Wearing design on your sleeve with Apple Watches


March 31, 2015 read

3FoldCreate talks to Kitsune

Siân Claire Owen, Director, 3FoldCreate

Kitsune is a Liverpool-based web design agency specialising in intuitive user experiences. They have created a number of online publications including the 3FoldCreate website. Needless to say, here at 3FoldCreate we are big fans.

Last week saw the announcement of the much-anticipated Apple Watch launch date. Smart watches are nothing new, but if the Apple Watches are anything like iPods they will eventually become everyday objects for most people.

We took time out to catch up with Kitsune Creative Director Michael Braithwaite and Technical Director Chris Moorst to talk about the implications of wearable technology from an online design perspective.

It’s really interesting,’ says Michael. ‘With watches especially, because you wear watches all the time. And when you’re not wearing your watch, you’ve got your phone. So it moves us into, probably for the first time, into a 24/7 connected world.’

For me personally, I think health especially is going to be massive this year,' he adds. 'That’s the one thing that this kind of wearable technology brings to the table. Let’s say you’re having a heart attack. The Apple Watch could potentially pick up on that and automatically call the emergency services. I think that’s going to be a really interesting feature. And so it’s how design associates itself to that.’

Chris agrees. ‘It’s interesting because possibly two or three years ago the whole smart phone boom happened, and the way that you designed websites changed. So the next stage is smart watches, and what we’re going to do with that. We don’t really know yet, but you need to be ready for the future.’

The philosophy at Kitsune is ‘mobile first’ – meaning that any website is first designed for mobile devices then scaled up.

We’re a user experience studio at heart and we really care about what end our customer is trying to achieve, so it’s really important to be empathetic to that and to ask what technology do they have access to, where are they going to be interacting with our work, with our product,’ says Michael. ‘So it’s about making sure it fits the smallest possible device and then scaling it up, so you know that it’s always useful.

There are other advantages, says Chris. ‘Mobile first ensures that people accessing a website on a mobile device – most likely on 3G or 4G – actually save data that they would spend on the website by getting rid of some of the stuff that isn’t quite necessary to give the most optimised display that we can.'

So is Kitsune ready for the emergence of wearable technology?

That’s what you’ve got to try and do, isn’t it?’ says Chris. ‘We’ve just got to try to be one step ahead. There are so many design agencies around and if you’re stuck in the past then you’re just going to get left behind. So it’s our prerogative to keep up to date with this kind of stuff.’

Listen to the full interview on SoundCloud.

I think health especially is going to be massive this year. That’s the one thing that this kind of wearable technology brings to the table.

— Michael Braithwaite, Creative Director, Kitsune