Mitch Maiman’s article for Design News discusses the 5 Challenges in Wearable Product Design You Can’t Afford to Forget. Mitch details several aspects a product designer must consider when developing a wearable product design. The process requires a different routine than what is commonly used.
“Because of the increasing ubiquity of wearable technology, it would be easy to think that design of wearable devices is routine and involves common design and engineering knowledge. Having been involved in the creation of wearable devices for more than 20 years, I can attest to lessons learned that are broadly applicable to the gamut of wearables … consumer, commercial, or industrial. Missed efforts in development will be remembered once the devices are used in the field.”
The article goes on to explain the five challenges to remember. The first challenge he discusses is impact resistance.
“A wrist-mounted device is going to get smacked into hard surfaces on a regular basis. Just look at what happens to a watch face if it is not designed with a sapphire crystal. Take a look at an “everyday” watch with a standard glass crystal and you will notice how beat up the surface gets in as little as a year.”
Other challenges he discusses include sealing, ergonomics, power management, and heat. Even though wearable product design can be a challenging process, when developers get it right the technology becomes easily adopted by users.
“Overall, wearable tech devices are here to stay. Products like those from Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, and others have established a solid foothold and use cases in sports-related applications. Others will follow.”