This project addresses the limitations of Sony Ericsson’s MBW-200 watch, a device intended to function as a cell phone remote control. The original product faced challenges in usability, aesthetic appeal, and user experience, particularly for its intended female demographic. Our approach involved a parallel two-phase research and redesign process.
In the first phase, we conducted usability testing and gathered aesthetic preferences to understand the ergonomic and design issues users faced with the MBW-200. The second phase involved proposing a redesigned user interface and physical form, leading to the development of interactive prototypes for further testing.
The redesign focused on creating a context-aware, intuitive, and aesthetically versatile wrist-worn UI. Key features included:
- A dual-mode operation (active/discreet)
- Customizable straps
- A gesture-based user interface with large icons
- Clear function navigation
The design aimed to complement rather than replace a mobile phone, integrating features like a step counter and calendar to adapt to various user contexts such as exercising or meetings.
The outcome was a user-friendly, ergonomic, and contextually relevant device that enhanced user experience and integrated seamlessly into daily life. This project addressed the shortcomings of the MBW-200 and set a precedent for the future of wearable technology design, emphasizing customization and personalization.
This project is one of the first projects where I learned how to conduct interconnected studies (aesthetics, usability, co-designing) to improve a service/product. In 2009, few people owned smartphones, and almost nobody in my circle had a smartwatch. Working on the concept was an outstanding experience for the team, including me. One of our team member could code and created an interactive prototype which helped us very much during the testing. I realized the power of coding and creating interactive prototypes so I spent my time on learning new tools in prototyping – here an another attempt of the similar concept, generated by Framer.