Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Q&A with David Pascual, Winner of the Moto 360 Design Face-Off

No Comments

Earlier this year, thousands of you participated in our Moto 360 Design Face-Off, a competition in which users submitted their ideas for watch face designs and then voted on their winner. The talented victor, David Pascual, won a Moto 360 and the chance for his design to be officially included on the watch.

The winning watch face, along with four additional new watch faces, is available to all Moto 360 owners through an update on the Motorola Connect app. Also available with this new update is the ability to create your own custom watch face, selecting everything from the background image to the style of the tick marks and watch hands.

We sat down with David to chat more about the nuances of his design, how he came up with the idea, and what advice he has for other Moto 360 designers.

David Pascual (Photo Credit: Maro Hagopian)

What do you do for a living?
I am the Director of Web Content Development for SiriusXM Satellite Radio. I’ve been at SiriusXM for roughly seven years working on just about everything that touches our site. Our service has an incredibly wide variety of content and it makes for a consistently challenging and fun job.

I’m also a student at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business working on obtaining an MBA. I’m focusing on entrepreneurship and marketing, two areas I’ve long been interested in. This contest actually validated one of the reasons I elected to go to Georgetown—the close supportive nature of the students. During the voting period, I posted my design to a class Facebook page and received overwhelming support. I’ve been stopped many times by students asking if I’m “the watch guy” and to let me know they liked and voted for my design.

What inspired the design you submitted to the contest?

I started following Moto 360 ever since the original announcement in March. I think that, like so many people, I loved that the form was being focused on as much as function. For many guys, a watch is essentially the primary—perhaps only—piece of “jewelry” that they wear. With that in mind, I wanted to create a face that followed classic design cues and would look good on an analog watch. Then I wanted to enhance it with the functionality that digital enables. For me, the biggest opportunity was the integration of a glance-able calendar. This really pushed the final design that has essential markings along with a prominent calendar ring.

I was pretty excited to create a design that I thought fulfilled that simple yet useful objective. Still, I didn’t imagine it would go on to be in the top 10, let alone win. There were a ton of great designs, so it was particularly rewarding to see so many people seem to share the vision I had of a watch face.

Were their any particular experiences that either led to you design or that had an impact on you as a designer as a whole?

At work, we spend a lot of time thinking about who or why someone might use or consume a piece of content, and this really drives design and development decisions. This principle greatly applied here, and I spent a lot of time considering what makes for a successful watch. One of my conclusions was it needed to retain the ability to be usable at a glance above all else. Everything on the face is designed to be simple enough to read within a few seconds.

What nuances are there to your watch face that might not be immediately apparent?
Probably the calendar ring. It is actually two rings sandwiched together. There’s an inside and outside ring for AM and PM event indicators. If the inside ring has a filled region from 4-5, this means you have a 4am-5am appointment. Conversely, if there were an outside ring shaded from 4-5, it would mean you have a 4pm-5pm appointment.

You’re a Moto 360 user and also a designer of a watch face interface. What do you think are important considerations when creating watch faces that people can choose from?

I think it’s really important to consider what the objective is before starting the actual design. Why is it people would want to use your face? I’ve always found it’s easier to create a successful design—whether it be a web page, app, design face, etc.—if you can clearly state what the definition of success is.

Do you feel there was anything different about creating a round design instead of a rectangular one?
Actually designing a round face felt natural since I’ve only ever owned watches with round faces. It was a nice departure from rectangles, which is the shape of virtually everything else I work on.

David with the Moto 360 team at Google I/O

Did you learn anything from working with Motorola to bring the watch face to life?

The Motorola team did all the real work to take my design concept to an executable face [Editor’s note: We really just helped!]. I included a few things that weren’t yet possible in Android Wear, so they helped iron those issues out. They also helped add some finishing so the display would be optimized for the number of pixels on the Moto 360. It was awesome seeing their expertise help translate a concept into a finalized face.

Any advice for other designers and developers creating app experiences for Moto 360?

I think the best piece of advice is to get a Moto 360 and really see how and when you use the watch. It will help clarify both face design and app opportunities. One of my favorite apps, for example, is a tip calculator. It’s perfect in the moment application because the result is immediate and inputs are minimal. I’m sure many other situations exist where having a ready display on your wrist can remove the need for getting out and using your phone to complete a task.

Now that you’ve used the watch for a while is there anything you would have designed differently? Any plans for future designs?

I’m pretty happy with how the designed turned out. I do have a better understanding of what’s possible, so future designs would be slightly different with those parameters in mind. I’ve already started working on a few additional faces actually. Free time is a bit short at the moment so I’m hoping to finish them up in December after the school term ends. In the meantime I’ll keep downloading every face I can get my hands on. It’s been a lot of fun to see what others come up with. I’d like to thank everyone again who voted for my design. It was fun to create and submit to the contest and overwhelming to see the support it received. Thank you!

Posted by Noelle Chun, Social Media

Leave a Reply

Share

Please