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I've designed for the desktop, tablet and mobile. But have no experience designing for smartwatches.

What are the considerations I should be making when designing for smartwatches?

e.g. users can use only 1 hand and 1 finger when using smartwatches, so gestures like pinch are not really doable.

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The same design considerations apply to smart watches/wearables as it does to other devices/viewports.

You need to take into account of physical limitations (i.e. screen size) and the information that need to be displayed (and therefore how the user will interact with it) but most importantly what the actual problem that needs to be solved for the user (i.e. will a smart watch actually be useful for that particular use case?).

Not surprisingly Apple has some guidelines that you can refer to and these are some of the ones listed on the getting started page:

  • Apple Watch is designed to be worn, so the UI is attuned to wearers and gives them an experience that’s lightweight, responsive, and highly personal.
  • People frequently use a watchOS app’s related experiences — such as complications, notifications, and Siri interactions — more than they use the app itself.
  • Creating a great watchOS experience means designing both the app and the quick, information-rich elements that let people access your content in ways that work for them.

No doubt Samsung and other companies probably has some guidelines too.

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