Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

I Can't Settle on an Apple Watch Face

Over the last few weeks there has been a great deal of negativity about Apple Watch faces. Much like criticism of the honeycomb layout, I have no idea why it has taken 4 iterations of the Apple Watch for users to start moaning about custom watch faces, but they are now very vocal.

I must outline that I say users with a broad stroke, because some of those most critical of the first party faces are not Apple Watch users at all. I do agree with some of the criticism though, as since the small changes to Apple Watch face design in watchOS5 I can’t settle on just one.

I have used the same watch face for almost the entire time I have owned one (since launch bar about 4 weeks of vacation before the last version). My only issues with the current watch faces are that too many of them are appealing but fall short in some way. Some are overly complex and feature too much information, some fall short of not having enough complications, and unfortunately some are just not my cup of tea at all.

However it must be said that I don’t think allowing developers to create a huge number of faces to choose from would fix many of the issues. In actual fact I think it might make choices much worse. If Apple were to relinquish some control over the face they must insist on a certain level of complication use or design, both of which I have doubts if that would even be possible to control.

Much like with the iPhone home screen users must relinquish their personal tastes to a certain extent and accept the design choices Apple makes. Although with the ‘most personal product’ I think some wiggle room is needed. There are too many faces with a similar design, and there are areas to hugely improve, but my solution is to use several for different situations and swipe between them. So I don’t need to settle on one watch face anymore.

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