Apple Watch & Design

17 Apr 2015 — By Eric Lennert

I was reading this review on the Apple watch over the weekend and found the observations summarized kind of fascinating. At a minimum, take a couple of minutes to read how Farhad quickly began to embrace the watch is unpredicted ways.

…The most exciting thing about the Apple Watch isn’t the device itself, but the new tech vistas that may be opened by the first mainstream wearable computer. On-body devices have obvious uses in health care and payments. As the tech analyst Tim Bajarin has written, Apple also seems to be pushing a vision of the Watch as a general-purpose remote control for the real world, a nearly bionic way to open your hotel room, board a plane, call up an Uber or otherwise have the physical world respond to your desires nearly automatically.

When we kicked off the design for the Financial Times iPad app prior to the release of the device, he said “this isn’t just a bigger phone” and with the watch I think we can even more definitively say this isn’t just a smaller phone, but a completely different experience. In his review, Farhad rarely talks about the displays on the watch or tapping through workflows, but seems to settle on haptic feedback (taptic in Apple land), voice control and the usefulness of ubiquitous technology on his wrist.

It makes me think that trying to put a watch list or quote screen on the watch is not ultimately the strength of this technology. The watch is a key, a navigator, an assistant and less frequently a browsing device (our phones do that better).

It’s difficult to imagine this all as it’s still pretty abstract, but suffice it to say this is more about pure UX and less about visuals. Designing for this is going to push us to explore beyond just tap and browse experiences, but to prototype tactile feedback and think more about the affects that situations and data have on our designs.

Working with our clients to figure out how finance, banking and the markets are going to communicate through these devices is going to be fun to figure out – it’s like living in the future.

  • Tags:
  • Wearables
  • Android Wear
  • Apple Watch
  • Smartwatch
  • Speech Recognition