Mobile strategist Lou Miranda writes that app designers should think of the Apple Watch’s ‘Glance’ ability as similar to the iPhone’s Today view extensions, but with less interactivity.
For those unaware, the Glances interface offers a customisable view of live data from any number of given apps — allowing the user a quick way to ‘glance’ at data from an application, without the need to open it. Apple describe Glances as follows:
Viewed together, Glances are a browsable collection of timely and contextually relevant moments from the wearer’s favorite apps. Individually, a Glance is a quick view of your app’s most important content. — Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines
Miranda explores how he believes this should be thought of from a design perspective:
Your app can only provide one Glance. So how do you think about a Glance from a design and interactivity viewpoint?
It’s simple. A Glance is a dynamic view into your app’s data. It’s dynamic in the fact that you can update the data (using a timer), but it’s completely non-interactive and confined to a single screen.
The only interactivity is this: a user taps on it, and it opens the app. There can be no buttons or other interactive controls on a glance, and it won’t scroll.
It’s almost like a screenshot of your app’s most important data. In a user-friendly layout.
Remind you of something? Yes, it’s very much like a Today Extension on an iPhone or iPad. But it’s more limited in that a Today Extension does allow some interactivity, although Apple downplays that.