Bureau of Meteorology

Our social media conversation with you

Our blog will be a key part of our social media activity. You'll be able to read articles, find information and check out the multimedia we provide to share our work with you.

On our official Facebook page, we invite you to comment on articles, join in discussions and suggest topics you'd like to see us cover.

Over time we may explore other forms of social media. Right now, we're excited to be starting our social media conversation with you.

Our social media policy, terms and conditions sets out our plans for using Facebook and our posting policy.


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Icons - what do they mean to you?

Icons - what do they mean to you?

Iconography - the use of images and symbols to communicate information - is centuries old. It is studied widely and taught in various design disciplines. But designing icons is not without its difficulties.

Difficult concepts, culturally diverse audiences

Some concepts are not easy to represent visually. For instance, can you imagine trying to design a visual representation of 'brown rot warnings' for the agricultural industry?

Added to this difficulty, people's interpretation of icons can vary, based on their background, experience and perspective. When communicating with a culturally diverse community, designing icons that can be widely understood is a real challenge.

Meteorological iconography

The Bureau, along with other meteorological agencies, uses icons to supplement text-based communication, particularly on the web. We use icons to enhance our main navigation links, and a key use is on our weather forecast pages.

Our designers aim to produce icons that act as quick visual stimuli, easily understood by our users. A forecaster who uses a tropical cyclone icon needs to be confident that it will be understood by those who need to act on this information.


Weather icons used on the Bureau of Meteorology's forecast pages.

Icons or text only - which do you prefer?

Compare our content supplemented by icons, with content that is text only. Which do you prefer?

Text with iconsText only
Adelaide forecast Brisbane forecast
Canberra forecast Darwin forecast
Hobart forecast Perth forecast
Melbourne forecast  
Sydney forecast  

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