Improvements to our website
The Met Office introduced its new website in 2012 and has been transferring pages from the old site to the new one, since then.
Part of the reasoning behind the changes being made was to put in place a framework for the web site that would allow changes to be made in the future as well as taking the opportunity to respond to feedback to adopt a more 'open' format and style.
This generated an ongoing program of improvement to how the Met Office creates and makes available to the public, digital content which also included a dedicated website for users of mobile equipment, introduced in 2013, alongside smart phone apps, Blogs and Twitter Feeds amongst other things.
Reasons for change
There were a number of reasons for undertaking the web refresh, including feedback received from the public and the continually changing technological environment.
Direct feedback has been considered and where possible, incorporated into our new designs and content. Examples of changes in response to feedback include:-
- Easier navigation; the search facility has been improved in 2012 and again in 2014.
- Increasing the number of forecast location. This was raised in 2012 to nearly 5,000 sites and increased again in 2014 to about 7,000 sites, with the facility behind the scenes, to add more when needed.
- Providing more weather forecasts for 'events'. The number and the extent of events supported with a specific weather forecast is increasing all the time.
As part of managing the changes to the web pages, the new ideas were used to create test modules that were used within a process of consultation, the output from these being incorporated into the final product. For example, in 2012 the three-hourly forecasts were extended to cover five days ahead and in 2014 the forecast time periods changed from three hourly to hourly for the first two days of those five day forecasts. This became possible because of improvements in the underlying science and technology which continues to develop improvements to weather information for the future.
Key changes in the current web site compared to the pre 2012 web site
- Updated web site look and feel: the web site has a refreshed more 'open' look and feel as well as improved navigation and new content.
- New homepage: the home page was redesigned, based on feedback, to include more weather information and a 'widget' style approach to allow selection of the information you want to see. Over time more options like that for the Pollen Count for those who suffer from hay fever, will be introduced.
- Improved navigation: you can now get a quick view of your key weather information from the homepage and get to more detailed content in less than three clicks. We have grouped weather content together in a tabbed approach to make it easier to swap between different content e.g. mapped or tabulated forecasts. All content can easily be accessed using the new menu bar navigation and the search facility has been upgraded to help you find what you want.
- Increased customisation: we have increased the customisation options so that you can decide what content you would like to see on your weather pages. You can switch off content which is not of interest to you and choose your units for temperature, wind speed etc.
- Increased number of forecast sites: we now have forecasts available for around 7000 locations around the UK. This includes an additional 450 beach locations as part of our beach safety content. This means you have access to more localised forecasts for places that are of interest to you, including residential locations, beaches and mountain summits.
- Pan and zoom maps: we have incorporated pan and zoom maps on our weather pages, so that you can navigate quickly and easily around the UK and zoom in on areas of interest, allowing you to see more detailed information for your area.
For more information about the changes, please see our FAQ section. If you would like to let us know your thoughts about our output, by all means contribute your feedback on the form provided via our contact us pages.
Last updated: 11 September 2014