DustWatch App Tutorial

DustWatch is a mobile application, currently only for iOS, that predicts future weather conditions pertaining to dust storms and notifies the user. In addition, it also has short guides that give information about dust storms. The app has four main tabs: home, guides, data, and settings.

The home page includes a map that informs users of traffic conditions on local roads. It also includes dust metrics and weather conditions from your default location set in the settings tab. Finally, on this page is also an emergency tips button that gives users information about what to do if caught in a dust storm.

It can be seen in this example that certain roads in Washington DC are experiencing heavy traffic along with the fact that the PM2.5 level is a little bit high.

The guides page currently contains four courses about dust storms: “Intro to Dust Storms”, “Responding to Dust Storms”, “Using Air Quality Indicators”, and “Precautions for Dust Storms”. These courses inform users about basic dust storm information, which is useful to acquire in order to use the app properly and to prepare for future dust storms. This tab also includes places to store shelter locations and emergency contacts in the event of a dust storm.

Here is an image of the first guide, “Intro to Dust Storms,” which provides readers with a basic background about dust storms.

The data page allows users to view current and future dust storm metrics for the default location set or any other location. The data goes up to 48 hours in the future and is color coded so users will know what metric will have a dangerous value at what time. The data can be viewed in either a bar or line graph, which can be changed in the settings.

The data page shows the PM2.5 levels for Washington DC. The graph shows safe to moderate levels currently, along with moderate levels coming in the next few hours.

The settings page contains a basic tutorial of the app which users are advised to read through when they first install the app. There is also a section dedicated to app information which includes credits, terms and conditions, an about page, and a changelog where users can verify that their version of the app is up to date. There is a location tab that allows users to set a default location where they can load data from. Users are given the option to allow the app to send notifications, and a hazard threshold for the notifications can be changed, such that a lower threshold will allow dangerous values to trigger notifications, thus sending more notifications, and the opposite for a higher threshold.

Shown is the basic tutorial provided with the app providing users with the basics on how to use the app.

The locations page lets users to set a default location allowing them to receive notifications specific to their area.