Redesign Update

By: Toby Skinner , 11:45 PM GMT on February 04, 2011

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It's been almost 3 days since the launch of the new site and as expected, we've had a huge amount of feedback from you all. We appreciate all of your comments - both the positive and negative - and rest assured that we are listening to each and every one of you. We would like to address some of the recurring concerns that have been raised:

How long will the classic site be available?
The classic site is not going anywhere. We will be running it alongside the new site but as we add new features and data the classic site will not benefit from these additions. For further reassurance, I can tell you that we are still running our Telnet site from back in 1992 before The Internet took over.

Why change for the sake of change?
We are one of the oldest sites on the Internet and this new site design is the first major overhaul of the user interface for 16 years. The fact that we have had one overhaul in 16 years demonstrates that we do not 'change for the sake of change'. We have added so much data and so many new products over the years that we simply had to re-organize the architecture of the site. Also, we appreciate how much our loyal users love the appearance of the classic site, but for visitors less familiar with it, the brand impression was not always so positive. We have conducted research that showed that many people did not trust the weather data on the classic site because of its dated appearance. Of course our existing users remain our number one priority and these changes are designed to enhance your experience - but to continue to be here and provide you with our unique quality of data then we have to appeal to a wide audience.

I can't find data on the city forecast page?
The number one rule that we set ourselves when looking at the city forecast page was that absolutely no data could be taken away from our users. The focus of the redesign was to instantly surface as much data as possible for our users - but with a layout that doesn't feel like such a data overload. Despite its cleaner appearance, there is in fact more data available on the city forecast page than before, without having to click to a new page.

Why has the 5-day Forecast been moved further down the page?
We understand that some users are not happy about having to scroll down to the 5-day forecasts. We introduced the 'at a glance' data at the top of the page so you can see what weather is heading your way over the next 36 hour period. We could not keep everything at the top of the page but please note that the new city forecast page is more customizable for users with the collapsible functionality of the content sections. In response to many requests, we have just launched a new tab next to the radar image on the city forecast page that will give you the 7-day text forecast in one piece at the top of the page. If you click on this new tab, it will remain the default for your next visit.

Why did we launch the new site during major storms?
We had planned the re-launch for Groundhog Day for several months and we unfortunately could not have anticipated the level of severe weather activity that far in advance.

Are we 'going to do a Facebook' and keep changing the interface?
Again, this is the 1st overhaul of the site for 16 years. If you've used wunderground.com for a while you know that we are constantly making small changes to improve the site and this will continue on the new site. I can't promise that we won't redesign the site in 2017.....!

You can still go to your settings page and view both fahrenheit and degrees - it still needs some work integrating with the new site - we're working on it!

We will continue to listen to all of your feedback as we move forward with the new user interface. Ultimately, our focus is on delivering the most reliable and in-depth weather information - you can choose which version of the site you wish to view the data on.

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A Weather site Format change is "Big Change"?



Man,,some folks are really gonna be freaked out when the Mayans show Up then,








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Context: As a designer I find most websites badly designed--I come to WU mainly because you provide the best and clearest filter for the standard NOAA weather forecasts. I use the info for aviation and daily planning and from your data often interpret more accurate forecasts than any of the more popular WX sources eg TV/radio/weather.com etc. Esp useful for precision forecasting (eg is it really going to rain/snow on *me* and when) are hourly forecasts and moving fronts and radar images as well as actual WX discussions. FYI I am a member because $5 small price to pay for faster site w no ads. I expect large portion of your audience similar.

Review: Your old site was hideous but fairly easy to use; the new site *looks* better but IA weaker--more scrolling is required to access same data--ie poorer use of valuable "above the fold" real estate. Also, while I support "power-user" interfaces eg expandable nav (testing shows most regular users adapt quickly) some of your IA choices here are a bit oblique/challenging. (Did you do any user research prior to overhaul?) Probably biggest strategic error is making the new site look more generic/like other weather sites--primary redesign/business goal should have been to differentiate yourself (eg as the "real weather site"--not just make "cleaner."

Also from user marketing standpoint, WU missed opportunity to get regular users/members onboard by telling them in advance and by soliticing their input in new design. (Any chance you made classic mistake of letting the IT geeks call the shots?)

FWIW new site looks alot like classic takes on modular page design from Microsoft, MYWay etc--which allowed users to customize layout. You might consider that as next step.

