Tag Archives: accessibility

Designing for Wear OS: Getting started with designing inclusive smartwatch apps

Posted by Matthew Pateman & Mallory Carroll (UX Research), and Josef Burnham (UX Design)

Smartwatches are becoming increasingly popular, with many people using them to stay connected, track their health, and control their devices. Watches enable people to get information at a glance and then take action. These quick and frequent interactions can help people get back to being present in their daily lives.

To help with the challenges of designing and building great watch experiences that work for all, we have created a series of videos. These videos cover a variety of topics starting with how to understand what people want from a smartwatch app. We cover how best to design for your target audience, and how to make the most of the watch’s form factor with a series of design principles. Lastly, we give you an introduction on how to approach product inclusion throughout the whole development lifecycle, and how this approach can help make your products better for all. If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out the videos below.

1. Introduction to UX Research & Product Inclusion on Wear OS

If you’re considering building a smartwatch app but don’t know how to begin, this video will help you get started. It shows how to uncover what people want from a smartwatch app, what a great Wear OS experience should look like, and how to ensure it addresses real needs of the people you are building for. Lastly, you’ll find out how to take an equity-focused approach when developing products, apps, and experiences.

2. Introduction to UX Design on Wear OS

Did you know that the average smartwatch interaction is approximately 5 seconds long? In this video you will learn how to design effective and engaging experiences for Wear OS. We’ll guide you on how to make the most out of these short watch interactions by covering key differences between mobile and smartwatch design, the importance of a glanceable user experience, and practical tips for designing for different Wear OS surfaces.

3. Introduction to Product Inclusion & Equity

We will introduce you to Product Inclusion and Equity, and how to approach it when designing for Wear OS. You will learn how to build for belonging and make products more accessible and usable by all.

4. Case Studies: Inclusion and Exclusion in Technology Design

Here you will see a series of case studies showing how product and design choices can be impactful on a personal, community, and systemic level. Designs can both be affirming and inclusive, or harmful and exclusionary to various people and communities. We’ll use some examples to highlight how important inclusion and equity considerations are when making product decisions.

5. Considerations for Community Co-Design

The last video in this series will give you an introduction into community co-design, a powerful approach that focuses on building solutions with, not for, historically marginalized communities. In community co-design, we engage with people based on identity, culture, community, and context. You’ll find out how to engage people and communities in a safe, respectful, and equity-centered way in product development.

Keep your eyes peeled for more updates from us as we continue to share and evolve our latest design thinking and practices, principles, and guidelines.

We also have many more resources to help get you started designing for Wear OS:

  • Find inspiring designs for different types of apps in our gallery
  • Interested in designing for multiple devices from TV’s to mobiles to tablets, check out our design hub
  • Access developer documentation for Wear OS

Google Workspace Updates Weekly Recap – January 13, 2023

1 New update
Unless otherwise indicated, the features below are fully launched or in the process of rolling out (rollouts should take no more than 15 business days to complete), launching to both Rapid and Scheduled Release at the same time (if not, each stage of rollout should take no more than 15 business days to complete), and available to all Google Workspace and G Suite customers.

Find apps and app commands in Chat with a new Integration Menu 
We’re making it easier to discover and use Chat apps with a new Integration Menu. Simply click the (+) button next to the compose bar in a Chat message to see installed apps. You can also browse the slash commands that the apps support and execute them. On the web, the Integration Menu includes a search functionality that allows you to browse new apps. | Available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Education Standard, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, Frontline, and legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers only. 

Previous announcements

The announcements below were published on the Workspace Updates blog earlier this week. Please refer to the original blog posts for complete details.

New option to view non-printing characters in Google Docs 
You can now choose to display non-printing characters in order to see how a document is laid out. | Learn more

Improvements to voice features in Google Docs and Slides 
We’ve improved the features that enable you to type and edit by speaking in Google Docs or in Google Slides speaker notes, and present slides with automatic captions to display a speaker's words in real time. | Learn more

Manage all Google Workspace API activity from a single location 
Within the Google Cloud Console, you can now view and manage all Google Workspace API activity. Here, you’ll find a centralized view of which APIs are currently running and their associated requests. | Learn more

Increasing efficiency through better meeting room management with room release 
Room release, an existing feature that releases booked meeting rooms when all but one attendee declines the invitation will now be ON by default. There will be a transition period, from January 11 - March 6, 2023, where admins can opt out structured meeting rooms or user groups from this room release setting. | Available to Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Education Standard, and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and legacy G Suite Business customers only. | Learn more

New in-meeting reactions for Google Meet 
You can now use emojis to share in-meeting reactions in Google Meet on Web, Meet Hardware devices, and iOS, with Android coming soon. | Learn more

Introducing simpler conversation creation in Google Chat 
The process to create conversations in Chat will be much simpler by combining the flow for creating one-on-one conversations and group conversations. | Learn more

View speaker notes while presenting Google Slides in Google Meet
In October of 2022, we introduced the ability to present Google Slides directly in Google Meet. To build upon this, you can now view your speaker notes within Google Meet. | Available to Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Education Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Nonprofits customers only. | Learn more

Completed rollouts

The features below completed their rollouts to Rapid Release domainsScheduled Release domains, or both. Please refer to the original blog post for additional details.

Scheduled Release Domains:

Rapid and Scheduled Release Domains:

For a recap of announcements in the past six months, check out What’s new in Google Workspace (recent releases).

Improvements to voice features in Google Docs and Slides

What’s changing

We’re improving the features that enable you to: 
These enhancements will help reduce transcription errors and minimize lost audio during transcription. The improvements also include expanded availability to most major browsers. Additionally, captions in Slides will now contain automatically generated punctuation.

Who’s impacted 

End users 

Why it’s important 

We hope this launch leads to more inclusive and accessible user interactions within Docs and Slides. 

Getting started 

Rollout pace 


  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers 
  • Available to users with personal Google Accounts