Prime Time Design: Unpacking the Creative Process with Pedro Machado from Health Face
Design inspiration is all around us; however, tapping into it is another story. Fortunately, there are members of the Samsung Developers community who’ve cracked the code and defeated ‘designer’s block.’ We connected with several watch faces/themes designers and are excited to share their advice, creative processes, and sources of design inspiration in this blog series.
This week, we’re featuring Pedro Machado from Health Face. A designer from Spain, Pedro focuses on creating sport watch faces designed for daily use. Read on to learn about how he got into designing watch faces and how he finds inspiration for his stylish and functional designs.
When and why did you start designing watch faces?
In 2017, I read a news story from Samsung promoting the design of watch faces and that explained some features of the Galaxy Watch Studio program (formerly Galaxy Watch Designer). Afterwards, I was curious to try designing my own personalized watch face, since a few months prior my parents gave me a Samsung smartwatch. I found watch face design interesting and started research on how I could start creating designs for others to enjoy on their devices.
What does your design process look like? Do you have a strict protocol or is it more free flowing?
I like to use my free time as a chance to get inspired and come up with ideas that I can later transform into a design. Once I have several ideas in mind, I put them on paper to see the possible combinations and shapes they can take on a watch. When the idea is clear or almost ready, I start preparing the design on my computer. Once I have all the elements created, I mount my design in GWS and test it on 4-5 devices to check that everything works correctly.
How has your design approach evolved over time?
In the beginning, I created varied designs of all styles, from formal and minimalist to fun with many patterns. However, after a year of experience and analyzing statistics, I concluded that sport designs that take advantage of watch characteristics are received well by users. That’s when I decided to create Health Face, focused on sports and daily life that many users can identify with and use to get the information they need.
What was the inspiration for your most successful watch face and how did you make it a reality?
I remember being inspired to create one of my most successful watch faces at the SDC19 conference in San José, California. There was a prototype car with some very striking speed markers that gave me the idea to design a watch face with similar markers – I also thought it would contrast well with smart devices.
How do you strike a balance between the vision you have for a watch face and its functionality? Is this the most challenging part of the design process?
I agree that this part is the most challenging, since sometimes an idea is difficult to translate to the screen. Plus, there’s the added consideration of the user. If they have vision problems, they might need larger letters and numbers, and this can pose a challenge to your original idea.
To achieve a good balance between the initial idea and the final product, it’s important from the beginning to think about all the possible errors or obstacles you may encounter with your design. That way, if any problem arises, they will likely be small and easy to solve.
How do you navigate guidelines without compromising the integrity of your design?
When you’re starting out, it’s impossible to know all the restrictions. You must be patient with yourself and learn from your experiences. Eventually you’ll learn how to navigate those guidelines and create great designs.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a designer who is stuck in a creative rut?
My advice to a designer who can’t think of a new design is to not get overwhelmed by the lack of inspiration. I recommend disconnecting for an afternoon. Go outside, play a sport, relax and clear your mind to help free space for new ideas. The world around us is constantly sending signals and clues to make new designs, so take advantage of it!
Thanks to Pedro for sharing helpful advice on the design process, staying creative and finding inspiration for Galaxy Watch Face designs. You can connect with Pedro and Health Face on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.