Apple Watch app

I completed a General Assembly UX course in Feb 2015. For the assessment each student had the task of coming up with a new idea (for a digital execution) that would be taken through an end-to-end User Centred Design approach.

I chose to design something for the yet-to-be released Apple Watch, because I was excited to  imagine an unexplored interface small enough to be worn, but powerful enough to enable a great experience. From my love of mountain bike riding and frustration of existing mobile apps for rider, I created a new Apple Watch app called “Crank”.

User research

I interviewed cyclists at Lysterfield Lake Park, well known for its mountain bike trails. Interviews were recorded on my iPhone, and notes taken on site.

Sketching a storyboard

From the interviews a hand-drawn sketch was made of a new approach for navigating a trail, using an iPhone and Apple Watch. The app was to focus on the navigation of trails and provide audible feedback to user on which directions to take.

Problem statement and Personas

The target audience was established and a problem statement written from their perspective. The app pivoted slightly to incorporate the personal performance aspect of recording rides and improving performances.

Two key personas were established and used throughout the design:

  1. The easy going rider: they are happy to record rides but needs persuasion to use their phone or watch to do this.
  2. The action man: they use their phone to record rides, but are worried about smashing it in an accident.

User flows

Several user flows were hand-drawn to establish some typical use cases for the app.

Information architecture

I used Google Sheets to create lists of data and functions that would appear in both the iPhone companion app and the Apple Watch app.

From these I used the awesome Optimal Workshop to create dendrograms, Participant Centric Analysis and Similarity Matrix, which all helped to establish the IA.

Wireframes

It was a challenge to really test a device that hadn’t even been released, and just a bit of guesswork, but I created wireframes for the Apple Watch app and ran it through several user journeys.

See the Axure wireframes

Usability testing and future features

Overall, users were able to navigate through the Apple Watch app without ever using one in real life. There were a few unknown design patterns, but, once understood, users had no trouble completing the set tasks.

With more time to develop the app, I would have liked to include many features, but for the purposes of the project an MVP was enough.

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