In 2015, Fossil Group saw that traditional watch sales were in rapid decline and there was an opportunity to jumpstart the category by integrating smart technology, which resulted in a new category: the Hybrid Smartwatch.
By 2016, the wearable market was continuing to change and Fossil Group saw an opportunity to take the app design—that was inherited from a creative agency—and design a new utility app from the ground up to best meet its consumer’s needs. For the new design we implemented a new process, conducted user testing, and identified challenges and desired outcomes to go live with.
- Enhance user experience of an inherited app design based on user testing
- Create a channel for revenue through data-driven testing, implementation, and execution
- Create an opportunity for brand-to-consumer engagement
- Focusing on simple design implementations to reduce the learning curve of the Hybrid Smartwatch
After gathering data and insights from internal and brand stakeholders, the team began brainstorming, testing, and designing from scratch to create a proven, well–informed design. We followed a set of guiding principles:
- Create streamlined experience
- Simplify the experience and interface
- Incorporate visual and experiential moments
- Adopting intuitive mobile interactions without compromising creativity
- Onboarding users well, while still providing discoverable moments
- Calling key Hybrid Smartwatch features to the forefront
- Create a well–branded that has scalable bones
- Future–proofing the design to compliment the longevity of the hardware
My main compadres were Josh Lee—who worked alongside me to create, test, and document the UX—and Marie Libres—who inherited the framework to design, iterate, and apply the UI. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to hear more about my design process for this project.
The New Q
We launched a new Fossil Q in the fall of 2017, bringing a new branded experience to customers.
The team works with nearly 15 brands to create utility apps for their Hybrid Smartwatch platform. Although the apps serve the same purpose, it is important for us to offer a branded experience that doesn’t sacrifice the brand’s unique identities in the app experience. With this redesigned app, we identified key areas for brands to customize to bring their app to life without putting functionality in harm’s way.
Part of that requirement led to the creation of a home screen, which was not only highly brandable, but also called to the forefront important information about user’s devices and accounts.
Earlier in the year we opened up Hybrid Smartwatches to users to change the button assignments, but the team found that it was hard to remember button assignments and was a tap-too-far away.
For the new Fossil Q, we designed the home screen so that when a user launched the app they’d be reminded of their button assignment. Although it can be seen as annoying, the hope is that it will instill habitual recognition to help users assimilate the product into their daily routines.
The original design for Notifications was confusing and cumbersome. We challenged the old way of thinking and asked questions like:
- Are users assigning numbers to users or users to numbers?
- Should we limit how many notifications users can set to reduce self-imposed complexity or allow it to be limitless?
- Should we reserve important numbers for consistent operations (i.e. Texts always point hands to 12 on the watch face)?
- Are notifications better understood when the app experience mirrors the hardware functionality?
We conducted A/B and user testing to inform solutions to these challenges, which resulted in providing users two paths to achieve the same outcome. The hope is that large scale usage will provide data points to inform the best path.
The last area major area that we spent time on was the onboarding experience. Because it was a new app launching before the holidays we greatly considered both new and existing users. We wanted to provide tour points for critical elements of the app while still leaving room for discoverable opportunities that bring users deslight when they come across them. The solution was to give users a way to explore the app and learn about the benefits of having a Hybrid Smartwatch. This also helped users understand the purpose of the app and not download and uninstall the app out of frustration of not knowing that the app requires a device to be used.
Truthfully I could write an essay containing the details of the influences, process, and outcome of the redesign. If you want to know more, take me out for coffee.
The Fruit Of Our Labor
We’re still digging in and uncovering what our effect our work has had on our users. Check back later!
Questions? Contact me or see it for yourself (Google | Apple).