A wave of usability improvements are on the horizon for the humble GNOME Weather app.

The current version of the meteorological must-have might have made my list of the best weather apps for Ubuntu and Linux Mint, but I quipped “aspects of its layout bug me”.

And it seems I’m not alone.

GNOME Weather App 3.32
The current layout in Weather

GNOME designer Jakub Steiner reckons “the current incarnation [of GNOME Weather] has some severe deficiencies”, something he says is a ‘shame’ given the client’s prominence and nifty GNOME Shell integration.

Not idle bluster; a rethink and redesign of the app is getting underway. You could say the winds of change are blowing in Weather’s direction.

GNOME Weather App Redesign

Compare GNOME Weather (in its current guise) to the weather offerings of other operating systems and it’s clear that things …Well, things could be better.

The app doesn’t make efficient use of the available window size for starters. And those photographic backdrops, though striking, sometimes make the forecast data difficult to read.

GNOME designer Allan Day thinks “[users should be able to] get in, get the information they want, and get out as quickly as possible.”

To do that Weather needs to show more information, more intelligently than it does present. This is something that Day’s proposed redesign, which you can see below, ably achieves:

Casting an eye over the comments on the bug report tracking the redesign it’s clear that the focus of the revamp is enhancing the current capabilities of Weather rather than adding new features.

GNOME Weather App Redesign

Horizontal pagination seems like a logical introduction, as does separating hourly forecasts from the 10 day forecast.

Relaying “current conditions” remains prominent in the redesign, but not at the expense of the overall layout.

And while I like that the proposed redesign mentions the yr.no weather service that’s used as the backend, I especially like that the client as a whole makes better use of the data that this free service provides.

GNOME Weather Redesign

The redesign as pictured conveys a much richer set of weather data without being overwhelming:-

  • Current forecast with temperature, feels like, and other info
  • Hourly forecast with conditions and temperature
  • 10 day forecast with temp highs, lows, and conditions

Right now these mockups, plans and ideas remain just that: mockups, plans and ideas. The design as is stands right now probably won’t graduate to code in time for the upcoming GNOME 3.34 release, but it’s nice to know that a brighter future is forecast for GNOME Weather all the same.

Do you use the GNOME Weather app on your desktop?

Thanks Dingo Lingo

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