Apple released this week a highly anticipated development in wearables: the Apple Watch in three different collections with a range of faces and straps. We asked L2’s design team what they thought of the new design. Here are a few takeaways:
You shouldn’t force a round peg in a square hole, even if it fits. L2 Head of Animation James McMillan said he was initially excited about the device, until it was released. He was bothered by the mismatch between the Apple iconic circular analog watch face and the rectangular form. It seemed as if pre-existing Apple devices were retrofitted into the dimensions of a watch.
Usability is the true test. L2 Creative Director Katherine Dillon had a positive reaction to the device, especially the crown that adjusts display in lieu of the pinch-to-zoom feature. She added, however, that usability will determine whether or not it is a successful product. Apps such as Maps must be rethought to work on the scale of a watch face.
Don’t forget about lefties. Graphic Designer Radhika Patel noticed she couldn’t easily access the crown because she is left handed. Aesthetically, she prefers the hard rectangular edges of the iPhone 4 and 5. And while the watch is a great piece of technology, she thinks it would be a conversation killer.
Screen is too large. L2 Art Director Marielle Gross said the scale of the screen is too large for the wrist. Otherwise it keeps the theme of Apple’s clean lines, and customizable bands allow users to choose the look of a generic digital watch.