by Tony Karp

Why smartwatches failed, and how to fix it - Part 3

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This is a DataFace. We're sacrificing beauty for utility. Color is used to help group items by function. It's amazing how much information you can fit into a 320 x 320pixel screen. Unfortunately, this won't work on a round screen.

Most of the items are self-explanatory. The only puzzling one is "144 DAYS" That's the number of days until my birthday.

I call this a DataFace. It's the interface I designed for my smartwatch. Everything you need is right here. It took a year to design and I've been testing it for over four years to make sure it does what I want. It does.

The concept is very simple. Everything you need is on one screen. You don't have to dig through apps to find things out. It's there, on the screen, all the time. A quick glance is all you need.

We already looked at the app-based interface that most watches use, and how unsuited for tiny screens it is.

This is a very different approach -- a smartwatch with no apps. No picking at the screen to start an app, or have it cover everything up while it's running.

What's shown above is a default interface, designed for me. But it's configurable, and data items can be swapped out or replaced with something more suitable. Following a stock? Its price can be always on display. Heart rate or other biometric data can be added to the interface.

The main idea is that everything you need to know is always on display.

But before exploring this interface in detail, let's look take a one of its features. It will give an insight to the thinking and the philosophy that went into the interface's design.

I need a stopwatch. With an app-based interface, I have to find a stopwatch app. There may be several. So, with my OCD, I have to try them all before installing one. When I want to use the stopwatch, I have to get the watch to display its list of apps and then pick the stopwatch. Now the stopwatch fills the screen, covering things like the time and date. To switch from the stopwatch to something else, I have to go through another multi-step process.

With the data-based interface, the stopwatch is always present. Just touch where it says START.

Note: This page is still unfinished, but will be worked on as soon as I have the strength to continue.

Copyright 1957-2023 Tony & Marilyn Karp