Role Lead Designer
Google announced a new version of the Android OS designed specifically for smart watches. Shortly after, Google's Wear team comissioned the Ustwo design team to create collections of smartwatch faces which were planned to be released at the same time as the first Android wearable devices were released into the consumer market. Serving as Senior Product Designer, I co-led a team of designers in creating authentically digital smart watch face collections that worked to reimagine watchface style and take advantage of the platform's array of data integration capabilities.
20 Unique Watchfaces
Our team was issued unreleased Android Smartwatch devices and our engineering team was granted access to the necessary code base, beyond that we were essentially given an open brief to create stylish smart watch faces that take advantage of this (at the time) new uncharted medium. To best understand the challenge afoot, our team embedded within the larger Google Wear team based in Mountain View, CA and conducted informal interviews with key team members to align on vision and expectations. Our team of 4 designers then returned to New York, and sketched a wide variety of conceptual designs while at the same time drafting a series of guiding design principles that we would later use to evaluate the effectiveness of each smart watch face design the team created.
Waves SmartWatch Face
I designed the Waves smartwatch face shown above. This is an example of a basic watch face from the first collection our team designed and released. This collection was focused on reimagining stylish ways in which one can read time on a smartwatch face. This design changes color minute by minute as each of the quadrants within the grid that spans the background of the face animates to reveal the next color in succession. As you may notice, for each watch face we designed - our team was also required to account for animation logic and various states of the design.
Zodiac SmartWatch Face
Eduardo Oliveira, a younger designer on our team quickly rose to being one of the best watch face designers on our team. He created the 'Zodiac' smartwatch face shown above. This is an example of a data integrated watch face from the second collection of watch faces our team designed and released. The Zodiac design elegantly displays both the current timezone the user is recognized to be in, and another timezone time of the users choosing.
Launch & Knowledge Sharing
Below you'll notice a screen capture from Google's online design guidelines. In addition to releasing watchface collections of our own, our team was charged with documenting our design and development processes and assisting the developer relations team at Google in authoring design guidelines for smartwatch face design which ultimately came to include the guiding design principles our team created to evaluate the successfulness of each face design. In addition, our engineering team was authorized to share their codebase and other instructional material for third party developers to access. Lastly, and arguably my favorite part of this project was the creation of the teaser video below.
This was an exciting project to take on as it required our team to design for emerging tech, and become thought leaders ourselves. Shortly after this project I stepped away from my role at Ustwo ready to pursue other product design initiatives outside the studio. Several key team members continued to create watchfaces - all of which, including the aforementioned collections have been recognized and celebrated by industry professionals and users alike. Check out the reactions below.
Andrew Zellinger, Shaun Tollerton, Eduardo Kerr - Oliveira, Tob Siripak, Rimar Vilasenor
Mitch Todd, Topher Jaconson, Vasiliy Kulakov
© 2019 Andrew Zellinger