Will websites become wearable?

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The wearable technology era is approaching rapidly. By 2018 the market is expected to be worth 7.55 billion GBP – put in perspective that’s double the UK populations yearly spend on chocolate. Before you start drooling over that statistic, mobile already accounts for over 30% of web traffic, but with the looming arrival of wearable technology we can expect a surge of visitors demanding simplified versions of browsing adapting to their device. Modern websites will need to evolve.

The ‘style’ of wearable technology

There’s no doubt you’ve seen the latest in wearable tech - mainly appearing in the form of smart eyewear and watches. The devices we are using to consume data are shrinking, so our content must too. Also, the whole concept of wearable tech aims to deliver content to the user faster than devices we currently use and the web must adapt to do the same. Like mobile, but even more critical, content for wearable tech should be styled in a succinct and minimalist manner. 

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Adapting to the ‘style’

What does staying modern in this new era entail for current websites? Below you can find our top considerations for web design to prepare the coming of wearable tech, of which many also apply to mobile web design.

Responsive Design

Even after many years of using mobiles to access web content, an abnormally large number of websites are still not optimized for viewing through a mobile or tablet. When wearable tech joins the club this will become ever more important; who wants to scroll through vast amounts of content on a small screen? Adapting to the screen resolution of the viewing device, a responsive website will visually look more aesthetically pleasing, improve SEO and provide a superior user experience.

Minimal

Smaller screens mean less content. A minimalist design with few images and concise text will be more appealing when it comes to wearable technology. Delivering content fast will be crucial.

Large text

Whilst smaller screens mean less content, they also mean bigger fonts. Unless you carry a magnifying glass with you at all times (kudos if you do, magnifying glasses rock) the standard 12px font sizes will be unreadable on your smart watch display. 

Accessible fast

About half of web users will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Consumers investing in a wearable technology device are clearly the type of people who want instant access to information. Your web design should prioritise the user’s access to the content they want.

What can we expect?

"In 2020, we expect 60 percent of all watches sold in the world to be connected with the Internet"

-  Pascal Koenig, managing director at Zurich-based Smartwatch Group

With the wearable technology market expecting to grow annually by 18% until 2018, the big industry players are rapidly embracing this new opportunity. Google’s ‘Glass’ has been predicted to sell over 20 million devices by the end of 2018. The web is rife with rumours that Apple plan to unveil an item of wearable tech for the wrist in the autumn, referred to as the ‘iWatch’. Apple is alleged to have spent a great deal of time collating feedback from insiders in both the watch and luxury fashion industries. 

This new market doesn’t come without controversy however. The web hosting company Rackspace performed a survey discovering that 1 in 5 people believe wearable technology should be banned entirely. Furthermore, 51% argued they would be unlikely to invest in wearable tech due to issues of privacy.

To conclude

So whether you’re a fanatic or foe for this next generation of tech, the transition into this new world of gadgets has begun and website owners should prepare.

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