_______ KEY OBSERVATIONS
Asking the right questions.
We made an effort to speak to a large audience of traditional watch enthusiasts & iWatch, Android wear, Fitbit etc. more technical individuals, to see how we might be able to bridge the gap of old fashioned look and feel with the modern day connected world. Being able to bring the best of both worlds together was an interesting exploration task.
Through some user research, we found out that the traditional watch hardware was still very much appealing to the average person. However, with the recent saturation of smart watches in the marketplace, people also wanted their smartwatch to connect to their social media channels, emails, calendars, fitness trackers and more. Maintaining the authentic watch look and feel was key to a healthy balance between hardware and software.
The question is not what can we build, but rather why should we build it? Nearly anything is possible in software design. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out if the most appealing smart watch ui was a traditional skeuomorphic look and feel or the more digital flat/modern ui that is commonly seen on iWatch, Android and other devices. A healthy balance between the two seemed to make most sense to our potential users. Versatility is key.
Let's face it, if a watch's interface and industrial design do not look great or are not versatile enough to match different outfits and scenarios, they will most likely end up in a drawer for weeks at a time. While looking around me at the different accessories that people had on, it struck me that people express themselves through the things that they wear, yet not every operating system or hardware device accommodates to every user.
I would frequently strike conversations with random individuals at Bart, coffee shops, restaurants etc. to discover patterns and reveal unknown insights and preferences from the people who use similar products. Doing this provided a deeper understanding of context for our design-thinking meetings. Having answers to these questions also allowed the team to focus on key interactions that would delight the end user based on quantitative and qualitative data.
What would compel you to want to wear the same watch on a daily basis?
What are the apps that you use on your phone that would be better suited on a watch?
How long do you expect the battery to last on a smart watch?
How do you feel about adopting a smart watch without needing to connect to a phone?
How do you feel about being able to receive notifications based on your environment via your watch?
How often would you customize your watch face if you had infinite selections to pick from?