Apple Watch - Smart Accounting on the Wrist!!
In 2015, Apple Watch was introduced. It was highly anticipated by developers, designers and the media. At the beginning of this project, I was approached by the Product Manager who told me that we have to come up with a Watch App for Zoho Books accounting software. PM vision for this app is to stay ahead of the competition & use this as one of marketing strategy since the market is excited about this new line of product from Apple.
Initial requirement from the PM is to bring all important metrics from mobile app dashboard to Watch app. Now that's a lot of information. My question is to identify what is essential to show on the user's Watch App.
After having a brainstorming session with BA’s, product team and few customers, I found below features will be useful to the end user. Since this is an extension of the iPhone app, providing essential accounting information such as “outstanding invoices/bills”, “send payment reminders” and “tracking project time” would be convenient & helpful for users to access essential information and perform simple, timely tasks.
Reason why we included time tracker is even with the best iPhone app, It is tough to track project time accurately. It is important to track all billable time and missing them can be costly for business owners.
Designing for Apple Watch
Since this is a new OS from Apple, I spend enough time to understand how gestures and UI/UX is recommended by Apple. Designing a watch app is completely different from designing for iOS. I need to understand different aspects which make Apple Watch an amazing minicomputer and at the same time, an extension of the iPhone.
Also, I need to consider the size of the screen of the Apple Watch and understand that the design is completely different from the iPhone. This is so important since the screen size brings new gestures and new UI/UX considerations.
This is a series of steps that users go through to complete a specific task. Here I show how finance executives and accountants would interact with the feature to achieve their primary goals: approve bills, log project time and send invoice reminders.
To create existing and new components I followed the WatchOS Guidelines. The real creative challenge was to combine those components to get an ordered, clean and intuitive UI.
What was shipped 🚀
Time Tracking in the watch app makes it easy for the users to log billable minutes, and automatically add them to invoices, so all time is accounted for. A few months after this had been shipped and enough data had been collected, I was happy to see that we had a 24.8K hours project time added using the watch app!