Estelle Van de Velde

Context

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.

Outcomes

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

Duration

Three days

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.

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.

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