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Google Also Rolling out Design Guidelines for Android Wear

March 18, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Earlier today, Google announced Android Wear and released the SDK. We also heard from LG and Motorola about their Android Wear devices, the G Watch and Moto 360 respectively. Now we’re seeing that Google has also made some design guidelines for Android Wear. Which much like the Android design guidelines, it doesn’t mean developers are going to follow them, but we can at least hope, right?

Google states that Android Wear experiences are Contextually aware and smart, Glanceable, Zero/low interaction, and Helpful. Then there’s the Notification UI patterns. Android notifications already appear as cards in the main stream and form the core of the Android Wear experience. Here is where many of the main Android Design guidelines for notifications apply to Android Wear. Google wants developers to be respectful of users’ attention and aware of how unnecessary interruptions will reflect on your apps reputation.

On Android Wear, actions appear to the right of your notification which allows the user to act on your notification. There are up to three actions permitted. The most-used action should be placed first, which in an email/Gmail notification that would be a “Reply” action. Actions consist of an icon and a caption. Icons are PNG files and are 64×4 DP.

Images appear behind cards in the stream. Which provide context and additional glanceability. The image should support the core message of the notification. Developers need to remember that the card will partially cover the lower part of the image. images should be at least 320×320 pixels at hdpi. Google is also talking about pages, which are additional cards which can appear to the right of your main card in the stream. If your core message is longer than a short snippet, Google doesn’t want you to sacrifice glanceability by packing a lot of information into your primary notification. Instead, Google wants you to use pages to provide additional content.

Google also goes into Notification stacks and Voice replies. Which you can read up on all the design guidelines on the Android developer site. I’m pretty excited about Android Wear, what about the rest of you?An