ACCESSIBLE WEATHER SMARTPHONE APPLICATIONS


Problem: The current weather apps for smartphones are not usable for visually impaired and blind users.  Many weather apps promote themselves as being "accessible", however, they are extremely inefficient and make for a frustrating user experience.  

 

 I re-designed a two weather apps (iOS and Android) to make the task of checking the current and future weather conditions accessible to those who have visual impairments.  I prototyped my designs using Proto.io and worked with two computer science students to develop the apps. 

Process: I used information obtained from focus groups and surveys that had already been completed and from knowledge of universal design and accessibility.  The previous design had a constantly changing background that made the text difficult to see.  We darkened the background and used white text (better contrast for low vision users than black text on white background). 

Solution: A weather app for iOS and Android that work with the smartphone's built in screen reader and have high contrast for low-vision users while being aesthetically pleasing and using UX principles for sighted users.

 

 

 

The green background is an example of one of the previous designs.  The plain black background is a feature of the app for a high visibility mode.  The weather icons work with the screen reader - they read as "partly cloudy" or "sunny" rather than "icon", as in other weather apps.