Design principles


Wear OS is a wearable platform, helping people live more present, healthy, and productive lives. Wear OS makes smartwatches into glanceable, standalone devices, so users can stay connected online and complete tasks quickly, while leaving their phones in their pockets.

Keep the following design principles in mind when developing for Wear OS.

Design for critical tasks

Focus on one or two tasks rather than a full app experience.

Optimize for the wrist

Help people complete tasks on the watch within seconds to avoid ergonomic discomfort or arm fatigue.

Better together

Users increasingly own multiple devices. Watches work well for quick, frequent tasks, while mobile devices are better for prolonged and complex interactions. In some cases, you can use a watch and a phone together to accomplish different parts of the same task.

Consider which actions are appropriate for each device.

Always relevant

The watch is always with the user. Consider how to update your app content for people's context, such as their time, place, and activity.

Keep content on your watch face relevant to the user.

Works offline

Design for slow connections and offline use cases, such as exercising and commuting.