Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Download: The Creative Opportunities of Designing for a Round Watch

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One of the things that excites us about round watches is not only the iconic, beautiful design. It’s also unleashed cool, new opportunities for software development and new experiences. So for today’s Download, our regular spotlight on software, we wanted to get a little deeper into the benefits of designing for round watches.

Though for decades designers have created software experiences for squares and rectangles (LCD monitors, mobile phones, tablets, and even TVs, to name a few), a round watch provides a new canvas. Rick Hoobler, a user interface designer for Moto 360, and I have talked about how it provides fresh experiences in a few ways:

  • A smooth, sweeping experience for your eye. Rectangular form factors typically require left alignment to look good according to traditional design principles. But circular screens create a smooth, race-track like behavior that is soothing to the eye. There is no starting or stopping point. It’s fluid and elegant.
  • It’s a delight to experience new technology in a classic form factor. The blend of old and new create a deeply satisfying aesthetic. The classic round shape meets brand new technology to create a design duality that feels original without trying too hard. Tableware, plates, glasses, handles—these are all classic round shapes. When we bring this to the watch, you can see things like someone’s photo that fills up the beautiful, locket-like round shape or maps with solid fields of color in a round compass shape.
  • The circle is a natural shape for tracking progress. From a design perspective, it is a very compelling experience for users to be able to use sleek progress meters that track all around the edge. You can see all-day progress, instead of a tiny standard-looking chart. The heart rate monitor, for instance, easily curves in a circular shape to show how fast your heart is beating.

 

Hear Rick share more about what it’s like creating experiences in a round space, instead of a square one.


What else is new in software this week?

  • Hot off the presses is an update to Motorola Camera that brings you a remote shutter for Android Wear watches, so you can trigger a shot from your wrist. It also brings numerous performance improvements and bug fixes across Motorola products. We’ve now had over 1 billion shots captured by Moto G users and will continue to bring improvements to our customers!
  • Motorola Assist was updated with important bug fixes for Talk to Me and Drive Mode. FM Radio has been updated on Moto E and Moto G to provide lockscreen controls and to support playback to Bluetooth speakers.
  • Motorola Connect and the Motorola Connect Chrome extension have been updated to improve stability and support emoji (Chrome extension).

Hope you enjoy. Let us know what you think.

Posted by Lior Ron, Product

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