I’ve been looking at software design through new glasses – ones with a much better prescription. Put another way, I am looking with a much more critical eye and looking at both the function and the form.
While I agree that form without function is frustrating and a waste, there is no need for function without form. Even more to the point, good form can be the tipping point when similar function is present.
Case in point is the Yahoo Weather App for iOS. I’ve used the WeatherBug paid app for a couple years but with recent iterative changes, it is becoming more and more tedious to use. There are two many taps and gestures to get to the relevant information.
Yahoo made an entirely new weather app and my guess is they have hired some top notch designers and artists along side unbridled developers to create their trifecta – a comprehensive set of function with truly beautiful execution.
In the video you will notice subtle details such as the use of a spinning sun graphic for the refresh indicator. The background images are pulled from Flickr with relevance to location, its weather, and its local time. The background blurs when the screen is scrolled vertically to view details of the weather. The wind is elegantly renders with both the wind speed & direction as well as animated windmills. Even the time of day is animated with a rising sun.
From anywhere in the app, horizontal scrolling takes you to successive locations while maintaining the context. Scroll left while looking at precipitation for one location will show you precipitation for the next location.
What strikes me about the Yahoo Weather App is that as much as it is beautiful to look at, it is completely intuitive to use. The interface never gets in the way and more important is that “it does what you expect”.