They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

Speaking of the Weather

It's the 12th of November, and the much threatened last week upgrade to the Weather Channel is upon us. I'd say I was underwhelmed, except I am more pissed with them.

I knew it was going to be trouble. Hyping the change every night last week? Talking about how it was going to appeal to younger viewers? Get Off My Lawn!

Because what does it mean "to appeal to younger viewers"? Partly it means simplifying displays, making it look more like a mobile version. And yet, here's the thing. Who is it that tends to watch the weather? I'm afraid it's the older demographics. So let's turn off your current viewers, so you can chase viewers you don't have and probably won't gain for X numbers of years.

I've another rant brewing, but this simplifying for the younger and mobile generation is how we get idiocy like Windows 8.

Specific Issues

We're talking about the Local on the Eights forecast here. I haven't spent any time watching their impressive, so they say, new Weather Center set.

-- A minor note is the Big new clock showing the Weather on the Eights... at 7:57pm EST.

-- And we get a clock. And a colored line rim around the temperature. So it might resemble a circular thermometer?

-- Wipe-ins from the right. I don't need animated screens. I turn them off when I can. On my own machines they just waste machine cycles. Which in turn cuts down on the time I have with information, while delaying its display. Hence why I don't like such unnecessary things on my TV screens. I'm interested in the weather info, not cute.

-- The local maps now have a white background instead of dark. Black or gray lines for roads and borders and not particularly differentiating between the two. Plus the font for route numbers is hard to read -- this on a 32" HDTV from a distance of about twelve feet. The maps are too bright and too hard to read. Way to go. Let's make this difficult.

-- Indeed, everything is too white. A restful blue used to be the default background color. Provided good contrast with the important data. And blue is a good color for small LCD screens, too.

-- In addition, watching the radar images crossing said white map is difficult. Previously, rain was green, ice was pink and snow was white. Snow is now... the new black? What the hell are you obfuscating, Weather Channel?

-- And the graphic icons for the weather, they're simplified. You know, you simplify things too much and you get those unreadable pictographs on car controls or menu buttons that are sans text so they are equally unintelligible in any language.

Bottom Line

They spent money on this?

I swear we need to be saved from consultants and middle management types who have to justify their existence and end up with New Coke. Or Windows 8. Or the new Weather Channel.

The local TV stations have been upgrading their weather displays this summer. I am particularly peeved with the one that decided to put day and date below the weather glyph and hi & lo temps. Which actually makes it harder to read -- I want Monday's weather is cloudy, high of 78° and low of 45°. Who would want high of 78°, low of 45°, cloudy weather which will be on Monday? Apparently the geniuses who are so proud that their graphical display is different than anyone else.

Sure, I'll still watch the Weather Channel for the weather. And I might even like the continuous local weather ribbon on the screen, for those times when you check the weather on the Nines. (grin)

But I shall still be annoyed.

Dr. Phil

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