Slick UI - but what about the learning curve

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by samcraig, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. samcraig, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015

    samcraig macrumors P6

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    #1
    I wrote this on another thread, but it makes sense to have a thread here about the UI.

    Based on the videos, I think the UI is pretty slick - wouldn't expect otherwise from Apple. However in the demo videos, it seems to be "overly" complicated - but perhaps that just at first glance and it's easy to adapt to.

    I've been using an Android Wear device and find it pretty simple navigate.

    Perhaps Apple's watch has a more powerful OS, but between the native "apps" and what developers can/will do - it seams like a decent learning curve. I am sure one can get used to it - like with everything. But it might turn some people off at the get-go.

    Based on this, I think Apple might have also misjudged this "10 second" glance comment. Because it could take half that time to simply get to the menu/screen you want within an app (for some things)

    Overall, to me, it appears that the Apple watch has more to fiddle/play with vs the Android Wear I have been using. Both good and bad I think - at least from my perspective who really was only interested in a smart watch for simple notifications.

    ETA: Also - do you have to launch apps by touching them - or can you use Siri?
     
  2. ninethirty macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I found the UI to be the opposite of slick, actually, which is a disturbing trend for Apple these days. Yosemite and iOS8 are one thing, but outside of the home screen (which admittedly, does seem fun), the design seems inconsistent, and childish.

    I can't believe I'm going to say this, but Android Wear from a UI perspective is much nicer.

    I don't understand people giving all the love they are for this watch. For me, this is a pretty underwhelming product from Apple. I'm not predicting it won't sell well, I know it will, but then again so do Samsung phones, and I've never understood that either.

     
  3. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #3
    Oh I agree. By slick I just mean fluid and how you can move things around and it looks very seamless.

    But there are so many navigation options that I think it could get confusing. You have the crown that spins, the button on the side, you have swipes in all directions, you have length of presses and different pressure taps.

    I like Android Wear's simplicity - as I stated before, for me - less is more. I have my phone to do "complicated" things or for more information/tasks. My watch is for the time and notifications. That is MY use case - which I am clearly stating because I know that is not ALL use cases.
     
  4. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #4
    Guess which one of the 500 icons with no names I want to find could turn into a fun game :)
     
  5. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #5
    That too - which is why I asked if you can launch apps via Siri. On Android Wear, you can open any app via voice.
     
  6. Technodynamic macrumors 6502

    Technodynamic

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    #6
    A good leader will say "Don't come to me with problems, come to me with solutions". How would you improve the UI to make the Apple watch experience a better one for the average consumer?
     
  7. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #7
    For me the answer is simplicity. As I said above - seems like many different ways to interact with the device. That can be good in some respects - but also create confusion as to what gesture/maneuver do you use here or there
     
  8. ninethirty macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Thanks Steve Jobs! Look, I work in UX for a living, and have a background in visual design. My entire life I've preferred Apple products because they were beautiful (hardware and software) and designed to be intuitive/easy to use. That level of refinement that only Apple had ever applied is no longer there. Android has caught up in ease of use, especially with Material Design, and speaking of which, it's also more beautiful too. The typography is great, the simplicity is there, but most of all, the design is consistent. This move that Apple made to a flat design was welcome in theory, but horribly inconsistent in it's application. On Yosemite and iOS you've got transparency where it doesn't add anything, irritating contrast (thin black text on top of transparency), and poorly designed iconography, and then on the watch you've not got this somewhat flat design, but layered elements now, with drop shadows, and hardly anything at all takes advantage of the entire width of the screen, which is already small as it is. It doesn't feel like iOS or Yosemite, whereas Google Wear FEELS like Google's other design elements. It's familiar. In terms of features, ok, it adds a few small conveniences to my life, but for $350-$1000 based on personal preference. It's far from worth it.

    I have no doubt that it'll sell well, but for someone who holds Apple to a higher standard that they used to define, it falls short for me.


     
  9. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #9
    Again - same opinion here. I think it will sell well. At least the base model(s).
     
  10. Technodynamic macrumors 6502

    Technodynamic

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    #10
    Like you I come from a 17 year career as a front end web designer, mobile with skills in prototyping/photoshop/layout.

    I am open to Apple's new OS. It is different. They have packed a lot into the watch and erally have 2 buttons and a dial on the side. With Gen one, I am sure there us room for improvement, but I like the bold move to create a new OS for this device.

    Things that will not be obvious for the less than average tech people are tings like upward swipe to get at your frequent cards, double tap lower button for apple pay, etc. They'll click each button once for awhile.

    Everything has it's learning curve. Going from PC to Mac was an adjustment for awhile.

    I say give it a chance. Once we actually use it it for a few days, we'll know and Apple will no doubt be taking notes on future OS updates to fix quirks. Notice the frequent contacts changes a lot since the September demo? I really like the new one with the single photo int he middle and the initials on the outside.
     
  11. kmj2318 macrumors 68000

    kmj2318

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    #11
    I don't think the interface is complicated. Most actions are similar to the iPhone. Tap an icon to go to the app, push the crown to get back home, push it to center the home screen (like pressing the home button to get to the first page). The notification gesture it's the same. Swiping between pages inside apps is obvious for iPhone users. The only new things I can think of are the shortcut to contracts, and swiping up to glances. And I don't think it'll take log for people to understand the contacts shortcut. They'll press it to see what it does, and the contacts will come up, anyone can learn that. The only complicated thing is glances.
     
