When the BBC unveiled its new weather website and app users were promised a vastly improved service, with more accurate forecasts and exciting interactive features.
The corporation promised more personalised forecasts, with thousands of new locations and bright new graphics to make it easier for users to decide whether to leave their coat at home or take their umbrella with them.
But weather watchers have pointed out that the outlook is far from sunny with the new website.
In fact, they say, it appears to suggest its raining every day, wherever they happen to live.
And as if that was not enough, many of them say they find the redesign incomprehensible, leaving them somewhat under a cloud.
The changes are part of BBC Weather’s switch to a new weather services supplier, MeteoGroup.
Introducing the changes in a BBC blog, Michael Burnett, Executive Product Manager, BBC Future Media, said: “Over the next few weeks, exciting new updates will be coming to the BBC’s weather service. Millions of users of the BBC Weather website and applications on iOS, Android and Kindle will start to see a number of improvements.
“This is just the beginning. There will be more improvements over the next few months and new features which aim to enhance your user experience.”
But users say that so far the new service has proved a big disappointment.
One wrote on Mr Burnett’s blog last week: “This new website is terrible – not a patch on the old one. The information for my area today is ‘drizzle and breezy’ far too brief – no mention of any sun, yet what can I see outside? Sun!”
Berenice Tallett, from Maidstone, wrote: “Why am I now only shown weather for the whole of the U.K. and not just Kent and why is it not in English but some incomprehensible gibberish?
“The old system was fine – why in this day and age are things changed just for the sake of it?”
Another user, called Seffrid, said: “The whole thing is just a muddle compared to the previous straightforward version, and yes it is a classic case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!
“Focus groups and surveys are never representative of most users, as the comments here demonstrate yet again.”
Twitter users were similarly unimpressed.
Anne-Louise Quinton, 51, from Leeds, wrote on the social media site: “Don’t like the new BBC weather app. Not very accurate anyway and now edging its bets by always showing a possibility of rain and too much going on. Faff over clarity.”
There have even been complaints that the BBC weather app gives a different forecast to the website version.
James Werner, a meteorology Phd student at Exeter University, wrote: “So the @bbcweather app is using data from the Met Office, and BBC Weather online is using data from Meteogroup and showing a very different forecast.
“Obviously there is going to be some sort of transition period, but mixing these is just misleading for the general public?”
On Wednesday another Twitter user wrote: “Yesterday it said cloudy but looking out of the window there was torrential rain & gale force winds.”
The BBC said users would benefit from several improved functions, including:
New 14-day forecast
New graphics, with such as ‘chance of rain’ and ‘feels like’ temperature readings
Thousands of new locations “to make sure you can find the weather for where you are and wherever you want to go”
New interactive map, helping to show the bigger picture of weather ahead in your area.
Mr Burnett added: “People sometimes say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” so I want to emphasise this is not change for change’s sake.
“We carried out extensive user testing and prototyping to find out what worked and what didn’t so we could pinpoint improvements in design and user experience.”
He added: “Like most new digital products these days, we will be phasing the roll-out of the enhanced services to make sure they keep running to the highest standard.”
The BBC pointed out that both its weather website and app are used by large numbers of users and it is normal to see some complaints and comments when updates to such a widely used service are made.
“We’re confident we’ve launched an improved BBC Weather website with useful new features and we’ve already received lots of positive feedback on the new BBC Weather app – as with any change, we know it will take some users time to get accustomed to the updates,” said a spokesman.
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/04/weather-watchers-complain-new-bbc-weather-website-suggests-raining/