Apple Design Award winner of 2013, Yahoo Weather is especially known for uniquely featuring stunning photos around the world that are relevant to the weather’s condition, location, and time of day.
When I joined the Mobile and Emerging Products team at Yahoo, the majority of the design for the Yahoo Weather app was already done. However, with a photography background, I took on the next task of pushing the aesthetic of the app to the next level with stunning landscape photos from Flickr. Selected photos are relevant to the specific information being served to its users.
Integrate photos from Flickr into the app.
Curate beautiful photos that are relevant to locations, time of day, weather conditions, and meet all guidelines and technical specifications.
Expand photo inventory to reach more locations.
Quality control: ensure the best quality is achieved and improve efficiency at every stages of the process.
Increase daily active users.
Determine the best ways to source landscape and cityscape photos on Flickr. Analyze and collect data on photo properties and determine its eligibility.
Landscape and cityscape photos are often uploaded into special groups and forums. Photographers who take the same type of photos often add each other as favorites. Searching with keywords relating to landmarks and weather conditions often produce great results, especially coupling with geotag information. Filtering by camera models also help differentiate high quality images.
COLLABORATION & LIGHTWEIGHT TOOL
Work with photographers and image curators to invite eligibe photos into the weather photo inventory. Implement a lightweight tool within Flickr to allow photographers to submit their photos for approval, which requires minimal engineering effort. Observe and determine when to upgrade the lightweight tool into a more robust tool as the app grow.
FEEDBACK & IMPROVEMENT
The lightweight tool works fine at first, but as the number of participants increased, we decided to build a more elaborate tool for better processing.
BUILDING THE MASTER TOOL
Work with engineers to build a tool that allows our team of image curators to quickly approve photos submitted by photographers. Additionally, the tool also has a smart algorithm to automatically serve additional photos from Flickr to curators for invitation. Filter settings and hotkeys were added to increase efficiency and faster processing. This tool was built pretty much on-the-fly based on the needs of our team of image curators so my design process was very minimal. I jotted down a few main features and designed at the high-fidelity level.
- Photos from Flickr are integrated into the app.
- Photos are carefully curated to serve specific weather conditions while meeting all guidelines and technical specifications.
- Photo inventory increased from 20,000 to 400,000 with improved processes and tools.
- Strict guidelines were set to achieve consistency in quality.
- Daily active users increased from 2,000 to 8,000.
Work with a team of 16 contractors throughout the project. Onboard, train, create guidelines, and delegate tasks to ensure every deadlines are met.