Weather Underground Usability Testing

I conducted remote unmoderated usability testing for the Weather Underground website. We tested top tasks on the site and gained user insights into how well the site works for them.

The Problem

We tested Weather Underground’s website based on common tasks with the intention to see how well the site performs.

Our research goals were to:

  • Observe user patterns and behaviors as they attempt a set of common tasks
  • Identify how easily users accomplish common tasks
  • Understand users’ experiences and expectations as they work with the website


Our formative usability study followed the “think aloud” protocol by asking test participants to describe their thoughts as they attempted to complete three separate tasks. We recruited five participants for this study. We used an unmoderated remote testing service called Validately, which recorded participants screens and audio. Four out of five testers check the weather regularly.

While five participants may appear small, most common usability issues can be identified with a small sample since we are more focused on qualitative feedback and general experiences.

How we analyzed the data:

  • Each video was observed, which helped surface patterns and themes based on how users navigate the website and attempt the tasks.
  • From the initial observations and findings, themes were sorted and given prioritization based on frequency of the issue and other qualitative feedback. A set of questions were asked after the test, which also influenced the findings.
  • Using the findings, we developed recommendations or identified further areas of research.


Main takeaways include:

  • Users easily found a way to find local weather forecasts.
  • Navigation groupings and labels confused users for two of the tasks.
  • The website features large ads that can affect how users find information and use navigation.
  • Static content pages and their organization could be improved.

Lessons Learned

While unmoderated remote usability testing offers an efficient way to test, its not as personal as in-person and you may have to test more remote users due to technical issues encountered during testing.