We users aren’t the only ones who have a lot to learn when it comes to an entirely new type of product like a smartwatch. Developers, too, have a whole lot to figure out. They often try to get ahead of the game by using simulators to design software before they’ve ever used a real version of the product, and sometimes that works fine.
But more often than not, actually using a device completely changes how you envision the products you might build for it. I remember this happening when the iPad first shipped, and it’s happened again with the Apple Watch. Witness Marco Arment’s diary of creating, junking, and rebuilding Overcast’s watch app, which will give you a hint of just how much consideration goes into building products like this, and ends with this great advice:
It’s unwise and futile to try to shove iPhone interfaces and paradigms into the Apple Watch. Instead, design for what the Watch really is.
Over the first couple of weeks I’ve spent with the Apple Watch, I’ve started to get a handle on what makes one watch app good and another one bad. Developers are struggling with this, too. But if Marco is any indication, they’re starting to figure it out. It’s exciting.