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
if you go to my blog i too also have the classic link located at the very bottom of my blog page and thats it click that you are right back where you want to be
whats the whining for its simple

i also change my code to see my blog page both in classic/new page as a matter of fact it was the same night as the launch i was just chillin hit refresh and everything changed my blog was also pretty messed up with the new format did i panic no i sat back brought up the update page and slowly started the adaptation process and within the first 6 hrs of launch i had almost everything re-coded so that it ran in both layouts nicly just as i wanted to see it

the lesson here is this if one wants to survive must be willing to adapt to big changes quickly or you are likly not going to make it



The lesson here is you need English lessons.
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Hi, Ric~! ;-)
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Number 1 in the USA....last on Shores list
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Thanks for the update response.

I have not been able to read all 12ltymillion comments
but want to comment on lack of functionality which I
really rely on -

- There is no longer the ability to selection regions on the overall US map - I really like to zoom into the region that is having weather events.

- The radar no longer has an automatic refresh! I guess you might be trying to save some bandwidth by those who pulled this up at 5pm on friday at the ofece and went home, but maybe you could just implement a timeout instead.

Other changes aside - these two will keep me on the classic pages - Mark
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And yes, Weather Events and Weather Summary need to go elsewhere. I don't pick up USA Today at hotels, and I don't need its equivalent on my local page.
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I like the new site. At first I thought Oh no, because I tend to think I am computer challenged. However when I found how easy it is to get around in, and all the information that is available, and the new things that were added, I thought I have to let you know I like what you have done. I am also a long time subscriber and intend to remain one. Change is never popular in the beginning. So thank you for doing such a great job and having the courage to do so.
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One factual error in the blog posting: telnet is not pre-Internet; it is *part* of the Internet. telnet, like http (the WWW protocol), operates over the foundation of the Internet. It's the web (WWW) that took over in the 1990s. And yes, I used rainmaker ... I even remember getting personal responses from Jeff Masters when I reported problems.

The Extended Forecast tab helps, but you are still forcing me to page down to see what used to be above the fold.

Priorities need to be returning Recent and Faves to a vertical list, fixing fonts (get rid of low contrast and tiny type) and taking Weather Events and Weather Summary off the local page and utilizing that space for stuff that's of local interest (or of interest to the user ... such as faves).

Edward
Member Since: August 10, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
New site might be almost good if there was the option to hide "Weather Events" and "Weather Summary"; I don't need or want that fluff. The 7 day forecast would be a lot more useful in that area. The Classic view was and remains a lot more customizable.
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I was about to start ranting about how bad the new site is before I read the other comments. The lack of support is obvious so I'll offer some constructive criticism instead. Here are my thoughts:

1. First and foremost let me have the option to place my favorites on the left side of the screen. This one is the show stopper--in classic view I can scroll through 25 cities in a couple of seconds. Reviewing my favorites in the new version takes 20 mouse clicks and 20 seconds to get through them.

2. Put the 5 day forecast back at the top of the page so I see it first.

3. To make room to do those two things, move "Weather Events" and "Weather Summary" somewhere other than at the top of the page. They're interesting but not so much that I want to see them everytime I access the page.

There's more I could add, but fixing #1 and #2 will get me to stick around.
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if you go to my blog i too also have the classic link located at the very bottom of my blog page and thats it click that you are right back where you want to be
whats the whining for its simple

i also change my code to see my blog page both in classic/new page as a matter of fact it was the same night as the launch i was just chillin hit refresh and everything changed my blog was also pretty messed up with the new format did i panic no i sat back brought up the update page and slowly started the adaptation process and within the first 6 hrs of launch i had almost everything re-coded so that it ran in both layouts nicly just as i wanted to see it

the lesson here is this if one wants to survive must be willing to adapt to big changes quickly or you are likly not going to make it

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Three things I'd like to see changed:

1. Reinstate the left-hand side favorite cities, recent cities, and links to WU photos and Wundermap on the blog page.

2. Provide a color change for clicked links on the blog page - both bloggers' handles and blog titles.

3. Provide "Updated" as well as "Last Activity" information on the blog page.

Finally, "search by blogger's handle" doesn't return accurate results. It's easy enough to see the problem by clicking any of the alphabetic groupings.
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Here you go, keethie,

Replace the www in the address with classic.
Or, Click On the classic button & set it for your homepage or bookmark it.
There is a link to the New Website at the top of the classic page!

