Jul 11

Most Important Design Principles for Apple Watch Apps

By: Anna Louise

Apple has updated its UI guidelines for Apple watch to assist developers for getting details about design and development of watch. The UI element gives details of groups, labels, switches, sliders, buttons, table, maps and images. It provides specification description including color home screen icons, layout, prototype, sizes, and menu, typography and customization icons. Designing apps for this watch is new challenge for developer and iOS designer as the smaller screen of this platform has limitations for user interface.

principles for apple watch apps

Basic features of Apple Watch User interface

It’s important to get the details about Watch apps are slicker, slimmer and stripped as well, made for iPad, iPhone etc. Mostly watch applications are far from independent. They work only with mobile apps which are used in iPad and iPhone.  Watch-kit is framework introduced by Apple to handle this link in iPhone counterpart and Apple watch app.

Here, we will see some design principles for Watch Apps development linked with UI and UX to assist developers in making optimally designed watch wearable apps (primarily thanks to App n Game Reskin)

1) Screen Size

Apple watches apps shows same interface on all sizes, so with the help of relative units we’re able to convert items to decrease the available space on all sizes and same interfaces.

Size of Device  Width -in pixels  Height-in pixels


272 340
42mm 312


2) Color

The Apple watch UI guide develops a strong link between background and text; but avoiding dark colors.

3) Typography

Apple’s purpose is to transitioning for making crisp & basic interfaces built on the base of font that is resolute & thin. In this century, they’ve selected for the aptly-known as ‘San Francisco font’, that is a new font.

4) Buttons

Generally, we recommend icons instead of buttons. One main thing to remember is that Apple watch screen is small therefore we’ve to use big buttons that doesn’t create problem for users.

5) Icons

Icon is ‘png’ circle. Because to give clarity & save space, we may mention them as filed colors. On home screen of watch, icons have no text.

6) Maps

Map is not interactive & not fixed screenshot image. Beating a map takes the user towards map apps.

7) Labels

Label doesn’t show for direct interaction of user although it may be upgraded programmatically. It can extend into multiple lines.

8) Separator

The separator is simple to use and has vital interface points, a line that separates contents.

9) Sliders & Switches

Slider gives an access to make changes by tapping the images to right or left side. Switches allows user to find the options such as on/off & yes/no.

10) Tables

Table is collections of rows and columns. It introduces data in one column that is scrolled vertically by user. Table ignores height restrictions mentioned on them by teams.

There is wide range of resources for Photoshop provided by Apple that may assist with prototyping UI. However, this simplifies the design method to maximum level. There’re some constraints like un-availability of affordance of screen’s size that can enjoy through iPad & iPhone. Find below some basic rules that are considered for making Apple Watch.

UI- Controls- such as buttons and elements loaded horizontally must be limited to max of 3. This provides simple tapping on each element. Using icons is perfect way to complete it and apple promoters using them as well.

Different Image Sizes: Same image is used on both the Apple watch and iPhone that can create problems for user. Always provide them different dimensions, sizes and screen resolution on both devices. For example, you must see the Angry Dog vs Cat.

Icons should represent your brand!

On home screen, Apple Watch app icons are displayed in shape and may vary by size. While designing them, make sure that rectangle shaped will strip down automatically. And this can lead to losing compromising the look of icon or the typo-graphic element. So design with a circular shape in mind.

Hence, it should be easy to scan, Enable quick interaction, and stay contextual, Design for the small screen, Minimize power consumptions and Design for accessibility. Design should be simple.

Note: If you have a Source Code of an App & Game, and you want to get done its Top Quality Reskin then please write to us at:

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