Tips for wearable app design have more currency than ever. Blogs like this of all shapes and sizes are offering their two cents on this topic because wearable tech is such an exciting area of current development and innovation.
Whether a watch or a wristband, or even socks and shoes, wearable technology is an ever-growing realm of app development – because there is an ever-growing list of devices and implementations. Forget the prominent flops such as Google Glass; wearable tech really is here to stay.
That means, of course, that you app designers need first and foremost to be abreast of the latest news in the field. That is, if you want to be designing apps for wearable devices, you need a developer who is as nerdy as possible about every twist and turn in the market and the technologies. Find an expert!
Let’s assume you’ve done that (and if it helps, we can guarantee we’re among the nerdiest of wearable tech enthusiasts you can find). What rules of thumb do you need to keep in mind as you move into the development phase?
As screen size is limited in wearable devices, you should focus on simplicity and only include those core features which your users will most need. Unnecessary features – nice-to-haves, not need-to-haves – can break the careful, intricate flow that can help users to complete tasks efficiently.
Information displayed on the device should be prioritised to show your users the more important details first. For example, limiting the data shown at any given point will make the information easier to digest. Wearable tech is about convenience – for a full read-out a user can always go to their desktop. Their watch is about getting things done quickly and easily in the moment. Output only the data they need.
Wearable devices are more prominent than mobile phones, because they are always out in the open. This means that a user’s personal information is being displayed clearly in public places – and you need to design your app to guard that data carefully. Think about whether your app’s notifications should vibrate first, prompting the user to confirm that a message should be displayed. Put the us in full control.
Wearable devices place additional and different demands on app design that smartphones or tablets. It’s a truism that good design is about fusing form and function, so consider carefully how wearable tech might change the way your app should work. In fact, being sensitive to these new demands is the most important tip for great wearable app design.
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