Interview details intricate Apple Watch face design processes

A new Wired interview with Apple human interface chief Alan Dye provides insight into the intricate design process behind some of the Apple Watch’s faces. Dye said that to capture a flower blooming for one Motion face, Apple designers took more than 24,000 photos over 285 hours instead of turning to CGI techniques. The team built a fish tank in its studio to capture jellyfish movements at 300 frames per second for another Motion face, and the Astronomy face starts its path from a user’s precise location on Earth toward the moon. Even seemingly simple decisions like using concentric circles to represent progress toward fitness goals took a year to finalize. Other details include Mickey Mouse’s one-second foot tap, timed so that it’s exactly the same on every Apple Watch. “We have a group of people who are really, really super-talented, but they really care. They care about details that a designer might not show in his portfolio because it’s so arcane. And yet getting it right is so critical to the experience,” Dye said. Apple has released a series of tutorial videos for manipulating Apple Watch’s faces, but customers will have to wait until the watch’s official launch on April 24 for the full experience.

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