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The Process: Michael Surtees Reconsiders the Weather (App)

We're thrilled to announce a new video series that examines the modern creative process employed by designers, writers, typographers, artists and more. We wanted to explore how people work today, shuffling between sketching by hand and testing on tablets -- seamlessly moving between the digital and analog. In each episode, we'll give each subject a unique challenge, and explore how they approach the problem.

First up for The Process is Michael Surtees, SVD at design firm Behavior, known for its online work with BusinessWeek, The Onion and the National Geographic Channel. The principal writes for Design Notes about design, typography, news consumption and New York City, and you may even recognize his long-running #walkingtoworktoday photo project, which invites participants to tweet interesting photos (posted to Flickr) from their daily commutes.

As #walkingtoworktoday demonstrates, cell phones have become the cornerstones of our important daily interactions, communication and news updates; they deliver everything from work missives and personal texts to weather stats and breaking news (and the latest viral video). Surtees is especially interested in exploring these experiences, tracking data as it flows from Google Reader to the iPad -- or from one phone's Twitter app to another. Daily news and information has scattered to Web browsers, phones and tablets, and away from the comparatively structured print magazines and newspapers; today, no single app provides a window into everything.

In an interview with MobileBehavior earlier this year, Surtees said, "What I want to push is trying to create experiences that take apps for the iPhone and iPad and create three different experiences. One experience for each device that is separate by taking advantage of their inherent benefits, and a third way that integrate the two devices together."

With this in mind, we challenged Surtees to create a weather app that works on multiple devices (Web, iPhone, BlackBerry and iPad) in just three hours. Surtees brainstormed with the help of Twitter, reconsidered what people want in a weather app, and tested early wireframes on multiple devices. Check out The Process below, and don't forget to take a peek at Surtees's final app designs:

The Process: Michael Surtees

Tags: design, features, michael surtees, MichaelSurtees, switchedvideo, theprocess, top, weather app, weather apps, WeatherApp, WeatherApps