Many companies are now looking at expanding their digital business into smartwatches.
The fundamental challenge they are having is defining the smartwatch «role» in the overall proposition: how does it increase value and revenue? What features best fit the wearable environment? What’s the business case?
By now it’s common knowledge that smartwatch apps cannot be conceptualized simply as scaled-down versions of smartphone apps. What would be the point? You should add value leveraging the specifics of the wearable and not replicate the experience of a smartphone on a smaller scale.
But, despite the good intentions, when it gets right down to the nitty-gritty, brands often slip back into their comfort zone and continue looking at their smartwatch apps as stripped-down versions of their smartphone apps.
This not only adds little value, but easily creates frustration among users.
Well, let me propose a different perspective: when defining how to expand your digital offering into smartwatches, don’t start thinking about small apps anymore. Instead, start imagining a new set of quick and proactive interactions to add to your service.
After all, on a smartwatch, your services need to available immediately. You can’t expect users to search for the app, open it and go through the features and everything else, like they do with a smartphone.
In other words, don’t limit your vision, but think outside the app.
Smartwatches offer many new types of interactions: smart notifications, glances, watch-face interactive items and more. That’s where you can be proactive and deliver to users what they need before they ask for it, along with the opportunity for swift interactions.
I know what you’re thinking: how can that be done? Where to start?
Focus on these 3 aspects:
• CONTEXT OF USE. Look at the contexts of use for your service or product. Take the customer perspective and see how you can create and capture value depending on the context. You’ll notice that needs and expectations depend on users’ state of mind and what is happening around them. Now select just those needs you can better satisfy with the quick interactions of a smartwatch. You will be surprised to see how many you find. You can do this internally or - even better - including actual customers into the process so you can create a shared story around your smartwatch app.
• ACCESS POINTS. For each context, determine the best access point (better interaction point) among those provided by the smartwatch (smart notifications, glances or watch-face complications, etc.). Consider also proactive interactions. You’ll notice that opening the app will be the least frequent task in accessing your service.
• EXPERIENCE. Then conceive the right experience within those access points. Think of this also as a way to fill-in the gap experience between your digital and off-line offering (including external devices too).
As you can see, it’s not a matter of design here. It goes far deeper to the core of value proposition and business model. It is about giving the app context and personality awareness to ensure interaction is done in the right way and is relevant.
As apps are a step smarter compared to PC software, so services on a smartwatch need to be intelligent to create a more human, natural and instinctive relationship with the user.
So, even if these are called «apps», think of them in terms of quick interactions and then follow the user through each step of their day-to-day life.
To help you create the right smartwatch service concept for your business, at Emozionella we have created a specific consulting service: Emozionella Concept.
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