Usability Evaluation of the Apple Watch Series 4

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Denis Macek
4. term, Information Science, Master (Master Programme)
The smartwatch market is getting increasingly more valuable with each year, thanks to the increasing demand for wireless and sport fitness devices. In addition, the smartwatch adoption had increased by 20% from 2015 to 2019, the year when the first Apple Watch smartwatch was released. Since then, Apple has become one of the market leaders in this industry. Despite this, there is currently a limited amount of researches that seek to understand how people use these devices and based on this, create guidelines and principles for these devices. Moreover, there is an even more limited number of researches being conducted for specific smartwatch brands.
Due to the lack of research and the personal interest in technology and usability, I have set to evaluate the usability of Apple Watch Series 4 from two perspectives. People who own an iPhone and Apple Watch, and the people who only own an iPhone. The research was conducted in three phases – self-completed online questionnaires, Usability Testing, and semi-structured interviews. The usability was evaluated based on effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction, and learnability. For that purpose, Task success and Time on Task metrics were employed, in addition to observation of users during the Usability Testing and the Retrospective-Think-Aloud. The results showed that using only the Apple Watch without the iPhone will negatively affect the usability of it and that the ownership time of Apple Watch and iPhone might have a positive impact on the usability. Furthermore, most participants from both sample groups experienced issues with Force Touch feature on Apple Watch and the problem where they did not know how to turn off the power reserve mode, even though the instructions were displayed in the step prior. The effectiveness of Apple Watch is average, with results being slightly lower for participants who do not own an Apple Watch. The efficiency varies and is dependent on the specific action the user is doing. The overall satisfaction of Apple Watch is positive among both sample groups, with most notably the satisfaction of the Apple Ecosystem, which gives very similar experience across all Apple products. The learnability is good, with people who do not own an Apple Watch able to learn how to use it in a relatively short period. To further improve the usability of Apple Watch, there is a need for educating the users on how to use the Apple Watch to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency and to take a look at how the content is displayed based on its importance. For future work, it would be interesting to conduct the usability evaluation on a larger sample to validate if the efficiency improves as the Apple Watch and iPhone ownership are longer.
Publication date29 May 2020
Number of pages75
ID: 333233831