21 Mar 2014, 17:35

Samsung Gear - how to fail at UX

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Samsung Gear - how to fail at UX

These devices look interesting, and I’m very excited about smart wearables shipping with built-in heart rate monitors. However, it looks like Samsung has totally failed on the UX front. These things look incredibly cumbersome to interact with.

Specifically, in clip of setting the wallpaper, when the wallpaper is selected, why are they returning the user to the wallpaper selection screen, as opposed to going straight back to the home screen?

How many new gestures are we going to need to learn to change the wallpaper?

Viewing a text message requires the user to open up the notification, instead of delivering the content in the notification view, and presenting actions there. This means that you need two taps to start recording a response.

In the S-Voice demo, that’s about the most verbose voice interaction I’ve seen. The amount of back-and-forth required to send a text message is obnoxious. You have to issue a ‘send’ command to actually send out the message. Why are they making status messages look like text messages from the person you’re trying to communicate with?

The Fit’s screen is facing the wrong direction. Good luck reading it. You’d need to hold your arm straight out to not see the thing at a funny angle.

I’m certainly excited about the future of wearables, and I think Samsung has some good ideas here, but the execution seems sub-par. 

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