Watch out

I bought my Apple Watch last July with two main use cases in mind. Firstly as a yachtsman I thought it would be very handy to have vital information as speed and course over ground literally at hand. Secondly right now while on a skiing holiday it can be quite a hustle to grab the mobile, when receiving calls or messages, while underway on- or off-piste…

When I got the watch last summer my disappointment of the usability couldn’t hardly have been worse. Apps (not the ones already installed) took ages to start. The screen didn’t switch on every other time. There was no option to set the time the screen was on, if it finally did switch on. My favourite is that with the OS1 the alarm clock didn’t wake you up (a far-fetched use case for a watch I must admit ;-). With OS2 it does but still no options in terms of ringtone etc. available. All other flaws (I didn’t mention all of them since it would be going beyond the scope of this post) didn’t significantly improve meanwhile.

To cut a long story short for a renowned user centric company this piece of technology is quite shameful. My original uses cases proved to be not practical neither on water nor snow. Even the pulse is easier to measure with my mechanical and analog watch, to which I finally switched back.

What can we learn from this episode?

1.) If you don’t have proper use cases for a technical innovation let it be

2.) Implement your use cases in a sound and user centric way

3.) If your original uses cases prove to be not technically feasible (as Apple apparently had sophisticated medical ambitions like blood pressure measuring and more) don’t try to find awkward substitutes (especially if implemented unsoundly)

What do you think?