Cadillac Apple Watch App Design



Our project was to design a smartwatch application for the car brand Cadillac specifically targeting Baby Boomer Women who are around the age of 50-70. We did some market and brand research, including primary & secondary research, and did this swot analysis.

We did primary and secondary research on our target users. What their lifestyle is like? What are their driving habits? What kind of technology they would use in their cars? ...... And WHY?

We interviewed 5 potential target users in dealerships including Cadillac and BMW. After our research, we created an empathy map and a persona in order to better understand our target audience and get customer insights.




 Some of the insights that we found out:

  • She wants to feel safe

  • She prefers less hand controlled operations (e.g. Voice control) for the app so that it can save efforts while using the app

  • She prefers less text

  • She prefers to look at in-car technology at an eye-level rather than looking down at screen

  • Simple interactions

  • Gesture command could be used








According to our research, we found out that our target audience care the most about Health/Safety, Family, and Shopping. Thus, we had 3 different initial ideas regarding those 3 parts.


Health - Driving Suggestions

Family - Group Call; Read Social Media Feed; Sending Real-Time Location

Shopping - Creating Lists Using Voice Control







When we went interviewing and validating these ideas, they all seemed more or less useless to our target users. In addition to that, these 3 ideas are not tied with Cadillac enough that they don't make people feel exclusive. We also got some more information and feedback from the interview this time. Thus, after discussion, we decided to totally change gear to a new idea, which will be shown below.

All 3 ideas failed, but we learned useful information from failure and decided to change direction.

We realized that we focused too much on the in-car experience and didn’t think out of the box. So we refactored from in-car experience to a whole complete in-car-out-of-car experience




This was the initial wireframe where the app learns user's location and the page just shows up accordingly, for example, the walking navigation page shows up when user parks his car.




Iterations from this version.

We decided to add in a home page so that user can access either functions at any time - navigation to the destination and locating the car.

Another thing we changed is that we decided to make the app “smarter” that the app will recognize what user is doing and starts navigating itself so that our user doesn’t have to do a second action.

I made a digital prototype for this idea on InVision and did a thorough usability test with 3 potential users. 





We went out for usability test with our target audience and tested 3 scenarios as below: 


Scenario 1

“You are planning to drive to a place for lunch with a friend. Your friend told you the place but you don’t know about that area that much. You get into your car. Your watch vibrates… What would you do from now?”

Scenario 2

“You spend sometime and finally find a place to park in the area that’s a bit far away from the restaurant. You shut down the car and your watch vibrates…”

Scenario 3

“You had a wonderful meal with your old friend. After you say your goodbyes, you realize that you forgot where you parked. What would you do?”



Here is the link to the REPORT:



Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 10.27.22 AM.png



We got a lot of positive feedback this time in terms of idea and UI. We also got many valuable suggestions for improvement.

We added Apple Watch complication for user to see the current status of the car directly on the watch without open the app because we found out that our target audience tend to forget whether they've locked their's cars or not. This is a very useful feature that users would love to have according to our interviews.

We also modified color scheme to differentiate buttons because a watch is too small for baby boomers to read text on it.


There are some other changes that we didn't have time to implement but we would love to add in the future.

The app will give some voice responses/feedback for each function;

Add estimation time for in-car and out-of car navigation;

Find a parking spot;

Be able to add a different location along the same route;

Open the back hatch remotely;



  • Don’t fall in love with your ideas too much; 
    Be careful of confirmation bias

  • Never design for yourself, design for the users;
    Listen to the users

  • Think out of the box;
    Think broader