The growth of wearable technology has resulted in an increase in the development of wearable apps. However, developing a wearable app can be a costly undertaking. A wrong turn in development can lead to a subpar user experience, potentially dooming your app before it even gets off the ground.
Here are the all-too-common mistakes that members of Forbes Technology Council urge steering clear of, so leaders can keep their projects on budget and headed for success.
It's essential to not dismiss design for cross-platform synchronization. An example is a user who owns Google Pixel earbuds and a Mac. Enabling cross-platform synch allows users to use both products together to achieve a goal even though they are from different vendors. Also, the surface area size should not be neglected for easy hand and eye navigation and control. Otherwise, it slows down product adoption. - Tobi Otokiti, ProductDive
Wearable devices can significantly benefit from having on-device machine learning technology. Open initiatives like TinyML are already supported by a significant number of chip manufacturers. It allows to build always-on, low-power and low-cost sensors and utilizes 99% of the signal data that was discarded by devices before. - Vitaly Kleban, Everynet
Wearable devices can have reduced battery life when connected to multiple apps, so it is crucial to optimize power consumption in your app to ensure the device can last a full day or more. A poorly optimized wearable app can result in frustrated users. - Tracy Levine, SonKsuru
Developers must optimize for the unique constraints of wearable devices to avoid costly mistakes. Wearable devices have limited screens, battery and processing power, so failing to account for these in in-app designs leads to a poor user experience and app failure. Consider unique limitations and designs for a seamless, efficient and user-friendly experience. - Imane Adel, Paymob
Wearable tech has the same exposure to vulnerabilities and security issues. At the same time, wearable tech can help control experiences and add to increased convenience. One costly mistake to avoid would be not to prioritize securing the wearable app experience from the get-go. Maybe it's credentials or secure data transfer, but the security and trust aspects of the wearables should be paramount. - Supreeth Rao, Theom, Inc
The biggest mistake is to avoid building an app just because you can. Done right, pairing an app with a wearable can enhance the user experience, reduce abandonment and create long-term customer value. Too often, however, companies forget about the consumer. When developing a new app, we judge every feature by asking the question, "how will this help you get more value from our tech?" - Frank McGillin, The Clinic By Cleveland Clinic
Wearable devices read vital data that are valuable personal data we would not want to be compromised. However, when developing convenience integrations, we might be not aware of privacy breaches. For example, vital data being anonymously stored in the app does not pose a threat by itself, but when being released to a named social media account, it could even become a life-threatening exposure. - Aleks Farseev, SoMin.ai
A crucial mistake is not remembering that a wearable app is not the same as a mobile app. The whole feature set has to fit into a small smartwatch screen, so adding too many features will definitely tire the user up with all the scrolling and information. It's important to keep it simple enough for the wearable app to be actually convenient and not overloaded. - Yuriy Berdnikov, Perpetio
When developing a wearable app, it's essential to prioritize user experience (UX) in order to avoid costly mistakes. This means paying close attention to design, navigation and overall usability. If the app is difficult to use or understand, users are less likely to continue using it, which can lead to a lack of engagement, poor user retention and ultimately, a decrease in revenue. - David Bitton, DoorLoop
It's extremely costly to add features to a wearable app that no one will use. The number of use cases for wearable apps is deceptively small because so much is possible, but so little is useful. Focus on good notifications, quick actions and one-button behaviors that can help your users, and leave multi-step processes to a larger screen. - Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket
Wearable apps must add something unique, rather than simply copying what their related mobile app does. To do this, it's important to decide what features are most essential and to focus on creating those well; a few quality features will always be more effective than many mediocre ones. Such a "less is more" approach results in great user experience and top-notch efficiency. - Pavel Orlov, Innowise Group
Security should be top of mind! Doesn't matter if it's your bank account or your personal wellness. The amount of data you plug into any digital device should be of concern when considering an app! Most of society is blind to the amount of data collected. In the end, integrity from the developers and the company matter! - Kevin Huber, IT Outlet
Simplicity is key, so don’t overload it with features and design. The app lives in a device with a small screen (typically a smartwatch) so make sure your developers remember that and the inherent differences people will have in interacting with it. On a similar note, remember the differences in when people use these apps as it’s typically a quick glance down while on the move. - Jordan Yallen, MetaTope
The more complex a wearable product is, the more your application should be mindful of what information users need to input. This happens especially in fitness and lifestyle industries, where users have a lot of obligatory fields to fill in. Ideally, users should be able to access the application through flexible multimodal interaction and opt out of giving a company personal info. - Jacob Mathison, Mathison Projects Inc.
One of the mistakes is leaving the data exchange mechanism as it is, with default parameters. It affects both the amount of data that can be sent, may affect the battery life of the devices and the range of communication. Optimization in this field may boost the experience of the end user. - Przemek Szleter, DAC.digital