It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas….Thoughts on the Apple Watch on the Eve of Its Release

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I’m not sure what fuels my desire to be one of those people that buys every new device on the market despite the fact that I have a basket full of unused Fitbits and Fuelbands, and don’t get me started on talking about why I need every single new version of the iPhone, iPad, and iPad Mini. Why is that? What drives me to want all my devices lined up next to one another from smallest to largest in all the shades of the coveted Apple Gold?

As a User Experience professional I spend a lot of time thinking about why someone would use one device for a specific purpose versus another. When we design for mobile devices we frequently have to examine what tasks a user would do on one device versus the other. With those thoughts we can help determine what tasks should be made available on specific devices based on what they user is trying to accomplish.

I was completely happy, OK, EUPHORIC, with my iPad Air. Its retina display and the intimacy of it make me sometimes prefer watching TV on that form factor to watching it on my 50-inch Sony. So why did I feel the need to figure out what I’d do with an iPad Mini? I quickly found out that its small size made it more portable than the Air and I found myself toting that around to show my family a funny video on Vine, or a celebrity posting on Instagram. I easily made excuses and justifications for the necessity of both devices in my life, but then what about my must-have-immediately purchase of the iPhone 6+? Here I am wanting smaller on my iPad for its portability and now wanting larger on my iPhone to see better graphics. It doesn’t make sense.

It turns out the iPhone 6+ made me want to tote that around more since it could do everything, including make calls. But its small size made me now want to grab the Air for the real estate it presented while watching videos. It turns out that my iPhone 6+ INVALIDATED my iPad Mini! Doesn’t the concept of this seem odd in a world where every Apple device seems to have its specific role and purpose in the Apple Universe somewhat like movie stars in the latest Avengers movie?

So the obvious next question is - what is the purpose of this new Apple Watch? And how will I use it? Typically, I throw caution (and dollars) to the wind just for the pure pleasure of owning the latest device and wait to see how my mind adopts use of it. It’s a fascinating process that typically occurs naturally. And I look up a couple of months from now and say to myself “My life would be pointless without [Insert Latest Apple Product]."

However, I feel somewhat different with the coming of the watch. I quickly made one of those coveted 10-minute Apple Watch demo appointments at the Apple Store to see if I could begin to plan for how this new device was going to take over my life. Apple claims this device is going to be more personal and intimate than ever. But I can’t help but wonder how intimate my very-public first wrist phone conversation is going to be. So maybe phone conversations are…out? I also determined that I couldn’t even figure out how to quickly get to the time. So maybe I’d leave the time keeping to my car for now? Then there was the fact that there wasn’t a browser on the watch. Am I the only person that figured this would be a no-brainer and am shocked there isn’t a Safari app? Does Apple assume Siri can find out anything I need to know? I’m not sure about you, but Siri and I don’t really get along all that well. Sometimes she doesn’t understand what I’m saying; other times it appears as if she doesn’t know what to do with what I’m saying. Then, while examining the notifications, I quickly realized that I’d have to change my definition of the word IMPORTANT. No longer can I assume that every single email is important. I would have to be very specific about who fits into that VIP listing and enable notifications for that group.

As you can see, I’ve found myself in a serious conundrum. Therefore, I’ve decided to sit back, although I’ll admit not very calmly, and wait for UPS to deliver the watch and take a let’s-see-what-happens approach. The idea doesn’t really fill me with a lot of warm and fuzzies but what other options do I have? Hopefully 6 months from now I’ll be writing to you about how the existence of the watch has changed my life for the better. We will have to wait and see.

Post Date: 4/27/2015

default blog image Allanna Harris

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