Look around. There’s no denying it – wearables have arrived. But with their arrival also comes a slew of design challenges. Since the design community is often generous, we’d like to pay it forward by sharing five principles on creating great wearable design. These aren’t rigid rules; just five thoughts to help teach (and maybe entertain) you. Enjoy!
Sense which way the device is facing – display content accordingly.
Vibrate first, display second.
Give the user control but ship with considerate defaults.
Show one thing at a time.
Keep it simple for users. Their dates will thank you.
Wearable displays are a lot smaller than we are used to. However, with constraint comes opportunity. To make up for their lack of screen size and visual-based interactions, many wearables offer new and different ways to input and receive information. Gesture recognition, tapping patterns, health data and vibrational communication are all some of the capabilities that will enable the future of screenless interactions. Fist bump to tweet!
Consider some new inputs, like gesture, voice, health and tapping.
Notify with nuanced feedback – haptics, vibrations and sounds.
Today, we have a ton of access to data and communications, so prioritizing is essential. We should focus on delivering only the most important information when the user needs it, creating experiences that support rather than overwhelm. The goal is to create a system that elegantly stays in the background of our lives while supporting specific tasks. Don’t let it snowball out of control!
Interact with users only at the right moments.
Let them decide how much they want to hear from you.
Always provide core functionality in offline mode.
Make transitions unnoticeable when people change devices.