A Timeless Tradition Reimagined: Zola Launches First-Of-Its Kind Apple Watch App

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For the always-on-the-go couple, planning a wedding can be stressful. Here at Zola, we strive to give newly engaged duos an alternative to old fashioned wedding registries by providing an experience that can keep up with their modern lives and fit into their daily routines. We started Zola with a desire to simplify the wedding planning process and believe that designing solutions that address existing pain points with technology is a key component to achieving this goal. This is why we were excited to build an extension of the Zola app for the Apple Watch.

Charles Scalesse (our Principal Mobile Engineer) and I designed the Zola Apple Watch App around our couples. And while we’ve come a long way from my Casio calculator watch in 5th grade, we wanted to share some unique insight we gained through the design process in order to explain how and why we built this app the way that we did.

Limitations Are Our Friend
How is this device different from a smartphone or tablet and how does that affect how couples will use it?  Recognizing these differences is important when trying to understand how we got to our final product. We spent a day exploring ideas on how to provide a valuable interaction in less than 5 seconds and quickly realized that we needed to recalibrate our initial assumptions regarding the watch’s screen size.  We created a crude paper prototype to better understand the scale of the device and realized that a simple app was the only way to go.

apple sketch

Focus on What Matters 
We decided that our Watch app should only do one thing and do it well.  Our couples love Gift Tracker and it is one of the most used feature of our iPhone app. So, we decided to design a simple extension for our couples.  We wanted to allow users to be able to determine when and how they have their gifts delivered and with a single tap of their finger, be able to choose to ship a gift now or send later, as well as transfer a cash gift direction into a bank account.

Simplicity is Key – What We Didn’t Build
When designing the Watch App, our intention was never to include everything our iPhone App offers – that’s ridiculous. Once we made the decision to build Gift Tracker, we kept asking ourselves how we could further simplify the interaction and edit the content. On the Apple Watch, couples can view an ongoing list of every gift received to-date with information on the giver’s name, quantity and value, and delivery status.


Watches Are Personal – We Want to Make You Smile
This is not just a piece of jewelry, and it’s not just a gadget.  A watch lives on your wrist, is with you at all times, and becomes part of you. We thought it was important to build an experience that mirrors that closeness.  We hope the new gift notification will make our couples smile.  During the stressful wedding planning process, we want to achieve a personal touch and be able to extend that moment of happiness our couples get when a loved one sends them a gift.

We’d love to hear your feedback about our Apple Watch app.


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