Unwind: Interactive watch
Interaction • User testing • Prototyping • Iteration

Design challenge

This was a group project for a course called “Interactive technology design” in which we chose a theme, in our case “Traces of use”, combined with a secondary theme “Time”. The purpose was to create prototypes and iterate them by testing them according to interaction qualities such as “calm and gentle”.

Team setup

With five members, including myself, there weren't specific roles assigned at the start. We would brainstorm together on what to do. By the time we needed a functional prototype, we started to divide tasks based on specialty. I was in charge of making a 3D model for the prototype to house the electronics we bought. I made the poster of our project for the final exhibition of this course, for which I also took the picture. Next to that I filmed all videos for the project, edited them, and composed the soundtrack for two of them.


The design goal we had for this project was to make people worry less about the exact time.

Based on this goal, we wanted to create a time piece that would display time with different modes: vague, half-way and precise (as shown below). The vague mode, which is the default one, only displays the hour hand. The half-way mode adds an indication of the quarter of the hour. And the precise mode is more traditional.


An interaction would be required to switch modes. Two prototypes were made with different ways of interacting with those modes. The first prototype's interaction was to gently tap the top of the watch to reveal the next mode. Through role playing and user testing, the interaction became based on the winding of mechanical watches. To go from the default mode to the next one, the user would need to wind the watch.

This little effort would ensure that the user would feel less inclined to do it when unnecessary. A gently vibrating alarm was also added to remember to take breaks.

A prototype was made based on that interaction concept. I modeled the product in Solidworks with working gears so it could be 3D printed. Once assembled together with the electronics, it was tested once more at the final exhibition where all prototypes could be tested.

This is the 3D model I designed in Solidworks.

To switch modes, the watch's case can be rotated as shown on this prototype.

Final design

The final design was rendered and was the size of a normal watch. Following is a visualisation of the interactions possible with the watch.