A connected watch that talks to heart rate and speed/distance monitors
Long before the current spate of fitness trackers, Swim undertook work with Nike’s TechLab to explore a connected watch. At the time, Nike already offered runners a Triax watch that assisted with workouts. The goal of this program was to figure out how to extend the Triax model to optimize a wireless connection with heart rate and speed/distance monitors.
We began by leading observations and interviews with a range of athletes, including runners and their coaches at the Olympic trials in Sacramento. We then synthesized the findings into a Feature Catalog that clearly communicated user needs, the features that met each need, user interface implications, and technical requirements. The catalog enabled the Nike+Swim team to suss out suitable functionality for the target users.
The observations also led to powerful insights about appropriate interaction styles for a small, wearable device. Using progressively more sophisticated interactive simulations, we explored how a runner in two different contexts — stationary versus in-motion — might use the watch. We carefully designed a custom watch display mask that met the constraints of communicating appropriate information across many different device states.
Most importantly, we conceived of a view button for switching information — even while running. This influenced the industrial design team and initiated a new control element which later became a core component of many Nike Triax watches and to this day is part of the Nike+ Run Club app.