I was pretty excited when I got my Apple Watch last year. It was love at first sight and for a year we were nearly inseparable. But after a brief honeymoon period the relationship became strained and ultimately we broke up.
I’ll admit that I had a hard time letting go. I was sure it was me, not The Watch. Maybe if I downloaded different apps, changed my expectations or became more patient it would work out. It didn’t. There weren’t enough apps, those available took an eternity to load, and it didn’t make completing tasks any more efficient.
So, what does Apple Watch have to do with lessons for software providers?
Don’t lose the user
The goal of any good software is to keep the user engaged. iOS apps marry best in breed utility with a top notch user experience. The Apple Watch was meant to further simplify experiences, but unfortunately it missed the mark in instances when it should have shined. Some simple examples…
- As a Remote Control. A natural use case for Apple Watch was as a TV remote control. It was always on my wrist, just a tap away and DirecTV offered a pretty good app. Unfortunately the buttons were too small – often leading to false positive presses or complete failure to recognize a tap. It also frequently didn’t load (a Watch issue – not a DirecTV issue), meaning taking out my phone or searching through the couch cushions to find the actual remote were always faster than waiting for The Watch. Ultimately, I always had to leave the experience and finally gave up on the device altogether.
- Responding to Messages. Another nifty feature was the ability to rapidly respond to messages. Unfortunately doing so required voice input via Siri. While this makes logical sense, it didn’t always work and required frequent attempts to get the message right. Also, when I was in a loud place or somewhere I was seeking privacy I didn’t want to dictate a message. It was a cool feature that just didn’t deliver. I gave up on this and went back to using my phone to respond.
Create Genius Apps
Many of the applications for the Apple Watch felt ham-handed. The aforementioned example of unnecessarily small buttons is just one of many instances where using the app itself was confounding, frustrating or downright impossible. In order to keep users engaged you need to create apps that are easy to use and provide actual value. At Logi, we refer to these as Genius Apps – they provided in-line functionality and an enhanced experience to drive continued engagement and value. I constantly downloaded new apps for the Apple Watch, but very few provided actual benefit to me. It was a missed opportunity for software providers that failed to meet my needs.
Deliver in Context
I don’t need another gadget simply for the sake of having another gadget – even though I do love gadgets. Instead, I wanted the Watch to provide better context for my experiences. Yes, I could check e-mail, but having dynamically shifting watch faces for the time of day or day of the week would have been helpful. Or wouldn’t it be nice if it provided context based on my location or my activity – such as surfacing the Amazon app to price compare when I was at Walmart. These are a few contextual enhancements that would have enhanced the apps, the hardware and my experience. Instead The Watch face remained static and I would say that, with near unanimity, that retrieving, unlocking and launching an app on my phone was always faster and provided better results. When you fail to deliver in context you lose your users.
Apps are apps – no matter the device on which they are consumed. As more consumers become familiar with analytics – they begin to demand it more and more. According to our recently published State of Embedded Analytics, more than 90% of users want analytics embedded within their applications.
This is a critical point and points to the biggest reason for embedding analytics – your users want them – and you want your users to be happy. In the world in which we live today, individuals and companies can switch software providers fairly easily. We discuss this in the Path to SaaS webinar , which you can conveniently watch a replay of at your discretion. Bottom line, you need to keep users in your app as long as possible.
Second your app needs to be great, and your analytics need to enhance the experience in a meaningful way. Logi is maniacally focused on our platform to help you deliver visually stunning graphics that look and feel like you made them yourself. Finally, the analytics needs to be delivered in the right context. Are you collecting the right data, providing the right dashboards and providing self-service for your users that want it? Logi’s OEM analytics practice was ranked #1 by Gartner – so you’re in good hands when you work with us.