How to Deliver Dramatic UX with Weatherstack’s API

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October 01, 2019
weatherstack is an exceptional API service that provides accurate weather data for millions of locations around the world. What at first might appear to be a nice-to-have feature for local sites, is in fact an incredible tool that raises your UX to a whole new level, read on to find out how…
How to Deliver Dramatic UX with Weatherstack’s API.

provides real-time, historical, and even forecast data up to 14 days in advance. Licensed from some of the world’s biggest weather stations and weather data providers, the information provided by weatherstack’s simple to use API gives you an accurate picture of the conditions on the ground, wherever your users access your site from. Trusted by over 75,000 companies, including many household names, weatherstack delivers its data in JSON format, making it easy to integrate with any site or app, whether you’re using Node, PHP, or any other modern language. Oh, and did we mention the core features are free?!

What Use is a Weather API?

How useful a weather API is, depends very much on how inventive a designer you are. OK sure, there are some obvious uses for a weather API: If you’re running a hotel or resort, it’s good manners to let guests know what conditions to expect when they arrive; If you’re the mayor of a small town responsible for a local government site, you might see it as a public service to let citizens know whether they’ll need an umbrella today; If you’re selling sunscreen, it’s an awesome idea to let people know that the sun’s going to be out for the next week, and adding some factor 50 to their cart is a wise choice. Those are all pretty common uses for weatherstack, but there’s a lot more that can be done with an accurate weather API. Imagine you’re running an event like a charity bike ride, or an outdoor barbecue, those are activities that are fundamentally altered by the weather, it’s a great idea to let people know in advance what the weather’s going to be like so they can come prepared. [pullquote]Sell sunglasses when it’s sunny, raincoats when it rains, and snow chains when it snows[/pullquote] Knowing what the weather is going to be like can also be a huge boost for sales teams — enough even to push marginal e‑commerce stores into profit. Just because someone is visiting your site to order a waffle iron, doesn’t mean they won’t buy some sunglasses if a sale offer pops up and the weather outside their window’s looking good. If there are high-winds in the coming week, hardware stores might offer chainsaws and leaf-blowers, marinas could advise members to check their boat at the earliest opportunity, restaurants could contact customers with reservations on the terrace and offer them a table inside instead. Tailoring your offering so that featured products are chosen seasonally is good UX. Tailoring your offering so that featured products are chosen based on the actual conditions outside is great UX. Sell sunglasses when it’s sunny, raincoats when it rains, and snow chains when it snows. Of course, all of these things can be done manually, but why respond manually when you can automate using weatherstack’s weather API and maximize both sales and customer satisfaction across the board. And if you’re selling over a wide area, you will need to automate, because weather varies from location to location. There’s no sense offering Floridians raincoats, unless that is, weatherstack says there’s a tropical storm on the horizon.

Perfecting UX with weatherstack’s API

The greatest challenge faced by UX designers is understanding users. We can test how people navigate, we can measure how groups of people search, but we don’t have any way of gauging a user’s emotional state. Does the user accessing your site feel happy, or sad? Will they respond to an upbeat message, or do they want to complete their task and leave? The weather is a huge influence on us. When the heat rises, and stays high for days, tempers quickly fray. When it’s cold and wet, people naturally feel low. When the sky’s blue and the air is warm people relax. When the mornings are bright and crisp people are more productive. [pullquote]there’s almost no website that wouldn’t benefit from knowing a little more about the person on the other end of the fiber-optic cable[/pullquote] These are generalizations (as Shirley Manson once observed, some people are only happy when it rains) but with careful assessment it’s possible to predict the mood of the majority of your users, based on the current weather. Let’s say you run a site that displays recipes, you have a few hundred options for users to choose from. You feature three recipes on the homepage that you hope will tempt hungry users into clicking into your pages for more details. Until now, those featured recipes would be chosen either by popularity — creating a self-fulfilling set of predictions — or more likely, chosen at random. With weatherstack you can tap into what your users are actually thinking: If it’s rainy and cold in their neighborhood then feature warming wholesome foods like chilli or apple pie, if it’s hot and sunny suggest pizza and homemade ice-cream. The next time your user needs a recipe they’ll come straight to your site because it seemed like you knew what they were thinking. And guess what…you did! As human beings our lives are forever affected by the weather, and there’s almost no website that wouldn’t benefit from knowing a little more about the person on the other end of the fiber-optic cable. By understanding the environment of the person you’re communicating with, you can start to build a bond that helps convert a casual customer into a passionate advocate for your brand.

Why Choose weatherstack

weatherstack is a reliable and accurate API, provided by apilayer, one of the most trusted names in APIs. Sign up for a free weatherstack account and its 123 style instructions will have you retrieving weather data in minutes. And as you might expect if you’ve used an apilayer product before, the accompanying documentation is exceptionally good. Once you’ve tapped into the power of weather data, we’re confident you’ll want to go beyond the free account. weatherstack provides three levels of premium access depending on your needs, ranging from $9.99/month for extra API calls, encryptions, and hourly data, to $99.99/month giving you access to a full 14-day forecast and bulk queries. What’s more, weatherstack is built to be scaleable, so you can start out with a free account and grow at your own pace. [– This is a sponsored post on behalf of weatherstack –]

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there’s something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

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