How Are Smartwatches Impacting Website Design?
Whether you remember website design before the age of smartphones and tablets or not, the change that it brought has shaped how we create impactful, user-friendly sites as more and more web traffic shifts to mobile devices.
However, now a new device is also changing how we consume the internet – the smart watch. While they may hardly even be on your radar personally, a recent study in the US found that one in six adults now wear one, according to Mighty Gadget. Because of size and usability, browsing the web is not their primary function – rather serving as a platform for push notification and as a health/performance monitor, however, give someone a screen and of course they’ll soon try to use it to go online. But is this a good enough reason for us to cater web design specifically to smart watches?
Some businesses are already seeing this happen, and are asking web designers to create a stripped back version of their site which works within the confines of a smartwatches usability to make the most of this opportunity. However, the path to this is not quite the same as creating a similar user-friendly site for a smartphone, for example, as this screen is so small that simply changing resolution will cause text to become blurred and buttons too small to press accurately.
The trick, it seems, to designing for a smartwatch is to strip back artifice and rethink how a user would interact with a site on this device. It’s more likely to be glanced at then used in the same static setting a smartphone would be, so more intuitive movements, such as swiping and voice control, over buttons, could become more prevalent if a desire to produce watch-friendly websites grows.
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