The Apple watch appeals to a limited demographic and does not incorporate any of the life-saving services that it promotes in its marketing campaigns. To broaden its appeal to a wider demographic, I created a new native Apple Watch safety dashboard for a more curated safety experience targeted directly to families and loved ones.





My Roles

  • UX & UI Designer

  • Design Researcher

  • Design Strategist


Many people do not yet see the Apple Watch as necessary or relevant to their lives. How can I re-position the Apple Watch’s native features to make it relevant for a wider demographic?

My Design Process


In this project, I proposed additional safety features to the native Apple Watch and iPhone experience to make the product relevant for every member of the family.

Final Interactive Prototype

Click Here



Defining the Problem


Total Watch Shipments, Statista 2017

The Apple Watch dominates the smart watch category

Market Share of Wearables, PWC Report 2016

But many do not see smart watches as relevant to their lives



Secondary Research


The Apple Watch positions itself as a safety device

In order to understand how the Apple watch positions itself as a brand, I looking into their marketing campaigns. While the messaging of the “Dear Apple” commercial was aspirational, most users didn’t find it useful for safety.

But its safety features are overly simplistic

After seeing that the Apple Watch markets itself as a lifesaving device, I surveyed its existing features and categorized its features. Its SOS function was overly-simplistic and does not address the various situations in which SOS could be relevant for different people.



Competitor Research


Apple’s competitors provide extensive native app experiences

Skagen, FitBit, and Jawbone all had very clear positions on how they approached their service offerings and provided an extensive native app experience that comes bundled with the watch. How could the Apple Watch become more targeted with their native app experience?


Skagen’s hybrid watch is meant to simplify the experience of owning a smart watch, while still maintaining the nostalgia of a traditional watch face. It includes some of the core features that people typically use like tracking steps, playing music, text vibration, and setting alarms.


FitBit is centered around fitness, and includes an extensive platform for tracking various data points related to you activity levels. One of its major weaknesses is that it doesn’t use the data to give users qualitative advice on what to do about their fitness goals.


Jawbone takes a more holistic approach to health by including sleep and food tracking in addition to activity tracking. The combination of these three data sources allows it to create qualitative insights that are personalized to each user and his or her lifestyle.



User Research


Interview people people who don’t have an Apple Watch

Since the goal of this project was to capture the market that does not yet see the Apple Watch as a relevant part of their lives I talked to people who don’t have an Apple Watch and asked them why they don’t want or need one. Here’s some of the feedback I got.

  • People fear tech overload

    Many interviewees didn’t want their phone strapped to their wrist. They wanted a little bit of separation considering that a lot of their free time is spent on their phones already. My additional safety features should address this issue by limiting how often a user needs to actively engage with the Apple Watch.

  • People think don’t think they would benefit from all of the features

    Most people only thought a few of the features would be useful. After asking them which ones, they mentioned Siri, step tracking, listening to music, and navigation. This might indicate that a lower tiered watch could be relevant for some who don’t want to pay for features they won’t use.

  • People think it is too expensive

    For some, their primary reason for not buying was the price point. When asked how much they would pay for it, most indicated a range of $90 to $150. This also indicates that a lower tier watch could capture a wider audience.

  • People do not think the fitness features are worth the cost

    Some mentioned fitness bands like a FitBit, and that it was more relevant for their needs and more affordable. They also mentioned losing interest in step tracking a few months in, which may indicate that fitness tracking is not strong enough of a selling point anymore.



Define Opportunity



  • Already dominates the smart watch market

  • Has the ability to integrate data with external apps, like the Apple Health app

  • Brand value is already strong


  • Early adoption is low

  • Not seen as a necessary device

  • People fear tech overload

  • Fitness bands exist at a lower price point


  • Does not appeal to a wide audience

  • High price point prevents it from being more widely adopted

  • People do not see the value it creates in their everyday lives


  • I identified the opportunities below

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User Personas


Develop a wider target audience and create new user personas

Since the Apple Watch targets a very specific demographic, I wanted to expand its reach to a wider audience. So I created personas outside of the Apple Watch’s typical user base.





Sketch out what features are relevant for each persona

I listed features that were the most relevant to each user group: young teens, parents, and the elderly.

For millenials, their needs were basic. Things like calling a car, or getting directions, or playing music. These could be included in a lower tier Apple Band.

For parents, knowing where their kids were at all times and being able to keep tabs on how Grandpa’s health is doing, were all incentives for them.

