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Case Study

Making Canada's leading weather app more useful & more profitable

The Weather Network (TWN) is not only Canada's #1 weather app, it is also one of the country's most trusted brands. The brand's success and technical capabilities are so strong that they have expanded internationally. Weather is a media empire on its own with several major competitors, including IBM, Google, and Apple entering the space. Throughout this, TWN is differentiated because of their focus on explaining the weather and helping users plan their lives more easily than others. But as consumer behaviours evolve, so too do apps. And as the app competitive ecosystem shifts, so do media providers need to strengthen their revenue channels.

PH1 was contracted to bring clarity to the future of the TWN app by researching and testing prospective new products and enhancements.

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We identified four core user personas that use the app completely differently. But because the app must be universally accessible, we had to adapt our strategy.

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The Weather Network apps make the weather accessible and helps every type of user plan their lives. Trust and accuracy are the core of the brand, and the competitive space is crowded. So exploring groundbreaking improvements must be co-created directly alongside the very Canadians that use the app. Increasing their trust and improving the accuracy of the weather were the ultimate north star.

Given the importance of this project and the need to deliver a strong proof of concept at the conclusion, we decided that innovation sprints was the best framework. Our team at PH1 created innovation sprints to combine the best Google's design sprints and service design into a more evidence-based model that yields stronger results.

Our approach includes competitive research, stakeholder facilitation, strategic foresight, rapid prototyping, and design research:

  1. Align on the possibilities and considerations that impact the future

  2. Identify the value drivers and differentiators of the app

  3. Conceptualize potential new products and services to meet the goal

  4. Lead innovation sprints to quickly gain insights

  5. Iterate concepts to best meet the goal

  6. Be laser-focused on refining interactions and experiences

  7. Deliver a transformative new product design & strategy

Align on the possibilities and considerations that impact the future

  • Explore where executives and managers believe the app must go to succeed in the future

  • Prioritize improvements, use cases, audiences, strategic pillars, and risks

  • Build a charter for the project and how to ensure the innovation sprints are a success

Identify the value drivers and differentiators of the app

  • Scan competitors and similar apps to identify risks, opportunities, and inspiration for improvements

  • Lead facilitated research sessions with TWN users to gain feedback on competitors and learn what differentiates the brands

  • Define the core value drivers of TWN and develop a strategy to amplify them through improvements

Conceptualize potential new products and services to meet the goal

  • Consult with stakeholders and participate in design sessions to explore possible futures and concepts

  • Design initial wireframes, storyboards, and user flows for possible future improvements

  • Create clickable prototypes in Figma to ensure transparency and collaboration

Lead innovation sprints to quickly gain insights

  • Recruit a representative pool of Canadians, across regions, ages, genders, use cases, English-language proficiency, and technical proficiencies

  • Draft and iterate on interview scripts to focus on quantifying the most critical research questions of each sprint

  • Lead remote, moderated hybrid design test and jobs to be done interviews

Iterate concepts to best meet the goal

  • Designs evolved based on the feedback gained and decisions made by stakeholders

  • Twelve distinct phases of designs were delivered across the three sprints

  • Rapid prototypes were also created to enable us to asynchronously seek feedback from participants at the end of each sprint

Be laser-focused on refining interactions and experiences

  • All qualitative research was constructed with a focus on clearly differentiated tasks and quantifiable outcomes

  • Design tests and interview questions were created to minimize inherent bias from testers

  • Outcomes were bolstered thanks to the sprint-ending asynchronous mini-test which increased sample sizes

Deliver a transformative new product design & strategy

  • Client stakeholders were guided through each step of the project, with full transparency on data, insights, blockers, and concerns

  • Radical transparency and collaboration made this process one of discovery for the entire client team which helped upskill organization

  • Final recommendation included an insights summary, recordings, Figma archive of concepts, strategy, and service design documents

  1. Delivered a prospective new product that could drive significant new revenue

  2. Discovered four personas that will ultimately lead to a new model for building, measuring, and monetizing

  3. Led to a full evaluation of the app as part of prioritizing future investments

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