  12. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #12

    Also factor in length of presses and also how hard to press. It can get complicated quickly
     
  13. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #13
    Where else is force touch used beside switching watch faces?
     
  14. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #14
    I don't know - I haven't used the watch. But if they have that feature, I would imagine it's used for more than just changing watch faces.
     
  15. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #15
    So nobody has used this device but have already determined its too complicated based on screen shots or videos or tweets from people who got to spend like 10 minutes or less with it. And of course everyone is going to have 500 apps on their watch and will be constantly fumbling around looking for an app because of course the watch doesn't have things like glances and notifications. Sheesh. :rolleyes:

    ----------

    This. Of course there's going to be a learning curve with something new. Just like getting used to the new keyboard and trackpad on the MacBook. If I gave someone who had never used an iOS device before an iPhone would they instinctively know double tapping the home button brings up the app switcher? Would they know a long press on the home button activates Siri? Would they know that a light double tap moves the screen down? Would they know that you press the sleep/wake button and the home button to take a screenshot? Of course all these things seem intuitive now because we've been using iOS devices for 7 years. If someone uses the watch for a few weeks or a month and are still confused then Apple has a problem.
     
  16. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #16
    You know you can arrange the apps any way you like right? I'm going to put my most commonly used apps in the center circle and work my way out.
     
  17. virginblue4, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015

    virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

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    #17

    I don't really think it matters that you work in UX for a living. So do the team at Apple!

    I completely disagree with your post. I think that it is a very simple user interface, well designed. I love the transparency, I love the fonts and I love the home screen. It's perfectly suited for the Apple Watch.

    Obviously this is all down to personal preference, but I have to question your taste if you feel android wear has anything over Apple Watch. Now, that's what I call a poor implementation.

    But again, that's your opinion which I respect.
     
  18. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #18
    By comparison, my learning curve for Android Wear was a few seconds. Sorry. I don't see it being that short for Apple Watch despite you trying to negate that assessment based on several videos posted. Never said there wouldn't be a learning curve either.
     
  19. afsnyder macrumors 65816

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    #19
    It's used to bring up a contextual menu. This can be found in music, calendar, messages, and all 3rd party apps that support it to name a few.

    ----------

    I agree with you as well. UX is subjective. What works for some may not work at all for others. In the case of this UX designer, it just doesn't work for him, which is understandable. The only thing that hasn't worked with me with Apple's design is the boring separator lines found in OS X iTunes & Photos apps but it's functional... just feels outdated.
     
  20. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #20
    Just wanted to add - that everyone is clearly entitled to their opinion. And if people can defend or talk about how they think the UI or anything else is great, the same must be true for those that disagree and have a differing opinion.

    Sheesh all you want.
     
  21. phantomsd macrumors 6502

    phantomsd

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    #21
    Will definitely be a new experience for people, Apple included. Give it some time.

    I remember back in 2007, it took me a solid week to figure out typing on a touch screen. Fast forward eight years... show someone on the street an iPhone or iPad and they'll know how it use it without hesitation... even kids... babies... CATS. :D
     
  22. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #22
    I'll form an opinion once actual reviews are out where people used it for longer than 10-15 minutes. If the reviews say it's too complicated then fair enough.
     
  23. ninethirty macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Question away. I question the taste of anyone who thinks the design style of iOS8 or Yosemite is refined and polished. Both are eye sores.

     
  24. ninethirty, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015

    ninethirty macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Good UX isn't subjective. It just is, as is bad. It's not like we design experiences and just hope for the best with the largest group of people. There are absolutely best practices to follow that have proven effective with people, or behaviors that are easily understood/adopted. UI on the other hand, acceptance of anyway, is subjective, but still, there are also best practices to follow here as well. Apple used to apply design styles to their work that were accepted and praised by the majority of the creative professionals that used their products. I can accept that some people are appreciative of what Apple's doing now with iOS or Yosemite, or even with the Watch UI, but you cannot deny the inconsistencies that exist now, where they didn't before. I wasn't a fan of the mild-medium skeuomorphic style that Scott Forstall and Steve Jobs were big fans of, but at least you could argue that that design style was applied consistently across software. That isn't the case anymore.

    And I'm too lazy to respond directly to the other guy, so who knows if he'll see this, but I referenced my being in UX because it's what I do for a living, so I feel I notice when it's well done, or done poorly. And as someone who's always been in awe of Apple's amazing attention to detail here, I feel it's much more lacking these days.

    As for the Android Wear/my lacking taste comment, believe me, it was hard to give this praise. I've owned every single iPhone that's ever been, and I've owned 4 different Android phones. I've hated every single one of them, but Material Design and the work Google has done with Google Now, has started to change my mind. I don't know enough about Wear enabled watches to say if they're doing a good job, experience wise, or not, but from a strictly visual perspective, the UI is much nicer than Apple's offering here. And not by a little.


     
  25. virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

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    #25
    Again, this is your own opinion though, personally I can't see how anyone can prefer the Android Wear UI, it looks horrible. We all have different opinions. Mine is that from what I've have seen, the OS seems consistent, fluid and intuitive. But that's me.
     

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