Android Wear Annoyances

Written description and illustration/diagram of the analyzed experience

  • I recently received an Android Wear smartwatch for Christmas.  Although I love the convenience of having my notifications, fitness, and other useful information on my wrist, there are some serious design flaws that were not considered.  Once one’s phone dies, the watch is almost completely useless.  It is understandable that the tethered phone is needed to receive data; however, the watch has it’s own WiFi connection so it is not understandable as to why it cannot receive its own data when connected. I even noticed that if I set an alarm directly on the watch and my phone dies, the alarm will not sound until my phone turns back on. It’s a watch that cannot successfully store and sound an alarm without a tethered device. That’s silly and was not thought through very well.
  • Smartwatchlulz

Presentation of design process

  • Activities- Checking web notifications, communicating, and setting alarms.
  • Environment- Anywhere you go, your watch goes.
  • Interactions- Lots of swiping on and talking to a tiny screen.
  • Objects- The watch.
  • Users- Individuals who may receive many e-mails, texts, and/or other notifications. This user probably wants to filter these notifications at a glance, yet still be able to respond to anything important. This eliminates the need to constantly interrupt the flow of activities by checking one’s phone.

Description and concept sketches of proposed intervention

  • The solution is simple. Google developers should first start by making all of their apps work on a WiFi-connected watch, regardless of a phone connection.  This would set a standard for other Android developers to follow. If Google also released APIs for developers to easily make their applications function without being connected to a device that would be even better.
  • smartwatchrealize

Written reflection on the challenges of designing for yourself.

  • I enjoy designing things for myself. Although I am constantly amazed at the design features that some individuals and groups come up with, there are so many other things missing.  It makes me feel as if these designers can come up with really awesome ideas in the brainstorming process but maybe never use their product long enough to understand its true constraints and power.  This is why I would never want to work on anything that I was not interested in. That product would never reach even close to true potential because I would be unaware of how it is even used.
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