WATCH

Yes, Apple announced the much anticipated Apple Watch. Did you feel that? They just added another layer to Design. Haptic feedback. The added ability to feel interactions. As Designers we can now add this as another element to our designs.


Haptic interactions
With the new Apple Watch and its Taptic Engine we now have a intimate way to take advantage of these tactile sensations. You will now be able to design tactile sensation that’s recognizably different for each kind of interaction. So as an example lets look at walking directions. Utilizing the Taptic Engine when prompted to turn left or right you will feel the sensation of that direction.

Audio and Haptic
As designers we will have the ability to combine the haptic feedback with subtle audio cues creating a new extension to experiences. With this comes challenges that we don’t normally have when creating normal apps for the phone. Yes, audio plays a big role in apps today, but we now have this unique harmony that can be created. The communication language is not just visual or audible, it’s now a sensation. That’s something new that has to be accounted for when creating these new Apple Watch experiences.

Personal and Intimate
Apple mentioned several times that this will be a Personal and Intimate experience. Leveraging the ability to make someone feel your interactions is something that will elevate the experience, but how much will be to much? It’s rather similar to notifications today, to many they will be ignored. It will be exciting to see how designers plan on leveraging this new dimension.

Force Touch
Besides the Tapic Engine that produces the vibration sensations the Apple Watch also has whats called Force Touch. The screen will be able to sense differences in pressure. This adds a new layer of touch interactions that we haven’t see yet. The device will be able to detect a tap vs. a press. Since the screen is much smaller the normal gestures won’t be easily executed. This Force Touch will give a layer of interaction and depth to applications. Time will tell how useful this new pressure interaction will be. It does beg the question, when will we see Force Touch on the larger devices?

See and feel
Overall this new device brings a wealth of new interaction models to explore. No matter if it’s a consumer application or even an enterprise app, these new interactions will push the boundaries of interaction design. The ability to have someone actually feel the experience will be quite powerful.

I am the Director of User Experience / Research & Development at Universal Mind — A Digital Solutions Agency. You can follow me on twitter at @merhl.