Today, The Weather Channel celebrates its 30th birthday. It will officially feel old at concerts and hot new night clubs. To mark the occasion, the company has revamped their website, weather.com, to keep up with the times.
Weather is a very information-based vertical — there isn’t a whole lot one can do to spruce it up. But TWC is looking to personalize the experience as much as possible.
That said, you’ll notice the redesign as soon as you visit the site. Information on your area will be displayed immediately at the top of the page, along with an ever-changing background that reflects the conditions in your area. For example, if it’s rainy where you woke up this morning, the background of the home page will be grey and rainy. If its a clear night, you’ll see a dark background with stars.
But obviously it goes much further than that. Weather affects our every plan, even if it’s indoors, so the ability to “Love” or “Ugh!” the weather is only a natural progression as social networking completely takes over our lives. I spoke to the Weather Channel’s Cameron Clayton, EVP of digital products, who explained that “hating” or “disliking” is a bit harsh. But you should feel free to “Ugh!” the crap out of a cold, rainy day.
Along with this social integration comes the ability to see what other people in your area are saying about the weather courtesy of new trending keyword graphics from Twitter. This feature only pulls from people in your area to tell you how your neighborhood feels today about the weather.
The content on the home page will also change as the site learns your personal interests. So if you like to barbeque on the weekends, information and stories on your weekend weather will be more prominently displayed to make sure your plans don’t get ruined.
Speaking of raining on a parade, the new weather.com can predict the future. Well, it can at least predict when it’s going to rain, and better yet, when it’s going to stop raining. TWC made it very clear that no one is doing this but the Weather Channel.
Another important new feature is the social emergency broadcast system. When you see a severe weather alert on the site, you can instantly share it with your social networks to keep friends and family in the loop about your safety. Soon enough, the site will also allow you to monitor any severe weather alerts that may be affecting others in your social networks, so you can clue them in if they aren’t already prepared.
The redesign comes in conjunction with the recent release of the TWC iPad app, and it would seem as though the company is revamping across all channels to prepare for our highly digital future.[gallery]