Color Tables and Modeling
Neat features like interactive mapping, layers, special views and model run completion status are included in many model sites but color tables and smoothing is what ultimately sells the goods; above and beyond the featureset.
It's clear that some maps are more appealing than others even though they display nearly the exact same information. Until higher resolution layers can be rendered more quickly, we are stuck with smoothing to make up for wider gradients. Smoothing is nice and all, but an eye for color and contrast is where the rubber truly meets the road.
There are plenty of guides available for color usage on maps. None of them make great model color tables and it's those who have thought outside the box who have the most stunning layer outputs.
So, get creative and try some different color concepts and see what pops. Find several of these appealing color schemes and make them interchangeable options for layers (yes, it can be done) and the users will flock to your site. No one wants to stare at ugly maps and they sure as hell don't want to share them.
The maps below all depict the same information: GFS Total Precip at 18z on Tuesday. What appeals most to you?
(COD is missing due to their site not working this morning)