My Experience Using Apple Watch for 5 Years and Apple’s Gamification Strategies

In 2019, I bought myself an Apple iPhone 11 Pro 256GB and Apple Watch 5.

I have used an Apple iPhone 5s with 16GB since 2016. But I was dissatisfied with the storage that it allowed me to use. Out of 16GB, 10GB was the operating system, 2GB was for Apps that were able to fit it, 2GB was for Photos that I captured, then I had to delete to make space for the next ones, and 2GB was for other apps’ data.

It was total dissatisfaction with the Apple iPhone 5s.

In the year 2016, I had sciatica. So I used to walk for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening or night. So I just walked 850 kilometres in a month to eliminate sciatica pain. I used to maintain my diary of walking approx kilometre completed in a day/week/month/year. But I was out of sync with my blood pressure, heart rate, calories burned etc.

When Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Apple Watch 5 got released impressed with features like ECG, Fitness app, and Health app capabilities. And I choose 256 GB storage for my iPhone as that’s what I require to sustain all photographs, music, videos and other data for a year or two without deleting it.

I used Apple Watch daily for three years to track my outdoor walking exercises, ECG, Heart Rate Monitoring, Calory burning, Exercise hours tracking, Standup Hours tracking, receiving notifications, receiving phone calls on my watch, reading SMS/Messages on my watch itself etc.

I was thrilled.

But one day, I broke my Apple Watch’s Crown or Wheel. I was devastated. I contacted Apple Service Centre. They said Apple Watch is unrepairable. And you are out of warranty too.

I tried walking and doing daily mundane tasks for a week or two. But I was out of luck and was missing Apple Watch existence in my life if you want to say so, as I was using Apple Watch on my wrist for 22hrs a day. Only 2 hrs for charging was the time that I was not wrapping it around my wrist.

So in that two weeks, UX (User Experience Designer) / User Interaction Designer / App Gamification/Engagement Strategist got awakened in my head.

Points that I jotted down on my notepad were something like this:

  1. Reminder: Apple Watch’s Constant use forced me to use it as an extension of my body, something Steve Jobs claims in his early interviews. My empty wrist’s skin etches to remind me to check my watch, but there was absolutely nothing then on my wrist. So I must take my iPhone out of my pocket to check the time. Even Apple iPhone has location data, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Radios and all other sensory data, but iPhone doesn’t have an exercise app. So I was bound to use Apple Watch to track my excises.
  2. Engagement: Receiving email, messages and other app notifications and calls on your wrist was the most significant advantage to the user and the biggest disadvantage as it may disorient and distract the user from his task at hand at a given particular time. As mentioned above, I used a watch for 22 hours daily on my wrist.
  3. Use: As discussed above, Reminders and Engagement will increase users’ time on their watches. It will also increase the attachment of the user to the device. They both will be inseparable. And something like that happened to me, and what I did was I bought the latest released Apple Watch 8 to replace my old Apple Watch. Even Syncing, Updating, Setting up, and Managing Apple Watch on the watch and Apple iPhone is very buttery. Even Apple Watch Backups to Apple iPhone are Automatic, Seamless and straightforward. So Apple has well-thought user interactions, system interactions, user interactions, hardware and software coupling beforehand; it is just ignorance to the user as the user doesn’t have to think about it. The user uses the watch and app without caring about system errors or bugs.

So now I am using Apple Watch 8 with updated, faster, more seamless features. And one feature that COVID-19 made us require the most was Oximeter.

So now I know why Apple is a thriving 2 Trillion Dollar going to be a 3 Trillion Dollar Modern Technology Company.

So you know what I think? If I want to succeed, I must remember what I observed and wrote above for the next decade.

I hope you find my observations helpful.

Thanks & Regards
Mandar Apte

Published by Mandar Apte

Mandar is a Mumbai-based multi-disciplinary designer with UX/UI, Logo, Symbol, and Brand Identity design expertise. He currently runs his Mudrkashar Linguistic Apple iPhone, iPad, and Mac app business in the heart of Mumbai city.

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