The Apple Watch Interface Is Complicated, Confusing

Nilay Patel:

What matters today is the software, what it can do, and how it works. And it turns out it’s actually pretty complicated.

First things first: it is really confusing to have both the Digital Crown and the communications button next to each other on the side. As I tried to navigate the Watch interface, I found myself pressing one or both several times, without knowing which one would take me to the home screen, back out of an app, or launch a feature. Coming from the traditional iOS paradigm of a single home button that always takes you home, it’s a notable difference.

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That feeling of not knowing exactly where you are or what’s going to happen is pretty disorienting for an Apple product […]

I have been a long time iPhone user, but despite many years of getting used to the ins and outs of iOS the Settings app is still complicated and confusing.

Recently I jumped over the fence to Android and found the back button to be refreshing: it is always there and always does the same thing. iOS apps on the other hand require you to get used to different buttons and button locations or gestures to go back.

I don’t find it surprising that the user interface and experience of the Apple Watch is complicated and confusing, because instead of becoming simpler, more intuitive and more elegant iOS has become more complicated and more confusing over the years. I don’t mean to bash only iOS; Android has always been more complicated and more confusing, but I do like the back button.

Not only is the user interface and experience confusing, just look at the pricing of the Apple Watch. I’ve never seen such a mess of prices when it comes to Apple products, and making a purchase decision will be complicated enough that more than before would-be consumers will walk away needing more time to figure out what it is they really want and how much it is they really want to pay.