Yesterday evening, in the face of the coldest arctic invasion of Houston area in many many years, Weather Underground dot Com presented me with my brand new home page. Surprise! Was I a Beta tester and had missed the memo? Evidently not.

My brothers are programmers and so are some of my clients and friends so I “get” the need to rebuild 15-year-old HTML from the ground up.  Those patched-in improvements over the years can end up fighting each other, slowing down response time, and require additional resources ( $ ) to operate.

I’ve been a paid subscriber since 2000. I thank Weather Underground for using some of my money to improve their backbone.

Their new format is very pretty.

And it is a waste of screen space.

Before WU changed things, I could see all I need, 90% of the time, in one quick glance. I kept a web  browser tab open to wunderground.com. Popped over to it as needed – like the evening of February 2, 2011. Now I have to stop. Read around (no glancing). Page Down to read around some more. Page Down, read around some more.

Problem:  lots of pretty white – far from functional for a data service site.

Sure it’s prettier for the non-geeks who may visit their site. It is a very gently-faced web site now. I wonder, though if WU ever surveyed their subscribers and visitors to see if those folks were geeks or “civilians” ? (Annual subscriptions are a steal: $5 to $10 to get rid of the advertising & add some enhancements.) And why no “opt out” of the new version? Or new Fast Data Center?

Real Issue: does the predominant visitor to http://www.wunderground.com want quick-read Data or a Wonderfully Pretty Internet Experience? I suggest that those who want Pretty, Fluffy Weather already visit the WeatherChannel, IntelliCast, or AccuWeather.

I for one am Most Unhappy with Weather Underground’s new layout.

As for the added features, hell, who’s got time to explore them? Mine’s taken up finding the features I used for 11 years !

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