User experience and wearable technology

From the Apple Watch to gesture controlled displays, wearable technology is here to stay and will have a profound impact on UX and UI designers.

From the Apple Watch to gesture controlled displays, wearable technology is here to stay and will have a profound impact on UX and UI designers.

Wearable technology has been the buzzword of the year so far, but what does it really mean for businesses who want to stay relevant and up-to-date with the latest technological trends.

It is the next generation of development that will unleash the true potential of wearable technology. From hailing a cab with your watch to dimming your lights with a flick of your wrist, new ways of using this kind of technology are just around the corner.

Not everyone will benefit from integrating their service or product with wearable technology but you can bet that those that can see a way to utilise the benefits will come up with a solution. We’ve put together some thoughts and points to help you understand these new developments and their implications.

Why bother?

Although many of us will have heard the hype, only a fraction of us have actually adopted wearable tech into our everyday lives. It’s tempting to think of these developments as gimmicky and fleeting tech trends but what they actually represent are the first generation of devices that will likely become far more important that you may realise.

A bit of friction

What smart watches and similar devices can actually do is fairly limited so far, fitness apps and notifications make up a large part of the market but this is only the start of it. What these devices actually do is reduce friction in the user experience, they reduce the effort and actions required by the user to interact with an app or notification, relieving them from the effort of pulling out their phone to see who is calling them or how far they’ve run. As this experience is streamlined, other industries will see the potential for their own products and services leading to the proliferation of new software and new generations of hardware.

Under and over-developed

The rise of wearable technology provides some very unique and interesting challenges from a UX perspective. Such a slimmed down interface with no room for extraneous material means that designers can really get to grips with the precisely what the user needs and nothing else. Apple’s assertion that the “Apple watch is about brief interactions, many of which are just a few seconds long” means that only simple, absolutely necessary apps are going to be regularly used. If your site or service would benefit from these kinds of interactions then it’s definitely worth thinking about a linked application.

Don’t look down

The smart watch may be the most talked about wearable item of the moment but it’s just the beginning of what’s to come. You still have to look down at your watch or raise it to see it, wearable tech will no doubt move down an even more frictionless road in the future with smart glasses and gesture technology taking the fore.

Watch out!

The habit of constantly checking your phone may well be on the way out. It’s worth having a think about how well your online products integrate themselves with changing technology. If the recent scurry to act in order to make websites mobile responsive is anything to go by, there will be a large number of businesses trying hard to keep up in a changing digital world.


At Modular we pride ourselves on helping our clients to utilise the latest technology and developments to achieve their goals.

We love to design cool digital things, let us design them for you!

Call us: 0117 325 8050

Or email: studio@thisismodular.co.uk


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