Learn how to approach a UX design for watches and wearables. In this video, Diane Cronenwett explains how to UX design watches.
- In recent years, smartwatches have become more mainstream and the market for smartwatches is growing. Apple has a watch that uses the WatchOS platform and Google has partnered with various watch brands to run its Android Wear platform. There are a few different watch platforms, but Apple and Google are the most popular. Watches have a small area in which the user can interact with and watches run the risk of being more disruptive to the user than a phone because it's worn on the user's body and will be with the user throughout the day. Some things to consider when designing for watches.
Highly focused tasks. Apps for watches should be highly focused on a singular task. Given the nature of the small screen, there isn't a lot of affordance to accommodate a complex task and it can be tedious to scroll or interact with multiple views and screens for information on a small device. Legibility. Given the small screen, the text should be both legible and minimal. If you're going to have content blocks of text, make sure it's broken up into smaller digestible pieces.
Some core use cases for the watch are notifications. Push notifications for events or activities that might be important to the user and don't require more than a tap or a swipe could be a good way to extend the functionality of your wholistic design experience. When designing notifications, however, you'll want to make sure users aren't seeing notifications across each device and use the watch as the primary device for notifications if it makes sense for your product. Glanceable information. Quick bits of information visible within a short glance are also a good candidate for a watch.
Things like headlines, music and pictures would be good examples. Fitness. Fitness apps are probably one of the key use cases for a watch. The ability to utilize location, altimeters and accelerometers can provide a lot of data to create a compelling fitness app. One of the apps on the watch that's pretty interesting is the headspace app. The headspace app is a meditation app, but on the watch, it helps you focus by having you place your thumb on the screen and pressing for 30 seconds.
Headspace has found a unique way to apply meditation principles using the watch. As the watch continues to gain more adoption, keep these guidelines in mind when approaching your watch design.
- Principles for multidevice design
- Responsive design in action
- Designing for multiple devices using native paradigms
- Designing mobile or tablet interfaces
- Designing for a watch, a TV, or for voice
- Creating an information architecture diagram
- Using Sketch to design your mobile experience
- Prototyping with InVision
- Exploring Bootstrap and Foundation