Estelle Van de Velde


In 2023 I worked on a personal project in the form of a watch face, as part of my advanced UI design course. The design I created was very much inspired by the fact that I am a well-organised author loving a good old calendar at my wrist. I then challenged myself to create an app to be able to have more ways of personalising the watch face from the comfort of my phone.


I had three working days to create and prototype one watch face and one app. At the end of those three days, I had:

  1. Created 14 designs affecting 5 screens;
  2. Designed the watch face’s light and dark modes;
  3. Created the complete style guide and part of a design system that would be used throughout the app and watch face.

My role

I was the main designer on this project, as it was part of my UX/UI design bootcamp’s curriculum.

Skills and tools used

  • UI Design
  • Style Guide
  • Design System
  • Information Architecture
  • Wireframes
  • Prototyping
  • Figma
  • Protopie


Three days

four screens focusing on four different settings of the watch face

The process

1. Research

One thing you have to know about me is that I’m far from being an expert in watches. So the first thing I did when I received the assignment was to research modern watch designs and to understand today’s trends. I then gathered all my research into an inspiration board I could go back to if I ever felt stuck in the design process. I repeated the same process for the app which allowed me to personalise the watch face itself.

2. Define

As it was a personal project, I intended the watch face to work primarily for me and my own needs. I designed the icons, as I challenged myself not to use any icon libraries. I then created a style guide with said icons to which I added the colour palette and typography I would be using throughout the project.

3. Ideate

This step was focused mainly on the app creation, as I brainstormed which features of the watch face could be personalised and how it would be organised on the screen.

4. Design & Prototyping

I’ve to admit the design part is always my favourite part of any project. I started with the wireframes and UI design – trying my hand at Neuomorphism –, then started to work on a design system I’d be using throughout the project and would allow any designer to jump in and help me out in the future. I finalised all this by creating a working prototype using Protopie for the first time. It gave me the chance to try out new software and add a skill to my designer toolkit.

illustration of the design system
smartphone and watch showing a dark mode watch

What I’d do differently if I had more time

Three days isn’t a lot of time to design a watch face and its companion app. But, even if I’ve increased my design speed and learned how to use Protopie in the process, here’s what I’d do differently if I had been allocated more time:

  • I’d play around more when designing the interface of the watch face itself, because I feel like this could be improved from the original design I created;
  • Conduct user research on the app and watch face because, as I mentioned earlier, I’m not an expert in watches and it probably shows;
  • Design the screens allowing the user to interact with the calendar.

Do you want to see more examples of great work?

Discover how I designed an app for self-published authors.