Dice Decide is a Pebble app that was developed to help its users make daily decisions, such as what they should eat for lunch. In indecisive moments the user simply has to shake the Pebble smartwatch and they will promptly receive suggestions generated by the app. Inspired by the new interactive possibilities of the “wearable apps”, we developed this practical and entertaining application. And now we always know what to have for lunch!
What time is it?
Smartwatches are not smartphones. They have a smaller display, a smaller memory and weaker processors. And the Pebble is no exception. Yet being able to access a digital device on our wrists certainly has its appeal. Having fast access to the time, notifications, timer etc. makes a lot of sense. Our goal was to develop an app that responds to these specific smartwatch characteristics – in terms of design, usage scenarios and the new interaction possibilities.
During a brainstorming session we discussed a wide variety of interactions that are based on spontaneous actions. Making decisions is one of them. Shall I call my mother? What should I do this evening? Sofa or gym? And of course also: What should I eat? Many of these questions are so banal that we don’t need an app on our mobile phones to answer them. But what if a simple glance at a watch could quickly make these decisions for us? That’s how we came up with the idea for Dice Decide.
Simply leaving the result of the generated suggestion down to chance would have been too simple for us. After all, you wouldn’t want to eat pizza for two days running, just because the app suggests it. We therefore worked on a model that allows for coincidences but which filters out inappropriate suggestions.
Tailored to the user
The app saves every decision that the user confirms. It saves the process and creates a database of favourite meals. Furthermore, the software can also add local and popular places to eat. For this we access services like Yelp. From the intersection of possible lunch options the app then selects a suggestion at random.
Shake it, baby!
For the user of the app it is just one hand movement, for the application a mathematical model called Dice Decide decides whether a lunch suggestion is deemed good or not.
The design process of the icons was particularly interesting. The display of the Pebble smartwatch is not only monochrome, but it is possible to see its pixels with the naked eye, which often led to inaccurate results. After much trial-and-error we optimised the line thickness and depiction of the icons on the watch.