   

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Quoting Skipasan:
You need a quick link from the login site to get to the classic page.
Or at least give an option in the settings to set that for login.


Absolutely agree with this. I really like the new format with all the new options and features, but my wife wants the old page. I closed the link to the old page and now I can't get it back. PLEASE instruct us on how to restore the old format or provide a link or the URL to do so. Please. For the sake of peace in our house :-))

The more I use the new site, the better I like it. When I show my wife how to use it, she generally likes it too. However, she thinks (and I agree) that it sprang up too suddenly without sufficient warning.
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Been coming here too long, all the info is there, we just have to find it.

a man with intelligence
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I don't think there's any need for folks to become angry and insulting, or go elsewhere. This is still the best and most informative weather site on the net, imho anyway. I'm not thrilled with the new design either, but I'm gonna give it a shot nonetheless.

Been coming here too long, all the info is there, we just have to find it.
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This is the worst site redesign in the history of the Internet.
I have recommended this site to everyone but no longer.
There is no RSS feed for the "Classic" version either.
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" How's that working out for ya,WU?"

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Nope.... I'm sticking with the classic view.

It's like you decided to be as useless as weather.com.
You've managed to make the new interface more bland with LESS detailed information. That's why I never use weather.com - they have so much useless information featured AND make it hard to find the specifics of the actual forecast and conditions.

Stick with your original strengths. Don't try to copy the flaws of the competition.
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Please bring back the temperature/humidity bar graphs and other graphics. Whoever engineered this interface does not understand or appreciate the utility of a GUI versus a ChUI. This is a step backwards in data display and usability IMO.

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Furthermore I don't believe the marketing study that says the old page is not credible because of the design.

nor does he believe we went to the moon.....or that 9/11 happened...and that elvis is dead
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ahhhh....i understand nutmeg....sometimes it's just easier to blurt it out.....keeps you from looking like a mental case
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Quoting ricderr:
distresses me

You're kidding me....hell...i can see...upset...pissed off...but distressed?...let me suggest therapy


I was trying not to say "pisses me off" but have it your way - it pisses me off large!
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The old page design is brilliant by comparison to this new scrolling and rambling nightmare. The old page was like the dashboard of my car at speed on the freeway in the dark. A simple glance would give me everything I wanted to know to decide the direction I need to go or what information I should ask my "navigator" to look up for me.

The new page is like texting for the information on a bargain cell phone while flying down a cow strewn country road at night in a rusty old pick-up truck. It's a ball-testing macho thrill ride but I prefer my climate controlled and GPS assisted comfort. You young guys must be tough!

If you think just a little more you surely can come up with a more concise design for your new look. Perhaps a new designer would help.

Good luck. This has been my favorite weather page for years. You need at least a better link to the old page. Also I find it hard to believe that you can't update the old page with any new information that you wanted to add. Furthermore I don't believe the marketing study that says the old page is not credible because of the design.
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Never mind all that found it.

Just add this to favorites or make your home page.

http://classic.wunderground.com/
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I have a weather station on this site which is down for repairs.

When I do my weekly computer clean-up I delete temp files cookies and all. The when I log into the site again I tell it to remember me which places a cookie in the cookie folder to identify me.

If we have to have this new front end (most don't want it). When we click the classic view, why can't you update or add a new cookie to the cookie folder to let us open to the classic veiw?

Just a though!
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Still think it is blunder but doubt will be changed much. A button at the top to jump to page links at bottom would be handy. Having them at the top did create clutter without conveying information but made for quicker navigation through the site.
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...an Ode to the "leaving members" of the Community.








I was born under a wanderin' star.
I was born under a wanderin' star.

Wheels are made for rollin', mules are made to pack.
I've never seen a site that didn't look better lookin' back.

I was born under a wanderin' star.

Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry.
Snow can burn your eyes but only people make you cry.
Home is made for comin' from, for dreams of goin' to.
Which with any luck will never come true.

I was born under a wanderin' star.
I was born under a wanderin' star.

Do I know where hell is, hell is in hell-o.
Heaven is good-bye forever it's time for me to go.


I was born under a wanderin' star, a wanderin', wanderin' star.

Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry.
Snow can burn your eyes but only people make you cry.
Home is made for comin' from, for dreams of goin' to.
Which with any luck will never come true.

I was born under a wanderin' star.
I was born under a wanderin' star.

When I get to heaven tie me, to a tree.
Or I'll begin to roam and soon you'll know where I will be.

I was born under a wanderin' star.
A wanderin', wanderin' star.
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why will the full screen view no work?
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distresses me

You're kidding me....hell...i can see...upset...pissed off...but distressed?...let me suggest therapy
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Ok - can anyone answer this?

I use Google Chrome, and have done for a couple of years. (Faster than IE) But today I launched the new WU in IE and find that the whole page is marginally bigger - font, images, comment boxes etc. Why?

Also - one glitch I have noticed.

Open the European weather in Lite, which gives the European map and weather summary for Europe below. Select UK - up comes the UK map and the list of towns with temperature selected on the map types.

BUT change the weather map from temperature to show windchill or humitdy, etc and the summary below the map changes to the weather in the States!!!
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I trust Wunderground now realizes that it violated several redesign good practices and they will try to fix the problems with the new site. I hope they realize they smacked their community in the face - not a good thing to do when "building community" has been one of the pillars of the site's growth. This rollout could have - should have - been handled vastly better. I trust they had a good solid study that told them users were not trusting the data because of the dated look of the site - I find that really hard to swallow. I trust they will look into the server issues and backbone issues that have been a problem for a long time now and make sure they clean up the back end along with the front end. I trust they will keep the classic view permanently.

As for me, I am moving on because the philosophy and lack of professionalism reflected in the site redesign and the way the rollout was handled really distresses me...but that's me. I'll use classic once in a while during major events to see VIP photos - and thank the members who take the time and trouble to take and upload those photos - until my membership expires.
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Don't tell me guys are to young to remember NEW COKE?
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.."I very Glad that the Classic vs New Design Revolt is well under control Mr-Wu President"...

Have you tried the Cajun Appetizers yet"..?

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I congratulate you on your new site design!

The old design was too flat for me. I had turned-off and collapsed as much as I could to reduce the clutter, and switched icon sets to smooth-out the color palette.

The new design is so much cleaner as to reduce eye strain for me. And while the first loading of the new page design was rather slow, subsequent loadings are noticeably faster than the old design. I've collapsed fewer content sections, and this time around, I switched icon sets to optimize their use in the Favorites bar at the top of the page.

At this time, the collapse/expand icons in the upper-right corner of each content section might need to be a bit more distinctive, in order to be noticed by a wider range of users.

For the future, I'd like to see the fluidity of the layout increased, including the ability to change layouts (single- or multi-column), move content sections, and collapse/expand content sub-sections. For subscribers with wide screens, that would be great!

Designing a site that is easy to read and intuitive to navigate is difficult for such a data-intensive application as a weather site. I would have preferred you use the "Want to try our beta site?" approach, perhaps starting as early as August or September, while leaving the URLs pointed to the classic design. The strong feedback you're receiving now has to be classified as self-inflicted, because it was so predictable.

Good luck with your continuing design!
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To view Current conditions and five day forecast on a single screen with no scrolling or new screens:

I've bookmarked the 'lite site' with my home local weather as my standard opening page. This gives me a super quick load to a single screen showing current conditions, local radar, nearlby locations and five-day forecast. This page doesn't list favorites, but it does show recent locations, so I've typed in all my favorites one at a time and they are all listed and remain there through subsequent sessions. You do have to click each day for the detailed text forecast, but it's all on the same screen – no scrolling, no new screens or windows.

This gives me a quick scan of the most pertinent information at a glance. If I have time or inclination for a more in depth study, the full site is only a click away – although if I want to come back to the same information in the lite site I have to use my bookmark rather than the lite site link.

This process could be improved by showing favorites on the lite site and allowing it to open to the locations view from the full site rather than having to use my bookmarked link to avoid the lite site's normal opening page.
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 41
Sorry, I dont like it, and will prbably move on.

- its very sloooow now. It started getting slower a couple of months ago; no, this isnt my computer, other pages are very fast. In fact I can go to other tabs in my browser and have boston.com up before WU loads

- it relies on cookies - I dont keep cookies for security reasons, so I see the default page every time.

- what happned to the 5 day forcast? That is the biggest reason to not come to this site anymore.

