iWatch Concept

A few months ago Thomas Bogner posted an iWatch mockup on Dribbble that looked like a marriage between a Nike Fuelband and an iPhone. It was an impressive concept that got a lot of people excited including myself. However, it had a major flaw: the orientation of the interface made it impossible to use.

I had some free time over the holidays so I decided to take a stab at the problem and create a more user friendly concept. I wanted to retain a slim form factor like the Fuelband and incorporate familiar UI components from iOS 7. It needed to feel natural on the wrist and look like something Apple would actually produce.

Initial sketch

I started with a few sketches then worked my way towards a rough 3D mesh of the device. I kept the band simple with a curved touchscreen display on the front. For physical controls I placed a single button on the left to act as the home button, and two more on the other side for volume controls.

For the lock screen I designed a simple black & white interface displaying the time, date, and button to activate Siri. From here the possible actions are: tap to use Siri, swipe up to unlock, or pull down to view notifications. Sound familiar? While I was designing this I found myself pretending what it would be like to use swiping gestures on my wrist. Give it a try, it feels pretty good!

iWatch Lockscreen

The springboard has four app icons vertically stacked with a page controller on the right. Swiping up or down moves between pages of apps. Pressing the home button takes you back to the lockscreen.

iWatch Home

Next, I decided to design an actual use case — calling someone. In the animation below you can see how the Phone app could potentially work. One of the challenges I ran into was what to do about tabs. A normal tab view across the bottom wasn’t going to work so I came up with a simple drop down control in the title bar. Tapping this would display a popover menu showing the other available pages. I also purposely left out several of the controls like “Edit” and “Add Contact.” On a device this small I think it makes more sense to manage apps, contacts, and media from a synced iPhone or Mac.

Another concept I thought about was a heath & fitness app. Jawbone, Fitbit, and Nike have already proven the popularity of fitness wearables. I think it’s safe to say that the iWatch will include a similar set of features like sleep and activity tracking.

iWatch Running App

One last thing I considered was how the iWatch will get its data. My bet is that it will be tethered to the iPhone over Bluetooth, providing a data connection through your existing plan. I always have my iPhone close by except for when I’m running or surfing so relying on it for a connection wouldn’t be an issue. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that would disagree but that’s a whole other discussion.

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