Weather Channel

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Weather Channel
Goals
Weather Channel
www.weatherchannel.com.au
Industry
Services
Partner
Artis Group
Level 8, 33 Chandos St
St Leonards, NSW
2065
Australia
www.artisgroup.com.au
Peter Giudes
[email protected]
+61-2-8404-5802
Existing competitor weather websites make it difficult for users to find their
local weather information quickly and easily. The weather for different
locations is spread out across a number of different pages, so users are required
to go through multiple layers of content to find the weather forecast for their
location. Furthermore, checking on different aspects of the weather, whether
it’s temperatures, humidity, wind chill or precipitation can require users to
search through different areas of the site.
Weatherchannel.com.au was created to solve all of these frustrations for
the user. It uses geotargeting to instantly recognise where users are accessing
the site from, so that they’re instantly delivered the weather for their location.
Furthermore, all the weather for that location is conveniently displayed on one
page – whether it’s the ten day forecast, rain probability, radar and satellite
view or wind speed and direction, so there’s no frustrating searching around to
find the weather you want.
Finally, with Weatherchannel.com.au’s interactive online map, it’s easy for
users to scroll to nearby areas and see the weather conditions for those
locations.
Challenges
The weather offering in the online market had been very stale over the years with
weather sites not offering much in terms of a fresh or new approach to weather.
Our biggest challenge was taking the "beast of weather” as a category/science and
create a user interface which truly challenged the way in which weather is
represented and delivered online.
There were many complexities that were seen
while conceptualising the site however these
challenges only pushed our creative teams harder
to ultimately produce a new era of weather online.
Another complexity which we faced but which was
of the utmost importance to us was the speed
in which we deliver our solution. Every aspect
of the design and development process was taken
with the goal of preserving an optimal experience
for users.
“We saw a real chance to
converge our on-air and
digital media brands. The
website was built initially to
grow our TV brand. But the TV
brand also assists our online
brand. In the next 12 months,
we want to be known
primarily as a weather source,
irrespective of the medium.
Solutions
Our old systems were too
limited and prevented us from
growing. We envisaged
difficulties using real-time
weather data, doing anything
new in the online and mobile
space and rebuilding our
interactive TV product. We
simply couldn’t move with the
times.”
We used the Kentico API to automatically add news articles received by news
agencies into the site.
Julian Delany,
General Manager,
TWC
Kentico has two models, portal and ASPX template model. We chose the APX
template model as it allowed us to build a bespoke homepage which was a key
requirement to embed flash mapping with Ajax javascript web services.
The ASPX templates are exposed to the CMS so that content managers at weather
channel can create new pages based upon the templates provided. The use
of templates makes the site highly flexible and manageable. For example some
of the user managed pages include flash.
Features:
The Newsletter feature is used for a weekly email to weather information
subscribers (20,000 per week) providing links back to different elements
of the Kentico managed site.
The News Article feature displays pages which are a combination of live
external feeds and user generated content.
News information can be published with automatic expiry to ensure news
information is always current and timely.
Web analytics is used to provide information about page views, browser
access to enable tuning and content management of the site.
BizForms feature is used for creating comeptitions such as the world biggest
weather report which is to be listed in the next edition of the Guiness Book
of World Records.
The custom CSS feature is used to allow users to personalise their viewing
experience with the site.
Content Panels are used to manage images and movies to display weather
information including cyclones and synoptics charts.
Elements of the site allow social media connectivity with Facebook and
Twitter.
Kentico security controls enable end-user secure access to elements of the
site including managing the weekly emails, preferences and other products.
“The website was given a
completely fresh look, with a
Flash-based mapping
interface, three-hourly and
10-day forecasts, radar
information and weather
alerts.
Kentico Content Management
System empowered our
customer to add content of
their managed sections of the
site. This helped them retain
control of content and freed
the developers for more
complex tasks.”
Peter Giudes,
CEO,
Artis Group
Results
We were able to have a first edition of the site running in under 90 days made
possible by the productivity features provided by Kentico and the reusable
components which saved coding time and the strong support for ASPX integration
which made the technical components easy.
The new site now matched our on-air broadcast in terms of innovative design
and by providing comprehensive, detailed, local weather which is easily
accessible, simple to understand and (user) friendly.
No other sites could rival its broad appeal, attracting everyone from weather
fanatics (by providing detailed content) to normal folk just wondering if it
was going to rain (by delivering information quickly and simply).
Our site makes its revenue from advertising, and so importantly, just four
months into the new design, the site helped increase our traffic numbers by
an additional 100% YOY.
With the new design, we also offered unparallel integration for advertisers.
Retailers could now list their outlets upon the interactive map – enabling
them to reach potential customers in a relevant and engaging way, without
being obtrusive. An example of this is the ANZ Agribusiness campaign which
enabled users in regional areas to find their local agribusiness manager
utilising our interactive map.
Key criteria for selecting Kentico CMS
Selecting a CMS was one of the most important decisions that Weather Channel
had to make. They have many people that would be maintaining the site and it was
crucial to select a strong CMS partner to not only manage the site we were
designing but to manage the site on-going.
The Weather Channel has a very rigorous selection criteria which was used when
comparing over 20 commercial CMS products and out of all the CMS solutions that
were tested
Kentico came out
on top every time.
It was a solution
that would scale to
our strategies and
support our
website in every
way a CMS should.