apr8.2(98)YTD550.4(528.2)

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#1273584 - 18/08/2014 08:00 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
bd bucketingdown Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 07/02/2008
Posts: 6033
Loc: Eastern A/Hills SA
All looks great to me Matthew...well done!

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#1273594 - 18/08/2014 09:03 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
northdandy Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 03/02/2010
Posts: 82
Loc: North Dandenong, Victoria, 66m...
With the background of Weathewrzone looking like the current weather, how does it know what it's like if I'm in Melbourne compared to Darwin? Or will it be Sydney based just like that other weather service (based on Foxtel)?

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#1273660 - 18/08/2014 18:22 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
Matt Pearce Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 26/01/2001
Posts: 4381
Loc: Kariong, NSW
The background weather graphic is derived from your local weather location.

RWM - all of the information you describe is (freely) available on the local weather page. Additionally, forum access is free.

Thanks all for your feedback so far - keep it coming!

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#1273703 - 19/08/2014 09:00 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
northdandy Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 03/02/2010
Posts: 82
Loc: North Dandenong, Victoria, 66m...
Credit given where credit due: I just discovered that you can see synoptic charts for all over the world.

Love it.

But unfortunately the world countries list is incomplete and I am very frustrated that Macedonia is still missing from the list despite sending an email to Weatherzone. It would be handy to have it on here instead of having to go to external sites.

The response from Weatherzone was that you get your list from the WMO and Macedonia wasn't there. I can definitely say this is untrue. It is there. More specifically it is under The Former Yugosalv Republic of Macedonia.

This was Weatherzon'es chance to refresh the list, but I suppose colours and graphics were more important than facts and information.

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#1273740 - 19/08/2014 12:34 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
orangeroughy Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 14/08/2012
Posts: 633
Loc: Orange, NSW
Quoting my earlier post to Q&A:
"WZ's listing of Climate Indices really needs updating if its to be considered a comprehensive and credible source in the contemporary scene of seasonal climate forecasting. Where is the IOD? The SAM? The MJO? Hopefully, soon to be added..."

..surely to the reformatted site???!!!!
_________________________
NW Orange NSW 860m asl

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#1273747 - 19/08/2014 13:37 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
Wave Rider Online   content
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/01/2014
Posts: 5289
Loc: Wollongong NSW
When I first saw the new weatherzone site, I didn't like it. But once I actually explored the site, I liked it quite alot. I really love how the main map features an interactive world synoptic chart and observations. I also like how theres a radar and sattelite, and these features can be ticked or unticked depending on what the user wants on the main map. A real winner!

I also like that right at the bottom theres an extensive list of extremes and records.

However, I don't like how on the main map theres only forecasts for today and tomorrow. Why not 7 day forecasts?

I also feel that on the local weather, near the bottom underneath the "sun and moon" times I feel that it is a little too cluttered.

Overall it is a radical change but it is a change for the better (for the most part). More conservative people will probably dislike the change, so I think there should be an option to use the old style or the new style, like there is here on the forums
_________________________
2016-17 season storm total for here= 13

Oct- 21st
Nov- 9th, 28th
Jan- 24th
Feb- 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th(2)
Mar- 13th, 16th, 22nd
Apr- 9th

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#1273852 - 20/08/2014 13:33 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
Matt Pearce Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 26/01/2001
Posts: 4381
Loc: Kariong, NSW
Northdandy - I have kicked off an internal task to add forecasts for Macedonia.

Orangeroughy - thanks for the feedback. As I mentioned in the first post, this relaunch is more about a redesign of the look and feel rather than adding new content. However, we will take your suggestion on board for future updates to the content of the site.

Reillyp - thanks for your feedback. We checked the usage statistics of the homepage and the *vast* majority of users only ever looked at today and tomorrow on this map. The number of users who used this map to go beyond tomorrow was negligible. Most users go to their local weather page to access 7 day forecasts for their specific location. Therefore, it ended up being a design decision to only display Today/Tomorrow on this map and leave the 7 day forecasts to the local weather page.

While all of these suggestions are great, what I am *really* interested in is any bug reports i.e. things that don't actually work on the new site. Do I take it that the lack of bug reports means that everything is working as it should? If so, great!

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#1273856 - 20/08/2014 14:05 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
DaveM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 21/05/2001
Posts: 9103
Loc: Bathurst NSW about 700 m asl
Happy Birthday MP smile

I (now) quite like the look and feel, wasn't keen at all at first but got to like it after a couple of looks and plays. Didn't notice any operational issues.

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#1273857 - 20/08/2014 14:13 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
kizz Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 11/02/2002
Posts: 1817
Loc: Beacon Hill, Sydney 152m asl
IE9 does not render the pages properly. However, I am assuming that you don't support older browser versions such as that.

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#1273858 - 20/08/2014 15:26 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
Wave Rider Online   content
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/01/2014
Posts: 5289
Loc: Wollongong NSW
Originally Posted By: Matthew Pearce
The number of users who used this map to go beyond tomorrow was negligible. Most users go to their local weather page to access 7 day forecasts for their specific location. Therefore, it ended up being a design decision to only display Today/Tomorrow on this map and leave the 7 day forecasts to the local weather page.


Fair enough, I must be one of the few people that use the 7 day forecasts on the map (mainly NSW/ACT) because I like comparing other places weather, without having to click into every individual forecast (which I'll now have to do).

I'm sure I'll get used to it! smile

Theres no viruses or bugs from what I've seen, and it seems to be faster than the old site. Everything also works.

BTW: Happy Birthday Matt smile
_________________________
2016-17 season storm total for here= 13

Oct- 21st
Nov- 9th, 28th
Jan- 24th
Feb- 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th(2)
Mar- 13th, 16th, 22nd
Apr- 9th

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#1273950 - 21/08/2014 17:26 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
Matt Pearce Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 26/01/2001
Posts: 4381
Loc: Kariong, NSW
Northdandy - your wish is our command: http://www.weatherzone.com.au/world/europe/macedonia

Kizz - can you please clarify exactly what issues you are experiencing in IE9? Feel free to send me an email directly (mpearce@weatherzone.com.au) with screenshots if that would be easier. We do support IE9 so it is important that we iron out any issues in that browser.

Thanks all for the birthday wishes smile

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#1274051 - 22/08/2014 14:40 Re: Weatherzone refresh [Re: Matt Pearce]
northdandy Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 03/02/2010
Posts: 82
Loc: North Dandenong, Victoria, 66m...
MASSIVE smile on my face Matthew. Thanks very much for that. Makes my conversations easier with my fellow MAcedonians when I tell them to visit Weatherzone. In the past their first impression was "pft, no Macedonia". Lol. But now it will be better. A big win for me.

Getting used to the new layout. The big winner is definitely the dynamic map. Love the zoom as well, as others have mentioned.

Perhaps the Extremes can be near the top, like an IN YOUR FACE approach for others that visit the site from overseas, but no big deal.

Also love the background that changes depending on the weather.

Thought has definitely been put into this upgrade. Well done


Edited by northdandy (22/08/2014 14:43)

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