These notes collect my steps in meandering process towards the prototype.  The order is roughly chronological, so it gets more concrete at the end.          


Research & SoA

Journal & Diaries

diary in reddit thread

George H.W. Bush presidential diary:

“lessons learned”

journal as a part of cognitive behavior therapy:



Day One Journal:

calendar, photos, password, touchid, timestamps, location

My Secret Diary:

ugly, secrecy, pin, girly, pink, sparkly, stickers, photo, music

Everyday Timeline:

evernote + dropbox + maps + calendar + instagram import, productivity,  password, tag

Chronicle - Journal and Writing Notebooks:

focussed only writing, can only add dates/change sizes


beige, photos, places, tag, calendar view, integrations via links


flat, bright, simple, blog-like, photos, tags, passcode


multiplatform, focussed on days, writing, blogging, embedding — not attachment


Diary literature

Interview w/Kiko

Started diary to practice English — turned into notes w/ sketches more than words.  Same notebook turned into notebook for classes.  Not anywhere near daily.  Wrote in spurts.  Mutiple times a day for like a week, then nothing for  months.  Kept secret — bought a journal with a lock at one point.  Would like an app w/ set reminders, but I’d probably delete eventually.

Interview w/Kathy

Diaries seem like a girl thing (not a woman thing either — a little girl thing).  I used to keep a diary but I just stopped at some point in middle school.  Something a little obsessive/creepy about writing down everything.  I don’t think I’d ever write a digital diary.


postsecret-like, focussed on feelings.  API seems broken

diagnostic tools for mood

API that tags emotion in text


Weather as emotion:


guidelines for presenting weather predictions on tv:


Stock Apple weather app

place cards, 5-day forecast, animation of current conditions

Dark Sky

 current conditions, Po, real-time notifications warn about weather events

Weather Underground wundermap

radar, temperature, forecast, PoP, news

Storm Shield

radar, warnings, layered display — turn things on and off

CARROT Weather

character-driven, quirky, current conditions, forecast, GladOS-like voice, fictional locations


not well-liked, bright, sharp, geometric icons, social, reporting, mood, “it’s weather for ____”

Interview w/Tim

Used to be a huge fan of weather apps — looked at radar a lot, and precipitation graphs.  Deleted all other apps after getting dark sky.  Just the information you need, when it’s relevant.

Thoughts after research & mindmap

Weather is typically a boring subject — e.g. “talking about the weather” but has the potential to be beautiful/interesting with the right visualization.  Tied to emotion, tied to location.  Enough weather information combined allows you to guess where someone is pretty precisely.  Given in broad, regional forecasts but actually hyper-local. e.g. SF microclimates.

Diaries are a private activity that begs to be shared.  They get stolen, voluntarily published as fictional books, history, and memoirs.  Diaries as literature. Diaries as external memory — a way to keep track of day/distant past.  Dichotomy between public, private, and anonymous.  People willing to share most internal thoughts if they’re anonymous.

Rejected Concepts

Users may want to keep the default prompts or choose their own.

Final? Concept

This might work well.  Pavlovian response to write when it rains.  Writing during rain feels natural, at least to me — should ask others.


some places aren’t rainy, some places are too rainy

        could have the weather be simulated, rather than real

                that seems worse than never having a notification at all — disconnects from
                reality and you need another narrative

                        might work if it were very game-like

since some places will never get a writing notification, it should work without them.  Maybe shouldn’t go too far with the rain images

Should snow count?


could record sound of rain and/or writing, then play back during reading

still need to decide what weather info to show

Is there a better weather condition?

        write when sunny — obviously wrong, people more likely to be outside

        write when at home/another location — not connected to weather, which solves some problems but is a weaker connection

        read calendar to find times to write

Should probably be private by default, with option to make public.  passcode seems necessary, but probably not in mvp.

Should notification happen during rain or just before?


Rainy Day Diary?  Silver Lining?  Droplet Journal?  Wet Ink? Pun on singin in the rain?

Raindrops — cool colors, blues, ink as water

Mood Board

lightning in spritekit


Prototype resources

Cloud by James Fenton from the Noun Project


Video demo: