Kantar Health Blog

Wear it … but only if it fits

by Mark Sales | Jul 17, 2015
Mark Sales

As a self-confessed gadget geek – and some would say even worse an Apple apostle – I am sat here on the plane coming into Paris Charles De Gaulle (whilst they try to fix the landing gear after one aborted landing!) typing this blog on my iPad whilst listening to the excellent Piano Guys on the new Apple Music app. I've held off on the Apple Watch, much to my wife's amazement for a couple of reasons.

I can clearly see its uses. Especially working in the healthcare and marketing space, I see the Apple Watch as a game-changer from both the positive area of clinical trial enhancement and general health awareness and improvement, as well as the potentially scary personal data collection capabilities.

There are some things wearables should be used for and some they clearly shouldn't. For example, Passbook and Apple Pay are great; the location of the device and its smaller nature lend these apps to enhancing everyday life. But just because some things are useful on a watch doesn’t mean everything is. Some developers think that just because the sexy new Apple Watch is here their app – that works unbelievably well with the real estate available on an iPhone or a Galaxy Tab – needs to be on the watch.

Not true. If it won’t add value or ease of use to the customer, don't do it. The iPad is awesome for things like customer relationship management platforms, as is a phone screen, but will you necessarily get the same value from your CRM platform on a watch? I remember life as a drug rep in Liverpool. My employer had a system on our Nokia 3310 phones that you texted your postcode to and it was supposed to send you back the next best doctor to try to see. Just the doctor’s name. I then had to boot up my Stone Age laptop (which I had been advised not to carry around certain parts of Liverpool) and try to find this person...then to find out he had been struck off, had moved, or in some unfortunate cases even died! We were utilizing the latest technology of the time, but the customer – my fellow drug reps and I – got absolutely no benefit from it.

Being on the cutting edge of technology is a great thing. It’s an exciting thing. But remember that the end user experience is the most important part of developing any product or app; this should translate into building your relationship with them natively. (There's lots of learnings we can take from the current obsession with native advertising http://bit.ly/1myd4rR.) If you’re just taking an existing app and making it smaller and more difficult to use, it likely isn’t improving anyone's experience.

So please: More things designed for a watch and fewer things designed for something completely different but forced into a watch just so you can tell your boss you have a watch app!

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