Combining exercise with entertainment

I believe there is an opportunity to combine some of the basic egg hatching features in Pokemon Go with the Apple Watch’s exercise application characteristics. The combination can create a truly unique opportunity for Pokemon Go and the fitness community.


When Pokemon Go first came out, it was a big hit. It simplified most of the game’s mechanics to reach the pay-per-play audience in ways unimaginable for the depth of content and strategy required to play their regular handheld games. With the initial push of the mobile application, they also push the Pokemon Go watch application. As excited as consumers were to receive the Pokemon Go watch app, it lacked expectation and several ways. It had too many features that made it challenging to play the game on your smartwatch device. It targeted children as their primary audience, and they didn’t consider the device’s immediate use.

My hypothesis

I believe Pokemon Go would see an increase of usage in their smartwatch application if they focused on the egg hatching feature, which uses exercise as a unit of measurement. In a typical environment, I would do a usability test with interviews to get more information to conclude my understanding of the current watch application. However, the application is no longer available to test. 

Rethinking gamification

The mobile application measures distance walked every week. You receive an award after 5km (3.1 miles or an estimate of 6,548 steps), 25km (15.5 miles or an estimate of 32,736 steps), and lastly, 50km (31 miles or an estimate of 130,944 steps). The first order of business would be to sketch out the hierarchy of information to create a clean and frictionless visual aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Next, we must identify the features that are of importance in this structure. 


I believe converting the unit of measurement to steps would significantly enhance the usability of the app. It’s already a measurement that the fitness community is aware of, and it’s easy to understand. Keeping the progress bars are essential. Letting the user know how many sets they’ve taken and how many are left allows them to push hard to reach goals. The ability to start or set and exercise and use that unit of measure to count toward your goal without using your mobile phone will create repeat users. Overall we are demystifying the qualifications to reach rewards and adding features to ensure repeat usage and connecting to a new community of users. 


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I’m Tim Hykes UX Designer, Keynote Speaker, Owner of Design + Diversity and one of Adobe 2019 UX Designers to watch.

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