We picked these three scenarios based on some of our client works to see how the watch can enhance the phone experience we designed. This exploration was done in October 2014, prior to the release of Apple Watch, when there was limited specifications around the functionalities of the watch.
As the watch has to be paired with a phone to fully function (*before watch OS 2.0), it is more like an extension of the phone than a standalone device. One special case is at home, where you don't carry your phone around; the watch then acts like a standalone device using Bluetooth or Wifi to communicate with the phone.
This is where we thought the watch has the most potential.
Forget about all the remotes you own to control all your gadgets. The watch, as you're most likely to be wearing all the time, becomes the perfect and only remote you would need.
Force Touch - Turn on/off a device
Digital Crown - Adjust brightness of lights or speaker volume
Context-Aware 1 Tap Setup - Get prompted to turn on all devices when moving to another room
Direct Manipulation - Using actual room layout to provide intuitive control
Besides the interface to control your devices at home, we also explored other ways to leverage the small watch face to display a list. Below on the left is Apple's default list view on the watch. Each item has to be at least 44px tall to meet the minimum tap target size.
On the right we came up with an interface that magnifies to zoom into the item user drags over; once released, the magnified item is selected. This eliminates the need to reserve vertical space so the user can see more options at once without having to use the digital crown.
Another thing we wanted to improve was the human-tv-interaction. For the longest time we've been using remotes with physical buttons and arrow keys to move to target item, one step at a time.
The watch, on the other hand, if paired with the TV, can be turned into a trackpad that make you control the TV like it's just a bigger screen (which it really is). You'll be able to use two fingers to quickly scroll down your favorite TV shows, and one figure to move the "cursor" to make a selection.
For sport fans, second screen experience when following a game is not news. However, when at you're a bar hanging out with friends with a beer in one hand, and wings in another, touching the phone is probably the last thing you want to do.
The watch, in this case, can alert you when a big play happened using haptic feedback so you don't have to keep an eye on your phone. And when it comes to sharing an important moment with social media, it can also be done via voice control from your watch. Here's how we imagined it would work.
Content consumption was the most challenging scenario for the exploration. The watch is not designed for you to do any intensive reading. Most of the time you can just bust out the phone and read on a larger screen, as you need the phone to feed content to the watch.
Nevertheless, we found that there's still potential to improve the reading experience on a small watch face. Below is a concept using Spritz technology to display a text message for fast reading without having to scroll.