A Humble Suggestion for Activity Rings

I love the Apple Watch activity rings. I really do. Whoever at Apple came up with the idea of showing your activity as three concentric circles that you close when you complete your goal deserves a raise. It taps into the completionist part of my brain a way few other things do. It bothers me to leave one un-closed, which is exactly what it should do.

But I do have one problem with the current approach. This is what the current complications look like on the watch.

The trouble I have is the visual difference between the last three’s exercise ring. I find it very difficult to tell the difference between an almost filled exercise ring and an actually filled exercise ring. This has caused me to miss a few days unintentionally when I thought I had reached my goal, only to discover later that I’d slightly missed it. I hit this on the 42mm watch, looking at my wife’s 38mm the problem is even more significant.

I want the UI to congratulate me for getting there and in some ways celebrate the accomplishment. In Pedometer++ I go so far as to have confetti virtually rain down on you when you hit your goal…and while confetti on your watch face is probably not a good idea, I’d love some kind of high-five from the watch.

I think there is a reasonably simple solution to this. I’d like to suggest that when you close an activity ring it changes color slightly. Nothing dramatic (as I’m sure the intention is to make sure that the complications on the Apple Watch stay subtle and undistracting), but enough to clearly visually show the accomplishment. Something like this:

Apple folks: I filed this as radar #21139998, should you be able to give it some love.

David Smith