Why Do I Use this App?
I check the weather forecast every day. My children used to come back from school sweating because I thought it would be cold and dressed them in sweaters, or they would return freezing because I didn’t know it would be cold. So naturally, I was thrilled to realize that Google Weather shows me the temperature variation throughout the entire day, because it allows me to plan the kids’ wardrobe properly and mine according to the hourly forecast.
So, what's the problem?
While using the app, I noticed some problems with the user experience that were bothering me and decided to explore a little more in-depth about the weather experience and how it can be improved according to the needs of the users.
How does Google Weather look today?
On the app’s splash screen, you can see the temperature for the given moment alongside a cute illustration of a frog that varies depending on the weather. By scrolling down you can see the weather forecast per hour for the given day, and by scrolling further down you can see more details about the day’s weather (wind, humidity, etc).
The launch screen only shows the weather at the given moment, but if most users want to know what the weather will be throughout the entire day in order to plan themselves, then this is less efficient to them.
To view the hourly forecast for the day the user has to scroll sideways. Similarly, to switch between the forecast for today, tomorrow, or the next 10 days, the user also has to scroll sideways. Because of this, I sometimes find myself looking at tomorrow’s forecast instead of checking the temperatures for the rest of the day.
- The additional weather details most probably don’t interest the average user, and the language feels unnecessarily official (for example: “40% chance of precipitation” can be replaced by “40% chance of rain”).
- If I want to save a favorite location, I’m prompted by a question that appears at the bottom of the screen and disappears after a few seconds.
What is the Common way to Check Weather?
According to a study conducted in Helsinki in 2014 and a survey of 938 responses, about 4 out of 5 respondents said they check a weather report daily. The average age of people who checked the weather on a daily basis was 18–29 and 60+. The older respondent was more likely to do so via radio, local TV or newspapers while the 18–29 year-olds were more likely to get their weather forecast using their phone’s default weather app.
What is Most Interesting to the Users?
It seems that the more unusual the weather is, the more interesting it is. In addition, ongoing weather affects the plans considered by an individual in their decision-making. This means that during a clear, snowy winter day people are more likely to consider outdoor activities and then go to check if the weather is going to remain as it is.
Based on the survey and the study conducted I set up 2 personas.
I usually start the design process with low fidelity wireframes. This is the way I iterate through many design options quickly.
I redesigned the app according to the points I found fit to fix.
I started designing in Figma and was pleasantly surprised by the capabilities of the software.
There is much to improve in the user experience around us. I saw the exercises my fellow-classmates presented in the classroom and I was amazed to realize how many things we lack in the applications we use on a daily basis.
I’d love to develop the idea further and continue to create a more comfortable and pleasant user experience.
You can read the article I published in UX Collective.