This is designed to be a weather app that you consult everyday before you go outside. Not only does it tell you the weather, but it also tells you the level of air pollution in your area.
This project actually was born from a concern of air pollution. Living in Pittsburgh, I tend to hear a lot about how we have one of the worst air pollution levels in the United States. To be fair, Pittsburgh as come a long way from what it once was, but ozone levels are still hazardous for the locals. Because of this concern, I started thinking about how I could encourage people to actively combat the problem.
The Weather App started as an ad campaign. I wanted to raise awareness of the air pollution levels and educate the locals about how to do something about it. I created posters and billboards that residents would pass by everyday. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that posters and billboards would be very ineffective for me to create. So I brainstormed other ideas. After going through and trashing a couple other ideas, I finally came up with the concept for The Weather App.
I, living in Pittsburgh, check my phone for the weather every single day before I bike to school. Pittsburgh's weather is intense in its changes, to say the least. I distinctly remember wearing 2 jackets one day to wearing a t-shirt the next day. Because of this, most people check the weather before they actually go out. I wanted the action of checking air pollution to be as natural as checking the weather. So for me what made the most sense was to combine them into a single app.
The general navigation of The Weather App is one of different spaces and different levels of information. The user starts on an automatic screen that shows you the date, time, temperature, and air quality index (AQI) of the user's detected location. The gradient is a visualization of temperature and AQI throughout the day. The colder the temperature is, the colder the color is. The higher level of AQI there is, the more unsaturated the gradient becomes. Scrolling up or down will change the time of day that is being shown, so the user is able to get a sense of how the entire day will be. Zooming out brings the user to the week view where he or she is able to see the average temperature for the entire week. To get back to the day view, the user simply needs to zoom into whatever day of the week he or she wants. Swiping left or right brings the user to a new location. The space that lives on the very right side is the settings screen where the user is able to add or delete locations and change the unit system between fahrenheit and celsius.
One of the biggest challenges I faced was trying to not overdo the air pollution section of this app. Because of its inception, my gut kept telling me to make it more obvious that this was an air pollution app. In fact, some of my earlier iterations had entire sections dedicated to safety tips and rules for air pollution safety. I chose to keep it simple because I didn't want to hit the user over the head with unnecessary information. My goal was to simply inform the user that air pollution is a problem and encourage them to seek more information about it.
I think that the biggest problem I have with the current app is how plain it looks. I like the way that it behaves and navigates, but it looks incredibly similar to some other weather apps. The next thing that I work on with this app will be how the typography can make the experience more interesting for the user.