Introduction

 

Sol was a mobile weather app that I created while I was enrolled in the UX Design course at CareerFoundry. Creating an app from scratch through the design thinking process has allowed me to obtain a solid foundation into UX. Design.

The Objective

 

Many existing weather apps fail to present complex weather data in an easy to comprehend
way for people who engage in outdoor sports or activities. Forecasts are also accommodating to
a wider range of sports which can confuse those who are just looking for particular information. These reports should be organized and aimed at helping others enjoy a day outdoors while staying safe.

My Role

 

For this project, my role was to explore the problem at hand, conduct research to understand
the needs of users, create user personas, and develop user flows and a prototype to create a
positive experience while checking weather forecasts.



Tools: Balsamiq, Adobe XD

Competitor Analysis

To start off, I did an analysis with two other weather applications: Nautide and Windy. This allowed me to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each and give me an idea of what I would like to include in my own weather application. 

Takeaways:

 

  • Weather information should be clear and concise for users

  • Navigation needs to be straightforward

  • The interface should be appealing to bring users in

Surveys & Interviews

Using what I learned from the analysis, I  conducted a survey followed by some interviews. The survey was done on an online platform called SurveyMonkey. Participants were found through social media. Interviews were conducted with colleagues, family, and friends who have used a weather application before.


Takeaways:

 

  • Users want updated weather information more frequently

  • Recommendations for certain types of weather would be helpful

  • Sleek design is appreciated

User Personas

Using the insight from preliminary interviews and surveys, I was able to better understand the needs of users of weather applications. This allowed me to create my two user personas: Kai and Julie. 

Mental Models & User Journeys

I used Kai and Julie to obtain a deeper understanding of their thought processes and motivations
for completing a certain task within the application. 

Key insights were that users can be overwhelmed when searching for specific locations and seeing numbers/data in weather forecasts. This gave an opportunity to add features to the application that would ease these emotions.

User Flow & Task Analysis

Using the goals determined in the user journey maps, I chose one task that each persona would
want to accomplish. Then, I began to develop user flows.

I kept my personas' mental models in mind and incorporated features that would be beneficial. This includes filtering location details to minimize search results and to separate different weather forecasts so it would not seem too confusing.

Card Sorting & Site Map

After conducting a card sorting exercise using OptimalSort, results helped create a sitemap. Participants were found through social media.

​Takeaways:

 

  • Wind and forecasts should be in the same area within the application​

  • The different types of recommendations should also be kept together

Wireframing

Using my sitemap, I was able to create low-fidelity to high-fidelity wireframes.

Usability Testing & Results

I performed six moderated user tests using a video chat platform. Each session lasted about
10-15 minutes. Participants were asked to complete three tasks using the clickable prototype
on Adobe XD. The feedback provided insights on strengths and issues within the prototype.


Testing proved that there were issues regarding the navigation and interface.

Some challenges that were faced throughout the design process included:
 

  • Finding suitable participants that related to the app for user interviews

  • Having to remotely test prototypes because of COVID-19

  • Learning Adobe XD to create wireframes and build a prototype



Overcoming these challenges made me learn to start looking for suitable participants ahead of
time so interviews do not have to be performed in a small time frame. Also, to use better video chatting software to accurately see the mannerisms of participants during testing. Finally, watching more videos and tutorials about Adobe XD will help me grasp the features and capabilities of the software.


Next steps include retesting the prototype to uncover additional problems with usability.

Clickable High Fidelity Prototype

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©2020 by Sonali Patel.