First, I still don’t know what the buttons do. This is ridiculous (and probably very stupid on my part) because, well, there are only two buttons, the digital crown and the side button. Most of the times, pressing the digital crown acts like an iPhone home button. But sometimes it’s a back button (like when you’re in the Favorites contact screen). It gets more confusing because you can scroll through a list with the crown but you can never select, you have to tap the screen for that to work.
This self entrapment began with the Apple iPhone. Not anticipating or adjusting to the future callings, they oversimplified the design of the hardware and then did not allow it to evolve. Meaning, when you only have a certain amount of buttons from day one to 8 years later, when demand and usage has shifted many times on the way, you are bound to bump into usability walls.
The same happened to the design of the iWatch. It was clearly not well thought of and it felt more like a Google experiment rather than a finished product. The same button has to perform many things depending on context in an non-intuitive way. A crown should be simply …a crown, but when you wear this watch it can be a joystick, a push button, a back button, a forward button, a home button until you reach Father Christmas – a myriad of things that do not belong with the mental model of a crown. The designers trapped themselves into oversimplifying the design.
Now that time has passed, and it is no longer a status symbol by default, people realise that they are not even happy to wear their $600 device even as a jewellery. I am sure Apple will find a way to sell even more of the second iteration, which I wouldn’t be surprised if it was round and in two sizes.