Several years ago, presenting the weather, regardless of the medium, used to be very complicated – not to mention boring. But recently, app designers and developers have completely changed all that. While major smartphone operating systems have their own built-in applications, third-party designers and developers have been pushing the weather app design boundaries even further, to the point where, in the context of mobile design, beautiful design and the weather now go hand-in-hand.

One significant typographic trend is the use of lightweight sans serif typefaces such as Helvetica Neue (as in the case of Yahoo! Weather), Hero, and Gotham. These sharper-lined typefaces give a fresh and modern look, and are easy for the user to quickly scan and absorb the information.

Here are some design trends that are currently being employed by some of the top weather apps:

Flat Design

Flat

What’s simpler than displaying typical weather icons the old-fashioned way? Minimeteo seems to agree with this. The ultra-minimalistic design of this particular weather app does just that by using a card-like flat interface that resembles the universal language of airport and train signs. It’s straight-to-the-point and shows that good design isn’t just limited to images or gradients, but can also be achieved by effective alignment of elements like stripped-back type and icons.

Skeuomorphism

Skeuomorphism

This type of web design trend makes digital interfaces resemble real-life objects like leather or wood. Weather Dial, for example, declares their app’s design as ‘inspired’ by the work of German industrial designer, Dieter Rams.

The GUI makes use of knobs as toggles for various settings and the center gauge for displaying information. The app developers quoted one of Dieter Rams’ design principles, which is ‘good design is honest’. For Weather Dial, this means that there are no hidden gestures or confusing controls. This weather app is visually pleasing and quite functional, too.

Excellent Use of Colors

Excellent Use of Colors

Colors help synthesize the world around us by evoking our emotions. From red that represents passion (or anger), to vibrant yellow hues and cold blue tones. Color evokes associations in all of us. The developers of the This is Solar app uses colors to the extreme for showcasing temperature and ambience. Simple swiping gestures show hourly and daily forecasts by using gradient colors to display the time of day.

While this app won’t appeal to everyone, this weather app’s design proves that colors, if utilized effectively for communication, create a unique user experience in itself.

Photographic Design

Photographic Design

One great example is Yahoo! Weather, with its contemporary and minimalist approach that uses attractive, location-based photos pulled from Flickr. The app’s design as a whole is simple, clean, attractive, and clutter-free; and swiping up reveals more information on daily weather forecasts and radar data.

This app innovates on the traditional weather app UI by mashing up suggestive user-generated images that relate to the time of day and type of weather day you’re experiencing. It’s simple yet cool.

The Use of Infographics

The Use of Infographics

Infographics are useful in that they break down a lot of data into attention-grabbing, easy-to-digest bits of information. It’s usually presented using illustrations, charts or graphs but in the case of the Partly Cloudy app, it’s being used as a weather wheel. The clock-like home screen comes packed with a lot of information such as time, temperature, amount of precipitation, and wind force – without appearing too complicated.