Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019 Winner: Matteo Dini on Building a Successful Brand

Samsung Developer

We continue to celebrate the top performing apps in creativity, quality, design, and innovation, as we interview winners of our Best of Galaxy Store Awards. Next in our blog series, we feature Matteo Dini.

Matteo Dini, founder and CEO of "Matteo Dini MD", shares with us how he manages to maintain a high level of quality and craftsmanship with his watch face designs, many of which boast five star ratings, the importance of developing a recognizable brand, and how the Galaxy Store badge has played an integral role in his marketing strategy

How did you first get into designing watch faces?

At the end of 2016, I bought a Samsung Gear S3 watch, and that’s when I started designing watch faces. At first, it was just for fun, something I did to explore the easily approachable software “Galaxy Watch Designer” (now “Galaxy Watch Studio"). In the spring of 2017, I started publishing some of my watch faces on the Galaxy Store, and I realized that people were really interested in them, therefore I decided to continue publishing my designs.

As one of our more seasoned and successful designers, can you share some key features of a good watch face design?

In my opinion, a good watch face design has to be easily readable. It should also feature well thought out colors and shades that match together, and the layouts shouldn’t be too complex. This is the key to attracting a wider range of customers.

With your broad experience as a watch face designer, do you still experience technical or design hurdles when designing a watch face?

There really is no limit to improvement when it comes to graphic design. The real obstacle to overcome is the lack of new ideas. There should always be new inspirations about how to improve the design aspect of the watch faces.

There have been, and still are moments, when I find myself stuck, even for several whole days, before getting to a final result. After creating several watch faces and crossing paths with so many great creations from other designers, pushing the creative limit further can be really hard, especially on a 360x360 screen. However, when I finally find the right path that can lead me to a new good project, I feel so enthusiastic and passionate about my job that it is definitely worth it.

Where the technical side is concerned, hopefully I’ll be able to add some new features that leverage Samsung’s hardware-and-software evolutions.

Your brand “Matteo Dini MD” is well known in the watch face community. How important is creating your own brand?

Having a well-recognizable brand is the key to being well known. Your brand identifies your work, that is undeniable.

Finding the perfect name for my brand was not the easiest choice to make. When I started publishing my work on the Galaxy Store I was really indecisive about leaving my real Name-Surname. I even thought of inventing a new name from scratch, but then I decided to go for Matteo Dini, since it gave me the impression of a more personal brand, and I think it worked, or at least I hope so.

My brand “Matteo Dini MD” is a legally registered brand in the US and in Europe.

How do you come up with new designs to support the continued growth and evolution of your brand?

Ideas can come from seasons, from highly- or poorly-inspired periods, and obviously from market research.

“There are no rules” is the only rule. Sometimes a design can sprout from a tiny detail that we come to notice in a random object, not necessarily a watch. In a certain way it’s kind of a meditation process - it’s mind work.

At the moment, there are two of us designing watch faces for “Matteo Dini MD”, my brother-in-law Luca Canaletti and I. Together we try to imagine how the product could potentially look, and we then sketch some drafts on paper or directly on the software.

Your designs are highly rated on the Galaxy Store which speaks to the quality and craftsmanship of your work. How do you achieve such great quality with your designs?

To be honest, when it comes to my work I’m a very strict critic. I always detect some enormous flaws, and I hardly find myself truly and completely satisfied with my work.

Apart from that, the thing Luca and I focus on is quality. To achieve that, we try to include as many details as possible and to test our watch faces for several days, in different light and weather conditions, in order to get a good result. But, as I was saying before, there is no limit to improvement, and we learn something new every day.

It’s evident that you understand the market and what users want. How much does user feedback factor into the designs you create? Are there other factors?

I pay so much attention to user feedback. I obviously cannot design something that works for each of them, however I tend to use their suggestions to improve my watch faces and to meet their needs and tastes.

Being on the Galaxy Store has provided me with knowledge about people’s taste, and I’m constantly trying to keep several watch faces on the store that can satisfy a wide range of consumers, both young people and adults. I also keep an eye on market trends and all the cutting-edge news that comes out.

You employ various marketing strategies, including third-party watch face reviews from JibberJab, social media promotion, free trials, contests, and giveaways. How important is marketing your designs to becoming a successful seller? What tips can you share?

The Galaxy Store is introducing more and more new content every day, so it is really fundamental to promote one’s projects on other marketing channels as well. This is why I employ all those things you mentioned, in order to drive awareness and visibility of my brand on the Galaxy Store.

The paramount thing to do is to create a well-recognizable brand identity, in order to be easily found on the store. I created my brand’s accounts on all the most important social media platforms in order to gain followers and to have a community to directly communicate with. This is fundamental, it’s the starting point for any marketing strategy.

How does the Galaxy Store badge support your marketing strategy?

Galaxy Store badge is, without a doubt, an excellent tool. It generates customized short URLs, it can monitor all the clicks you get (which is important for statistics and promotions), and it also gives you the opportunity to use an official Samsung official logo, which can be really helpful when it comes to marketing strategies.

How has the Samsung Developer Program supported your journey and growth as a watch face designer?

The SDP team has always been very helpful and professional, promptly answering my request for technical assistance and solving my problems. They always keep us up-to-date about Samsung news and share detailed studies about technical topics. They really support our work.

It is also important to follow the dedicated forum. The forum allows us to ask questions and get answers from Samsung and the developer community,

I was very pleased to meet the team in person, twice actually, at the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Samsung Developer Conference.

Thank you for the question; since you mentioned it, I really want to publicly thank the SDP team for their amazing work.

As the winner of Samsung Best of Galaxy Store Awards 2019 for “Best Watch Designer (Big Brand)”, what advice do you have for new designers looking to create a successful watch face business?

Besides being a watch face designer, I’m a technology enthusiast and my first step was studying the product (Samsung Gear Watch / Galaxy Watch / Galaxy Watch Active), wearing it 24/7 for several months. I got the full user experience, before becoming a designer.

Passion and patience are fundamental, new designers shouldn’t get discouraged if the big results don’t come right away. They should keep focusing on finding their style and on trying to improve it day after day. The results will come eventually.

What is next for Matteo Dini MD Watch Faces?

At the moment we are focusing on watch face development and we are trying to improve ourselves in order to be ready when Samsung shares its plans on any new products or product updates.

We want to thank Matteo for sharing compelling insights on watch face design and tips on becoming a successful designer with a recognizable brand.

Be sure to check out Matteo Dini MD’s watch face portfolio, and download your favorite in the Galaxy Store. We recommend this one.

Follow us on Twitter at @samsung_dev for more developer interviews as well as tips for building games, apps, and more for the Galaxy Store. Find out more about our Best of Galaxy Store Awards.

Designing a watch face for Galaxy Watch running Wear OS powered by Samsung? Check out this Code Lab about creating a watch face using tag expressions in Watch Face Studio.