Watch App Design

Winning strategies for wearables. If you’re considering a move into wearables, here are a few recommendations:

  • Tech fit for the real world – Consider how to best marry amazing technical capabilities with people’s real-world habits and desires.
  • Understand needs – Ensure you know who you’re designing the wearables for, and what their needs and desires are.
  • Sharp focus – Prioritize ruthlessly around your core service and its core benefit, your wearable device will inevitably die if it contracts featuritis.
  • Segment functionality – As wearables should be small, carefully consider what’s best done and seen on the device itself, and what can be “delegated” to a smartphone.
  • Make the experience desirable and stylish – As Bill Geiser of MetaWatch says, “we carry devices but we wear fashion.”
  • Know the data core – Obsess about the hardware, but obsess even more about the smart data service enabled by the technology. The gadget is merely the keyhole into a kingdom of interconnected data.
  • Data fluidity – Allow users’ data to move fluidly between devices and be freely exported and aggregated, as users will get more benefit from solutions that can be compared and mashed up.
  • Design for the glance – Ensure a simple glance at the device can provide information and value.
  • Have fun inventing – The category needs leadership. Follow the advice of legendary inventor and designer Buckminster Fuller, who said “The best way to predict the future is to design it.”
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  • Elegance and simplicity are core attributes of the quarter-sized activity tracker Misfit Shine, yet it can be used flexibly for several different activities and situations.
  • Scales by Withings piggyback cleverly on an existing daily ritual – weighing oneself – rather than trying to introduce completely new digital rituals.
  • The Fjord-designed smartphone app Macaw aggregates data from several sources in one experience, allowing users to get an overview of various things they track.
  • Category pioneers FitBit have long been known for reliable and accurate data, which is a foundation for trust.
  • Excellent design drivers around glanceability and “hands freedom” guide smart watch pioneers MetaWatch.

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