These are the days where web developers are trying to do the best they can to balance costs / adverts with usability. but the trend is in the wrong direction.
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I'm still using your Classic View. I like it much better to have the 5 day forecast right at the top.
And what happened to my Favorites List on the new format? I can't do without that.
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Sorry, folks, but more info on the first page with more ads means a slower load

yep....damn you guys for giving us more information on the fist page....
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Like many users I find this redesign difficult to like, but I also recognize that any time you do something like this, the initial response is apt to be largely negative until people either go somewhere else, or adjust to the changes.

One thing that a lot of the the comments seem to suggest is that the side-by-side presentation of current conditions and five-day forecast in the old version was working well for people, and that the changes to the weight, placement, and treatment of these elements may not be. I wonder if that might point to a modified approach that makes the contents of the "Current Conditions" box vertical rather than horizontal, and that places the tabbed Current Data/Stats/Extended area next to it rather than below it, bringing back some of the functionality of the old version while not sacrificing the basic changes in visual design. (As you noted in one of this post, selecting Extended Forcast makes it the default, and the lowered prominence of this material seems to be what a lot of people are objecting to.)

Under this framework, the tabbed Radar/Satellite/Webcams area might be placed immediately below "Current Conditions" (there does seem to be a very large amount of wasted vertical space in the Radar/Satellite/Webcams areas).

One other comment: It seems that when the five-day forecast text view is expanded, "Nowcast" should come at the top, not at the end.

Good luck with your efforts. It's still a great site for getting weather information, even though I will say that personally I think the changes to the design have made it harder for me to use.
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You need a quick link from the login site to get to the classic page.
Or at least give an option in the settings to set that for login.
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Sorry, folks, but more info on the first page with more ads means a slower load, and the small print and washed out graphics are hard on on the eyes for us older folks. I've been with you for a long time, but you've lost your way. First choice for a quick overview is now accuweather.com, which is much easier to read. Their first page is too long too, but nowhere near as long as yours.
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Not impressed with the new site.
It is only logical to have a home page that is quick to open, easy to read. The new page is neither.
Maybe you're building for the 3-inch screen and it works well for that, but weather is the homepage on our computers and has to be bold and simple for the work we do.
We'll stay with weatherunderground as long as the old version is available and maintained well, but there are other options.
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54. Rona
I think the new portal look is great, but the 5-day has much more info than the world weather events module. I like having quick access to the world context, but I don't need it as often as the 5-day. I realize that might mean a different layout, or more compressed view of the 5-day, but you really need to re-think that.
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I for one love the new WU! Pages are fast in loading and it has a nice look to it. So I applaud you for the changes. I also think it's nice of you guys to leave the original here for those who prefer it. At any rate, I'll be using the updated site from here on out!
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Sorry, but the new site is horrible! Monochrome, poor icons, no order. Everything gets lost on the page. Looks like something a teenager put together for a computer class. Video ads starting on mouseover??? - Thanks for wasting my bandwith!!! WU used to stand out from all the others because of the professional look. Now you have decided to follow suit with the others and have become "just another weather site".
Why does everyone think that here has to be drastic changes to make things "better"? What was so wrong with the old format that you had to come up with this juvenile looking site? Sorry folks, this is a deal breaker for me!
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Thank you for reading and responding to our posts about the new site.

I am trying to like the new site, but I still return to the classic view for a quick COMPLETE at-a-glance extended view of the weather in my area. It's right there when I go to the page....current conditions, the radar, and the 5 Day extended with precip chances are right there on the same line in the classic view. I can access the info I need immediately! I want efficiently presented weather info; I'm not studying for a degree in meteorology, though I do enjoy the more in depth info when I have time to look at it.

Weather plays an important role in my daily planning for business purposes. I check your site many times during the day especially when weather systems are moving through my area. As was mentioned previously, it is very important to include the percentage for precip in the 5 day graphic. I can find that immediately on the classic view. If I want the hourly forecast on the classic view, I can click on that day and find those details.

The darker more definite colors, better layout, less white space, darker print, and well-presented info still make the classic view my preference.

I don't understand why the trend seems to be using weak washed out pastel color schemes with lots of white space when sites are upgraded. They are difficult to read!
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Love the new site! Much easier on the eyes. Thanks for providing this great service. Wunderground is the best wx site on the net.
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