MetService is launching a redesigned website this afternoon to bring more of its labyrinth of meteorological data up to the user level.
It's been three years since MetService launched the current version of its website, which gets more than 150,000 unique users a day according to Nielsen Market Intelligence.
Craig Delany, interactive manager at MetService, says the site's information has been difficult to find and user feedback hasn’t been as good as it could have.
"People expect a lot more from the weather and how it's presented. New Zealanders are very fanatical and emotional about the weather, which is understandable because of how much it impacts us," says Delany
The new metservice.com, designed by Pikselin (formerly Shift Wellington), displays the important weather information directly on the homepage.
Photos, videos, and weather maps play a big part on the new site, and are rotated across “live tiles” through out the day depending on the time. Traffic cams are shown in the morning for commuters, general weather cams are shown during the day, and video forecasts for the next day are shown in the evening.
"We want MetService to be an everyday website to visit," says Delany.
According to Delany, the visual elements have proven popular with user groups during the beta period. It was inspired by the popularity of very visual MetService app for iOS and Android, which is currently the number four top paid app in the New Zealand Apple App Store.
The mobile version of metservice.com will remain unchanged, as the user feedback for that has been largely positive.
Delany says the website refresh is also an opportunity to give brands more options to target their advertising on the site.
New ad formats are available, and advertisers have the option to advertise next to specific weather types. This is common overseas, and MetService has tried this in the past.
"It's like Google AdWords, but instead of bidding on words you buy space next to a weather type," says Delany.
Meat producer Hellers is running a campaign to show ads next to fine weather forecasts, and paint company Resene has ads to encourage people to paint their houses on sunny weekends, says Delany.
It's not just the fine weather that gets good placings, in the past Video Ezy has advertised next to rainy weather, and investment fund groups reckon rainy days are the best to jump on KiwiSaver.
Delany says the new website is scheduled to go live at 2pm "when the IT guys flick the switch."