Sunday, 24 March 2013

climate clock killer app weather apps

I have ended up doing a lot of work on weather apps over the years, and a lot of work on UE of apps to either make them better, unique, luxury, worthy of a product launch, etc.

So I was very excited to come across climate clock for a few reasons, firstly because it brings together two key recurring themes of mine;weather apps and app user design, but also as it marks the beginning of a new period on app design as far as I am concerned.
Climate Clock is a unnecessarily beautiful by design - finally we have apps like this! 
So why is this app so important? Well, I started life in consulting as an e-commerce consultant, and watched and analysed the web from dreadful days of active gif ridden sites to the responsive web we have today, and in between there were some design treats and progresses that made my life, and those who consume the web... well, better.

A quick example, to show you where i am going, was the Jackson Pollock page of a good few many years ago, but there gave been more from pixel mosaics, to pixel art and more.
Hours of fun can be had at http://www.jacksonpollock.org/ which caused a stir in its day
Climate Clock is the first app I have come across that you will just open for the sake of it, with no need for the time nor the weather, just to see the background and its progress... which is a huge development in apps. yes, there are beautiful apps out there, from path to even functional apps like Relais & Châteaux, but this is different, this is design in technology because we can... and life is just not worth living if people do not sometimes do things great and do great things just because they can!

Back to the app as an app, its actually not that useful at telling the weather over time in the main screen, however, swipe from the bottom and the most useful omission from most weather apps appears: a ten day forecast.
10 day forecast within the context of the main screen make the app very useful as well
I know and appreciate the amount of thought that has gone into this app - I and a UE designer spent 200 hours getting the first, now omnipresent three day weather button for active views for the Accuweather app for a showcase handset launch, and that was just an active icon!
200 hours work!
From there there is not that much to write home about - there is the usual gesture to go from location to location, however then there are clever but not intuitive other gestures to edit locations, which had me screaming at the app at first. fortunately, the app is pretty enough to get away with it and reveals a pretty, dare I say, Metro-esque settings page.
did anyone see a Metro UX guideline document handing around anywhere??? :-D
... and yes, my life is so glamorous I need to know the weather in Reading... don't ask...

So there we have it, combine a clock and weather and you have a killer app, and well worth spending 69 finest British pence on. If only now we could edit the Apple home screen on iPhone and iPad to have the weather app we want, instead of the abomination that now is the native iPhone weather app (no, its not 2007 any more Apple...) or the lack of weather that iPad owners are deemed to have... you could even edit the homescreen apps on Symbian, let alone iPhone modern day competitors.. and yes, that does include Windows Phone!