As a little design exercise, my wife and I (Yeah, I’m married now. It has been a long time since my last blog post) spent some time thinking about the question “What are scenarios in which a user’s computing needs can be served best on a watch interface?”
Here are a few types of scenarios that we came up with:
Times when you take out your phone to quickly check a small piece of information. Apple showed cases of checking the time, weather and stocks. You can see that extending to an app to check your bank balance or a utility bill. These could be served by apps or Apple’s ‘glances’ depending on how important the information is to the user.
Times when you are regularly going back to check some information like tracking the status of an order or a flight or the score of a sporting event. These could potentially be served by temporary widgets which live on the watch face or a swipe away while the information is needed.
Times when you take out your phone to take a quick action like identifying a song on Shazam, calling an Uber, flashing your boarding pass etc. In these cases, usage could shift almost entirely to the watch from the phone.
Dynamic and super-contextual information. Like Google Now on steroids. So when you are using public transport and you reach a bus stop, the watch can have easily accessible, information about when the next bus is expected. Citymapper has a mock for a similar use case. When you are walking off a flight, it can tell you which belt your baggage is expected at.
After thinking about a lot of these use cases, I think the watch should derive context based on what you are doing in the real world or on your other devices and make easily accessible, information that might be useful to you. This might mean that you wouldn’t need to invoke an app on the watch to see that information, it should just become available to you. You could possibly just give permission to an app to use the watch as a second screen like giving an app permission to send you push notifications.
An example of this could be say you are using public transport and using Citymapper on your phone to navigate. The watch interface showing you next bus timings should automatically become available on the watch a swipe away from the watch face without you necessarily invoking the Citymapper app on the watch.