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"How Might The Weather App Surpport A Better Decison Making?"

IOS Weather App Redesign

The weather App has always been a popular tool for people’s daily life. While the Weather App applies a universal solution for every user group, the user’s personal preferences are compromised. According to our pre-research survey results, only 51% of smartphone users are using stock weather applications. Nearly half of the participants switched to a 3rd-party weather app because of the need for their personal preferences on weather-related information.

This project aimed to provide a semi-smarter solution specifically for the IOS stock weather App by supporting users with better decision-making mechanisms.  This project is a 2-week design challenge that trying to incorporate UX design with AI (Artificial Intelligent) methods. 

ROLE & DUTIES

User Survey, User Interview, Usability Testing, Visual Design, Interaction Design, Mobile

Team:  Sybil Wang, Owen Hu, Dorothy Yu

Tools:  Figma

Duration: 2 Weeks

KEY DELIVER

SMARTER WAKE-UP ALARM

Redesign the Bedtime Alarm by implementing a smarter weather-report interface to help users acquire information more easily.

REINFORCE CONNECTION WITH CALENDAR EVENT

Link the IOS Stock Weather App with IOS Stock event apps like Reminder and Calendar to ease users’ efforts of acquiring weather information in the contexts they desire.

SENSE-MAKING SUPPORT

Add smart tags to help users quickly achieve their expectations of the weather information.

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FInal Solution

PROBLEMS

To start, we conducted a survey through Amazon Mechanical Turk and collected 108 responses from U.S. based mobile users to further explore their needs for weather information.

 WHEN​ ASKED PARTICIPANTS “On Which Occasions Will You Check The Weather Information?”

  • 57% will check the weather app when they wake up

  • 41% will check the weather app before they leave home

  • 38% will check the weather app when they plan on a trip

WHEN​ ASKED PARTICIPANTS “Would you like to see a forecast of the day as part of your wake-up alarm clock?”

  • 87% of people said "Yes"

WHEN​ ASKED PARTICIPANTS “How do you want different weather forecast components to be presented?”

  • 42% chose the Adaptable Dynamic Layout

  • 27% chose the Consistent Static Layout

  • 24% chose the Customizable Layout When First Use the App

  • 7% chose the Customizable Layout At Anytime

We also conducted 6 in-depth interviews to collect more personal experience. By gathering all findings,  I conclude the following 3 key insights:

  • While people can access weather-related information in multiple scenarios, there could be common usage patterns and learning algorithms to learn from user behaviors.

  • People tend to have a different emphasis on various kinds of forecast information, but the current static weather app design fails to respond to such diversity.

  • There are more people who accept the idea of having an application that can learn from their day-to-day usage and self-adjust to provide better service. 

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“On which occasions will you check on weather information?”

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How do you want different weather forecast components to be presented?

DEFINE & PROJECT GOAL

PRODUCT PLATFORM

While receiving 108 responses from the user need survey the participants were not limited to use one specific weather app. However, it also was not a good idea to build a new weather app as a solution: the scope would be too broad and finally suffer from the risk of generating a learning curve for users.  Thus, we decided to choose the iOS stock weather app “Weather”, a widely used weather channel for most Apple users, to be the product of this case study. 

TARGET USERS

During the interview, we focused on the user groups who were mostly regular travelers and outdoor activity practitioners. Thus, our target users could be narrowed down to these 2 user groups instead of general iOS Weather users. These were two user groups we found that had a chance to share a lot of common traits. For example, they were more concerned about prompt weather information and have a stronger preference (i.e. allergic sources, humidity, ...) for weather information.

PERSONA

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CARD SORTING

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THE SOLUTION

FEATURE 1.

Reinforce The Connection Between Alarm And Weather

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The old IOS weather report of the alarm screen seems redundant and meaningless: it contains a long text description on the wake-up screen, which a user won’t normally have the chance to read while the alarm is ringing. Once users dismiss the alarm, they won’t be able to review the weather report again. 

In my redesign, the alarm screen now only represents users with more significant information (weather, temperature, and feels-like temperature) gathered from the preliminary research. The weather report now will display after users dismiss the wake-up alarm. In this case, users will have sufficient time to read the information.

HOW MARY SET UP THE ALARM:

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FEATURE 2.

Reinforce The Connection Between Event And Weather

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FEATURE 3.

Sense-making of the weather information detail

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According to our interview results, we found that some people took a steep learning curve to make sense of the information provided by the current Weather App. For example, many of them did not understand what the value of the UV index means. Descriptive tags to help solve the user's needs by helping them to understand the impact of such indexes more easily.  

Also, an increasing number of people have realized that body perception temperature can affect them as well as the actual temperature when they are outside. Therefore, I reduce users' effort to read the "feel like temperature" by prioritizing it to the first page.

TAKE AWAY

  • FUTURE WORK: we have invited three HCI practitioners and plan to use Gerhardt Powals’ principles to conduct heuristic evaluations to further investigate the interface design. Their feedback will be essential for us to improve the overall user flow.

  • AUTOMATION VS CUSTOMIZATION: Finding a good balance between customization and automation is not an easy decision. While implanting smart features (autonomy) for the interface could be beneficial, not all users prefer to adapt to these new changes. As designers, we should think about when to recommend and in what forms we are presenting these recommendations, and leave some controls to users.

  • DESIGN IOS INTERFACE: We delved into these new features by following Google’s AI Guidebook when addressing the issue of explaining predictability and giving users recommendations and tried to keep the clarity and deference theme of the IOS interface itself at the same time. As many of the features might be unconventional for traditional IOS users, an onboard tutorial to introduce these features might be beneficial to users in the future.

  • BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL INTERFACE: User interactions nowadays are no longer trapped by finger interaction. In this project, we incorporate IOS’s conversational interface — Siri which makes the whole user journey more complete and convenient.