Short  Watch Thoughts - II

Watch Paradigm #

The Apple watch is best when it hues to this analogy:

Apple Watch : Information :: Watch : Time

Things that follow from this paradigm:

  1. It must deliver information quickly. Almost instantly. I should never “feel the burn” in my shoulder as I hold the watch up waiting to see an app show up.1

    I will have more to say on this, but I don’t understand why even native apps are so slow to load. This alone has made avoid using almost any app.

  2. Information should rarely be more than 1 level deep. This is not a platform for exploration.

  3. Any interactions should be without ambiguity. Fiddling is death.

    1. I think that the touch detection is a little sub-par, compared to what I am accustomed to on the phone.
    2. I also think that the icon layout is at least a minor violation of Fitt’s Law. I think that center 7 (1 + 6) icons should be 10-15% larger at the expense of showing the two mini-circle icons along the horizontal axis.
    3. Of course, I already explained my concern about the ambiguous message-sending interaction.
  4. Apps that “control” things should be focused on the simplest forms of control.

    Just like a watch can typically set a timer, or a stopwatch, which is a simple form of control of “time”, so should apps/complications seek to achieve similar levels of control. I am not sure where, but Marco discussed this in his redesign of his podcast app, which involved lots of “flattening” of the navigation.
    Ironically, two of my favorite features of the watch have been the great, simple UI/UX for setting a timer and for using the stopwatch.

I feel like Apple could help the platform by further embracing this paradigm and find better ways of hiding slow operations, just like the famed checkerboard pattern in mobile safari on the first few iPhones.


  1. I definitely understand the difficulty of getting information between the phone and the watch over bluetooth. My arguments don’t depend on some magical improvement of this constraint. 

 
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