In the world of wearables, you can never sacrifice ergonomics for improved functionality. Any hard edges, non-breathable material, or pressure points will soon show themselves to a user trying to incorporate your wearable into their daily life— it’s like itchy fabric on clothes or tough material on a shoe ultimately making them too uncomfortable to wear.
Wireless functionality needs to be considered early on in the design process, so you don’t risk compromising ergonomics by hastily adding it on later. Read on for 7 common challenges to keep in mind when integrating the wireless and ergonomic aspects of wearables:
1. Wearable design is all about the user
Wearables are all about offering users seamless access to wireless technology through everyday forms. If any feature of your design isn’t primarily justified by the user’s experience, your wearable will be compromised: small imperfections to accommodate wireless design can cause discomfort or reduce functional capability.
Keep your users needs at the front of your design process. Be aware of the range of wireless antennas available to you as a designer, from flexible antennas to ultra-thin surface mounted antennas, so that wireless functionality can be seamlessly integrated within your wearables’ ergonomics.
2. Wearable devices need to be small, thin and stylish
Wearables need to fit on your person as easily as a ring, watch, shirt, or pair of glasses would. If they are not as light or as small as their non-smart equivalents, your users will notice immediately. This can often be a problem for wireless functionality, as the discrete design of the rest of the product highlights the presence of any external antennas.
It is crucial that you are aware of how the materials of your wearable can integrate with different kinds of wireless antennas. Conductive lightweight metals can enhance the aesthetics and reduce the weight of your design, but they can have devastating wireless performance impacts.
Fortunately, there are a range of wireless solutions available for all kinds of wearable design. It is essential they are reviewed at the earliest stage possible in your design process.