INTRODUCTION : -
Weather forecasting is the application of current technology and science to predict the state of the atmosphere for a future time and a given location.
People can download thousands of weather apps on Apple App Store or Android Play Store nowadays. Those apps show about present weather information and weather forecasts, with sleek and gorgeous interfaces. It seems it’s unnecessary to design more weather applications, but I designed new one few days ago.
As I told you above, people can get various kinds of weather forecast apps. But those apps are all the same thing, except their design elements like color, icons, etc. Basically, it’s not a big problem. Their main purpose is to inform how the weather like today or this week is. However, research shows that there are still some problems like:
1. Users easily forget to check today’s weather. Imagine you have date at night with your friend, without knowing the rain is coming…. Even if people checked for today’s weather forecast yesterday, It’s too easy to forget that (how’s the weather like today) after they wake up!
3. For sure, those applications are beautiful. But it’s still bothersome to check today’s weather forecast every morning, right after you woke up.
4. Some weather applications notify users about today’s weather forecast, but it’s kind of somewhat annoying thing to get push notification everyday morning when they’re still on bed. Even when you don't want to be notified! More than 85% of people I surveyed experienced to forget to take their umbrella before they go outside, even though they checked the weather forecast already.
I guess everybody has an experience like this once before, ‘Do I need to take my umbrella today…?’ in front of his/her front door, just before open the door to go outside, turn on smartphone… launch weather application… check if it’s rainy today… and decide to take it or not. But what if he/she totally forgot to check the weather forecast?
When I took this project (to design any weather application) as an assignment, I decided to design a weather “Alarm” application — Weather that notifies users about weather events only they want to be notified, not the same application that people usually can get on store. Let's get started!
Goal & Challenge
I wanted users not to launch app often. When users launch this app for the first time, they set settings like what weather events to be notified like ‘snowy’ or ‘cloudy’, and what time and days to be notified. That’s it! When setting finished, users don’t need to launch this app again until they want or need to change notification settings.
Additionally, I wrote some Jobs to be done lists to design more useful product and make it from user’s perspective.
When I woke up late for the work, I want to be notified in advance about specific weather events, so I can prepare with that even I don’t have much time to check how the weather like today.
When I’m too lazy that it’s bothersome to check the weather with my smartphone on every morning, I want to be notified about today’s weather only it’s rainy outside, so I can prepare my umbrella without forgetting and get additional minutes on my bed.
When I set an alarm at specific time like before I go to my work, I want to be notified about the events I want, not every alarm how’s the weather like today, so I can avoid to get notification everyday even if it’s sunny(that I don’t need to be informed).
This app’s main purpose is to notify users about the weather information that only they want to be notified, on time they selected. This can save their time, makes them to get ready with specific weather events without checking whole weather forecast. With that way, even if users forgot yesterday's weather forecast or forget to check today's weather forecast, App will notifies users when if there are specific weather event that user's want to be notified.
Here’s simple user flow about this application:
1. User downloads and launches this app.
2. User sets an alarm of weather events he/she wants to be notified.
3. User gets notification based on the settings.
For example, if users selected that they wants to get notification when it’s rainy or windy, push notification pops up on the time when user sets, only when it’s rainy or windy. I wanted to keep this application as simple as possible with minimum depth, so I focused only for the one process: to set an alarm. No other function was added. Just like the example above, user gets push notification based on his/her weather alarm settings. In the case above, user sets an alarm for 9AM, Monday if it’s rainy. What if it’s not rain on Monday? No alarm pops up!
#3. Rapid Prototyping
1. On the main screen, simple introduction and launcher icon pops up before user get started with “Start” button at the bottom of the screen.
2. On “Select weather type” screen, users can select what kind of weather events they want to be notified. Selected weather types are shows up at the top of the screen as weather icons.
3. On “Set time” screen, users can set what time to be notified with time picker and date picker.
On the last screen, this app informs users that everything has finished. If users want to change settings of alarm they set, simply tab the “Alarm Settings” button at the bottom of the screen. This makes users to iterate one step from screen 2 to screen 3.
On "Select weather type" screen, I did not give many options. Notifications for ordinary (e.g., sunny) weather on a smartphone that already has many push notifications will only interfere with other more important notifications. I only wanted to use push notifications for important weather events that require attention, such as having to pick up an umbrella or wear a thick coat. That is why I restricted the selection of weather events on the "Select weather type" screen. In addition, if there are too many options, users will spend much more time to choose. The choices that come out from those ideas are as follows:
· Snow / Rainy
· Sudden Cold
· Fog / Cloudy
· All Above
Based on the Lo-fi prototypes above, I had some usability tests with my friends who were not designers to prove usability of this application. Examples below are about some pain points I’ve notified during user testing.
#4. Validation & Iteration
Based on Feedback
With improved design above, I had one more user testing with other testers. The table below shows the result of second user testing with redesigned wireframes. If user can perform specific mission (pain points) without any struggle, I recorded it as ‘succeeded’.
After some usability tests, I fixed and redesigned some screens and details based on the feedback from the tests.
Based on the settings that user set on, push notification pops up on user’s smartphone. In this case, user selected that he/she wants to be notified only when it’s [Snow/Rainy], [Swelter] or [Gale]. When it’s [Snow/Rainy], [Swelter] or [Gale] on every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, push notification will pops up at 9AM.
Once users set their alarm, they don’t need to launch this app again until they need to change the alarm’s setting.
CONCLUSION : -
So, we conclude: in order to create a weather app and succeed, it's important to think through the logic of the program and develop a strategy of distinguishing from competitors. After all, such meteorological services are basic Android & iPhone weather apps, and you should do your best to attract the user.
If you want to build your own weather app from scratch, we’re more than happy to help you. Our team employs only experienced and skilled specialists who'll implement your idea with pleasure and inspiration.
T H A N K Y O U ! !