Five Tips to Ensure Apps Are Watch Worthy

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Glanceable Moments

Design for glanceable moments.

The engagement sweet spot for wearables is about 3 seconds -- not 30-second smartphone experiences. This shortened attention span demands content that is more relevant and immediately actionable. This means hyper-shortened messaging -- headlines, symbols, alerts and more -- anything that helps the user digest information instantly.

The release of the first iPhone forever altered the landscape of what was possible in mobile connectivity. Today, user expectations continue to grow by leaps and bounds with an ever-increasing number of apps for gaming, online media, fitness, productivity and even business. Unfortunately, many businesses are still struggling to catch up with the paradigm shift caused by mobile access and the many, many devices it entails.

With the release of the Apple Watch, Apple is upping the game again. According to Urban Airship, organizations must now also take Apple Watch connectivity into account when planning their mobile engagement strategy and ensure their apps are Watch ready.

According to Forrester Research, Watch apps "...require compelling 'notification intelligence' -- something that most firms and we fear all marketers don't yet fully understand. If customers turning off all notifications -- the so-called nuclear opt-out option -- is catastrophic on a phone, it's suicide on a watch. A smartwatch without notifications is just a geeky clock."

"The Apple Watch app enables users to choose which iPhone apps are allowed to send actionable notifications through to the Apple Watch face," said Brett Caine, president and CEO, Urban Airship. "As a brand, you're going to have to carefully consider engagement strategies for both iPhone and Apple Watch. App users must opt-in to iPhone notifications in order to have the option of receiving them on Apple Watch. This alone means only the best engagement strategies will keep your brand on users' wrists."

Urban Airship has identified five key tips to help organizations move beyond standard notifications to glanceable moments on Smartwatches.


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