StormShield is a swift and user-friendly community weather app designed for everyone. In this project, our goal was to create a weather app that strikes a balance between familiarity and innovation, ensuring an inviting and enjoyable user experience. It boasts features such as hyper-customized emergency notifications, quick access to weather information, community forums with crowdsourced weather reports, and the ability to view weather history and trends.






November 30, 2023


In this project, we adopted a goal-directed design approach that proved highly effective in shaping our design initiatives. Leveraging qualitative research methods, including a kickoff meeting, competitive analysis, stakeholder interviews, and crucially, persona hypothesis construction, we kicked off the process by posing fundamental questions to guide our efforts.

What is the product and who is it for?
What do our primary users need most?
What challenges could we face moving forward?
Who do we see as our biggest competitors?

We delved deep into our usability studies and discovered they provided invaluable insights. Subsequently, we meticulously organized the data into distinct task groups using an affinity diagram. Taking it a step further, we deconstructed these tasks into high-level goals, focusing on improving efficiency, refining processes, and enhancing depth. Understanding the preferences and concerns of our diverse user groups allowed us to precisely shape user goals, ensuring the app is user-friendly and beneficial for everyone.

Meet the Users

Our first user, Maria.
Our first user, Maria.

Name: Maria

Age: 35

Occupation: Nurse

Maria is a mother of two young children and works as a nurse in a local hospital. She moved to the United States from Puerto Rico five years ago to pursue better opportunities for her family. Growing up in Puerto Rico, Maria experienced the impact of severe weather events, including hurricanes. This has made her keenly aware of the importance of staying informed about the weather and being prepared for emergencies.

Our second user, Amar.
Our second user, Amar.

Name: Amar

Age: 25

Occupation: Environmental Science

Amar is a recent graduate with a degree in environmental science. He is passionate about sustainable living and is currently working for a non-profit organization focused on climate change awareness. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, he has a deep appreciation for the environment and its impact on communities.

Competitive Analysis

We conducted thorough research, examining various weather apps that could be considered our competition. Through a comprehensive competitive analysis, we identified the strengths and weaknesses of these apps within the weather tracking community. Recognizing an opportunity for StormShield to stand out, our strategy is to fuse the best features from each app into a single, comprehensive platform, and then throw in even more features not common to weather tracking apps. The goal is to provide users with a one-stop shop for weather tracking, enriched with highly sought-after features such as community engagement, crowdsourced weather tracking, and more.

The majority of the features between apps were very similar, however the main differences that we noticed were:

  • Detailed severe weather alerts but no emergency preparedness guidance or resources
  • Limited hyper-localized weather data, rural areas are sparse
  • Crowded and cluttered vs. minimalistic interfaces
  • Customized weather notification settings vs. no ability to customize
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Preparing the Journey

We outlined a user journey that spans the complete process of customizing weather alert notifications. This approach provides us with insights into how users may interact with our product and illustrates their pathway toward achieving specific goals.

Then, we got our ideas down on paper with some wireframe sketches. It was a good way to see what the app might look like in its early stages.

We took those sketches from paper and brought them to life in the digital world using Figma. This move let us transform our initial ideas into low-fidelity digital wireframes, giving shape to the early user flows.


After assembling a prototype with basic wireframes, we gathered a group of people to explore various scenarios within the prototype. Our objective was to gather valuable feedback that we could utilize for making improvements in the next round of design enhancements.

1. Unable to find community weather reporting.

It was found that the location of the community weather reporting wasn't apparent.

2. No evacuation guidance links or resources from government agencies.

Users wanted to be able to easily access official guidance from government agencies.

3. Unable to export weather trends and history data.

Users noted that they would like the ability to export weather trend and history data for their own analysis.

Challenge 1

Realtime Community Weather Reporting

Allow community members to post real-time updates about weather conditions, such as flooding, power outages, or road closures, enabling users to stay informed and take appropriate actions, creating a comprehensive community-sourced weather feed.

Additionally, we addressed the first issue from user feedback and made the community feed easily accessible from either the home screen, or the main weather screen.

Challenge 2

Community Chat & Forums

Create a chat platform or forums where community members can communicate and exchange safety tips and information during severe weather events.

Challenge 3

Hyper-customized Emergency Notifications

Send push notifications for impending severe weather events, including warnings, watches, and advisories, and offer a user-customizable alert system based on their location and preferences.

Challenge 4

Weather History and Trends

Provide historical weather data and trends for users to understand local weather patterns and potential risks in their region. Users also have the ability to export this data for their own analysis outside of the app.

Style Guide

We opted for a calming blend of darker and soothing colors for StormShield, aiming to impart a sense of power and wisdom to our users. Our objective was to ensure they feel well-informed and secure when checking the weather.

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Crafting a design with a focus on social good initially posed a challenge, but as the concept took shape, the process became more manageable. My goal was to create an experience that appeals to both casual weather-checkers and enthusiasts, blending familiarity with distinctive and enhanced features. This entire journey served as a valuable learning experience, and I can foresee applying these insights to future projects. The idea of creating persona hypotheses, developing user-journies, and putting it into practice has revealed the significant value it brings to the design process.