Follow the Design GuidelinesDesigning an app for wearables is in no way the same as designing an app for mobile platforms. If you stick to platform specific design guidelines what seems like an uphill battle will become much more mangeable. For instance, if you want to design an app for Android Wear, the guidelines will be different than Apple’s Human Interface guidelines for the Apple Watch. You will hardly go wrong if you stick to the design guidelines for different wearables. Also, remember that there is device fragmentation when it comes to Android wearables. Hence, you need to make sure that the app is designed in such a way that it offers an enhanced user experience across all the Android wearables.
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Simplicity Is the KeyAt present, wearables are not standalone devices; they still need to be connected with another mobile device in order to offer a wide range of functionality to the wearers. Given the small screen size, it is impossible to display all the information. The obvious step here is to go minimalist and use only the essential elements to display on the wearable screen. If you go through the design guidelines for different wearables, you will get a better idea as to how you can create a simple, minimalistic design for wearable-specific apps. The key is to make the most of the screen space. Take the case of the Uber app for Apple Watch. The app makes use of the watch screen and provides only relevant information such as – the driver name and image, details of the cab, current location of the cab etc. These bits of information can be viewed by the users as and when they glance at their wrists. Like Uber, there are many other apps on the market, which have an immensely simple interface that offers great functionality to the users. Take a cue from them to design a simple app, without compromising on its functionality.
Branding Takes a Different TurnAn app helps you leverage your brand and reach out to a large number of your target audience. There many ways through which you can enhance your brand image and increase its visibility using an app. For instance, you can incorporate the logo of your brand in the app to promote it subtly among the target users. This was the norm followed by almost all the companies whether or not they created a mobile app relevant to their niche. Wearables offer no such luxury; using your logo in the app’s interface will only hog more screen space, compromising on the functionality aspect. The solution is to use a unique color scheme and typography, which is typical of your brand. This will help users associate the app with your brand or business. For instance, if your brand’s logo consists of the colors green and red, use the same colors throughout the app. You can use them in the fonts or CTA buttons and subtly provide a hint about your brand to the end-users. You can also use a font, which is specific to your brand to give the end-users maximum recall value.
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