Redefining the Architecture of a Leading Weather Site
Card Sorting Session
Card Sort Maps
Customer Personas & Task Scenarios
Weather Underground delivers the most reliable, accurate weather data to over 10 million visitors every month. They have the world’s largest network of personal weather stations. Their data is used by websites, newspapers and service providers across the globe. As the first internet weather service, Weather Underground has a rich history and deep geek credibility. Initially created as a telnet service at the University of Michigan in 1991, the wunderground.com website launched in 1995. Technology-driven, the majority of staff are developers and meteorologists.
In addition to more than 15 years of weather data, new features — interactive maps, trip planners, member blogs — are constantly being added. The site had grown complex, and was becoming difficult for visitors to navigate and for the company to maintain. We helped them make it simpler. Starting with a visualization of the site enabled us to quickly identify the key features, pages and their relationships. Using this shortlist, we facilitated card sorting workshops with the marketing, development and meteorological teams. The results were charted for each team and synthesized into a new, simplified website architecture.
To test this new architecture, we worked with Weather Underground to define their three key customer types and then created personas to match. Walking through the tasks with these customers in mind highlighted improvements to both the structure and the naming of the new site. We designed a navigation system that would introduce the new, simplified architecture while the full website redesign was still in progress. This transitional navigation was designed to be familiar and easy to use for existing customers, and to fit comfortably with the website's existing visual design language.