3Plus Helio

Classic aesthetics meets modern tech

Clever design brings time-tested analog functionality to a hybrid smartwatch

Timeless expression, playful approach

When 3Plus envisioned a smartwatch with analog attributes, argo undertook a comprehensive design of hardware form and software interactions to create a hybrid smartwatch, as well as an app to extend service features.

The design emphasizes visual style, ease of use, a simplified interaction pattern, and a form factor evoking the elegance and luxury of a traditional watch.

Analog watch hands are key to the design. Ever-present, the watch hands are visible in a resting state, so the user can see the time without lifting the wrist (to avoid the social cue of distracted listening), and glance down to check the time without digital distractions.

Designing the product with analog hands that wouldn’t distract from the inherently digital content presented a UI challenge. The solution came in extending the value propositions of traditional hardware into the digital expressions.

Creating value in constraint

Working in tight cost constraints, clear priorities are more important than ever. Extensive user research guided us to the opportunities for greatest impact — establishing what was most important to users, prioritizing features based on wants and needs, and balanced against production constraints.

Design principles
Respecting the circle
Given a constraint, the argo team made it a theme. The circle informed every design decision, from the interface to shading around the edge of the screen to the curves of the physical hardware.
Delight in small moments
UI centered on making minute interactions meaningful: getting information quickly, dipping in and out of the interface in short durations.
Intuitive interactions
A small redesign shifted controls to within the app, making watch interaction more intuitive.
In the end, the interface was optimized based on the hardware available, while simultaneously maintaining a positive user experience.

3Plus Helio is now widely available in the market, presenting an elegant and clever design package that smoothly merges the modern with the classic.