Rethinking the Seattle traffic site...

Ever have one of those days where you look at something and say, "why did I do it that way?" I had one of those moments the other day and it made me take a closer look at the Seattle traffic Web site.

Here is what we know about the Seattle Traffic homepage:

  • It averages 20 percent of site usage every day. We guess a lot of that is due to those of you who open it up and maybe forget about it and leave it open to constantly refresh in the background all day. (For comparison, the WSDOT homepage, is less than 5 percent of daily site usage.)
  • We have up-to-the-minute information about incidents, which usually affect traffic the most, but you have to go to a separate page to find it.
  • Most of you aren't interested in the Yesler Way camera. (That’s the default camera you see when you click on the homepage.) Since it refreshes every time the page does, it takes up bandwidth that it doesn't need to
  • We have some great information in the blue box at the bottom of the page, but very few of you click on those links, and you didn't click on the fancy rounded button we had at the top of the page either.
  • We have Spokane and Wenatchee links on this page. None of you click on them.
  • Many of you didn't know there was a mobile version of this site.
Based on these factoids, (and knowing that we have to design the page around the existing traffic map) we decided to take another look at how we present the information that’s most important to you. This is what we came up with:, here is a page with a camera and here is the current page for comparison. You will notice that none of the camera icon links work on the beta page, we are looking for feedback on design right now and will patch that up later.

Here are the changes we made:
  • Simplified the left navigation to make it easy for you to find what you need
  • Added incident information to the Seattle homepage
  • Removed the camera image from the homepage
  • Removed the cities that weren't relevant to you
  • Added a direct link to Snoqualmie and Stevens pass. These are our most used sites in the winter, but also great to check for traffic in the summer.
Let us know what you think!