More Ambience for BBC Weather - and other improvements
Firstly, let me introduce myself. Formerly the Head of Product for BBC Homepage, I came back to the BBC in late January this year after maternity leave and I've taken over as Head of Product for Weather & Travel News from Peter Deslandes. In earlier posts, Peter gave an overview of the new BBC Weather site that was launched in October 2011. Peter subsequently posted about updates we made to BBC Weather including adding colour to temperatures and improving visibility of the weather on maps.
Since then we've continued to receive and review feedback from you about how we can further improve the BBC Weather site. We have been working on a few of these changes over the past weeks and months. Today we released a couple of changes we hope you'll like.
In November Melanie Seyer gave a detailed overview of the BBC Weather Design Refresh in Pictures. In that post Melanie described our plan to introduce page ambience as a way for us to inject personality into the site, by reflecting the current weather at your selected location. Today we've rolled out page ambiences for both UK and International locations. The ambience reflects the latest forecast for the selected location.
Sunny skies over Canterbury, Kent
Heavy rain shower in Faro, Portugal
Couldy skies over Warsaw, Poland
Light snow falling in Anchorage, Alaska
The return of RSS
Quite a few of you have been asking when we would enable RSS feeds on the new BBC Weather site. In December Jeremy Tarling described how the new BBC Weather site was re-designed to a three-tier architecture as part of the BBC's wider strategy to move to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). As a result we had a bit of work to do to publish RSS feeds from our new service layer. This work is finally complete and in today's release we've enabled RSS on all forecast pages. You'll see the orange RSS icon next to the Share Tools, under the Find a Forecast box.
We've had feedback that some of you were having problems saving your favourite forecast locations. So we've made some changes to the Find a Forecast box, to make it easier to save your favourite locations. After you have searched for your location, click the + Add to Favourites link which appears above the Find a Forecast box. Read more about how to personalise your BBC Weather page on our Help and FAQ page.
We've added a timestamp to the top of the forecast pages, so you can see the last time the forecast data was refreshed (the time shown is GMT).
Last updated timestamp on forecast pages
In addition we recently updated the performance of the maps so all the tiles load together. You may also see a loading indicator whilst you are waiting for the weather to appear over the map. We've done some work to make a much smoother transition between forecast times once the images have loaded. And now the arrows on the timeline are adjacent to each other, so it's easy to flick back and forth and watch the weather progress over time.
We will continue to review your feedback, and work to deliver new features and improvements in future. We've answered some of your questions on our Frequently Asked Questions page, and I look forward to reading your comments here.
Jo Wickremasinghe is the Head of Product for BBC Weather in BBC Future Media