For grandparents, health monitoring could be used as a safety mechanism that also connects our mom and grandpa personas to each other.

This informed what I how I organized the information architecture of my new features.

User flow diagrams and paper prototyping

I then did quick wire frames of the user flow and started to understand how this proposal could be organized for each user group.


Listing and organizing proposed features

Proposed “Essential Features”

Essential features would be included in a lower-tier Apple Band. This proposal responds to some of the feedback I got from my user interviews: most people do not see a need for all of the features and want it to be more affordable.

Proposed “Safety Features”

Safety features would include partnerships with three relevant apps to create a curated safety experience for the Apple Watch. Location monitoring for the kids, health monitoring for the grandparents, and SOS for parents and the whole family.


App integrations specific to each member of the family

Creating a tiered Apple Watch experience

I also introduced a a mid-level Apple Band at a lower price point, that includes essential features for the kids or grandparents, like playing music, navigation, or voice activated calling. The limited features would enable a mid-level price point for the band, making it more accessible to a wider audience.

Rethinking Apple’s app integration

Apple’s health app receives data from various apps within its app store, which doesn’t allow for them to create a native app experience that is meaningful for its users. Part of this proposal was for Apple to form exclusive partnerships with health and safety apps, so that they could curate their native health app experience.



Journey Mapping


Analyzing feature proposals with a prospective journey map and generating more ideas

In order to find user experience gaps in my design proposal, I mapped out the user journey of my primary user persona, as if she were using my proposed features. After going through this process, it became clear that I had missed opportunities in many of the stages (shown below in blue). These opportunities would be integrated into the next iteration.

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Information Architecture


Organizing location monitoring, health monitoring, and SOS all under one dashboard for the entire family

With each of the different partnerships I proposed, I needed to find a way for all of the features to integrate into one cohesive dashboard for monitoring the entire family all at once. I used an information architecture diagram to understand how my features would be categorized.



Design Iterations


Working through main safety feature dashboard iterations and getting feedback

Since the safety features dashboard is where users control their Apple Watch safety experience, I got feedback from users to finalize the dashboard design before moving on to pages deeper within the app. I did a preliminary round of user testing and showed them 4 different iterations of the main dashboard.

  • Iteration 1 shows a brief summary of status of each family member

  • Iteration 2 is a dashboard with a more extensive summary if each family member

  • Iteration 3 prioritizes location gives users an easy way to access other safety features

  • Iteration 4 prioritizes settings and lets notifications play a dominant role

All interviews were recorded and documented so that I could go back and study behaviors and reactions.

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Interactive Prototype Feedback


Testing the interface and getting feedback

I built an interactive prototype and told users about the scenario in which they would use this. I asked them to complete 2 tasks. I noted each user’s main challenges with the interface and revised the wireframes accordingly.


User Testing Task 1

Change Taylor’s schedule on Monday in the location monitoring feature.


Task 2 User Task

Change your notification settings for Grandma’s heart rate and falls.



High Fidelity Wireframes


Safety Feature 1 - Location Monitoring for Children

The first safety feature incorporates location monitoring for children. The iPhone interface allows parents to set an estimated time frame for when their kids should be in specific place. If their location throughout the day is drastically different than what is expected, parents are notified through the Apple Watch.

The various scenarios of this feature would play out like this:


Safety Feature 2 - Health Monitoring for Grandparents

The second safety feature addresses aging in place for the aging baby boomer population. Monitoring grandparents would be enabled by an existing service that Philips Lifeline provides. This service sends emergency care providers to the elderly when a fall is detected or an SOS alert is pressed. In this example, Mom can indicate a range for Grandma’s heart beat and if it deviates significantly, emergency care providers will be sent to her house and Mom will be notified.

The various scenarios of this feature would play out like this:


Safety Feature 3 - SOS for the Whole Family

The last safety feature allows users to opt into notifying friends or family when they feel like they are in danger. When the user sends out an SOS call, the app would update friends and family with their location.



Final Interactive Prototype


Final interactive prototype with design changes from user feedback

After getting feedback from users, revised the interactive prototype. To see the final prototype, click here.





Less is more sometimes

Some app experiences are meant to fade into the background, especially when it is about safety or health. People don’t want to think about it unless they need to.

Work with existing information architecture

Since Apple has an established design language, interactions that were similar to the existing UI made it easier for users to quickly understand.

The user journey map should always be revisited

Thinking through use-case scenarios and user journeys after some of the initial product had been designed was useful for understanding where gaps are in the design proposal.