Website Redesign For Wearables: Should We Take the Plunge?
The numbers on wearable technology are starting to dribble in as this new technology is beginning to saturate the marketplace. Similar to smartphones and tablets, their popularity is on the rise. According to Forbes, a staggering 71% of 16-to-24-year-olds want wearable technology, although some of them might not be able to afford it quite yet, it still points to a bright future for this growing high-tech trend.
While there are a number of reasons to redesign a website, granted mobile accessibility and optimization should be at the top of every one of them, what about wearable tech? Are there more statistics that point to the rise of this technology?
On the downside, 24% of consumers believe they already have too many gadgets and 55% of people think that wearables are too expensive, but with almost all forms of technology, prices are likely to drop as time marches on. On the flipside, one in six, or 15% of consumers already use things like fitness bands and smart watches in their everyday lives and those numbers are growing fast.
It doesn’t seem to make much sense for most typical websites to accommodate these devices. But then again, twenty years ago web traffic was primarily seen on computer screens and now the majority of it happens on handheld devices, smartphones, tablets and much smaller screens. While this may seem like a niche market today, we may see just as many wearable devices in the future as we see people using their smartphones today.
When asked what personal device they couldn’t live without, consumers chose their smartwatch (at 40%) and Google Glass (at 39%) over their Kindle (27%) and iPods (21%) even their game consoles lost out over wearables (17%). It is safe to say that wearables aren’t simply a fitness fad when viewing these types of statistics.
WHAT CONSUMERS WANT
Further studies show that consumers want more from their wearable devices than what they are currently offering. According to a recent worldwide survey, people want:
- More sensors (almost 40%)
- Greater comfort (again nearing 40%)
- Better computing power (over 30%)
- More accurate and reliable data (again over 30%)
If customers are seeking more computerized features, more accurate and reliable data from their wearables, this turns the table on the discussion of web redesign for these devices.
MAKING THE SWITCH
Similar to web designs that accommodate the smaller screen sizes of smartphones and tablets, these key aspects will need to be in place for use on wearables:
- Responsive design – the same as for mobile devices
- Minimalistic – already a growing trend
- Larger fonts – bigger text to be seen on these smaller devices
- Intuitive design – that anticipates user’s desires
- Voice commands
With the trend in minimalist design, and the lack of real estate available on a wearable, website design is going to resemble and act more like a custom business card than a full fledged website.
LESS IS THE NEW MOORE
As technology continues to grow, it would appear that screen sizes will continue to diminish. In order to grow with this flow, we’ll need to roll with the punches and reduce our overall picture. Considering Moore’s law of computing technology doubling every two years, perhaps there should be a new “Less law” principle of screen reduction.
Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at NickAndrewRojas@gmail.com.