Smartwatch apps don’t have to mirror the functionality of their phone and tablet counterparts to be useful. In fact, apps that try to do it all on a miniscule device with limited input mechanisms end up cluttered, frustrating, and forgotten.
Unfortunately for brands, user expectations don’t automatically align with device constraints. When we partnered with AnswerLab to study how people use (and want to use) smartwatches, we diagnosed a serious case of app apathy. Why? Study participants tended to give smartwatch apps one chance and one chance only—if they couldn’t immediately figure out the app’s purpose, they were unlikely to check back in the future for additional features.