Pebble hires former webOS designers to overhaul its smartwatch UX

Pebble hires former webOS designers to overhaul its smartwatch UX
The Pebble has been widely regarded as the best smartwatch around, and much of that is due to the very simple interface and focused feature set. But, as smartwatches get more complex, Pebble knows it will have to update its user experience design (UX). In order to do that, Pebble has hired two former webOS designers to work on its UX.

Obviously, the head designer of webOS was Matias Duarte, who is now the vice president of design for Google, but Pebble has hired Itai Vonshak and Liron Damir, who had worked on webOS. The two had worked for HP until it gave up on webOS, and then the two also went to LG to work on the webOS revival for smart TVs. Now, Liron Damir will become Pebble’s Head of Design, and Itai Vonshak will lead the Pebble Product and UX group. Vonshak and Damir aren't the first Pebble hires to come from the webOS team by way of LG. Earlier this year, Pebble had also hired Henry Levak to be the Product Director. 

Many will probably claim that this focus on UX at Pebble is either a response to Android Wear, or a preemptive move ahead of the iWatch release; but, the truth could very well be that it doesn't have anything to do with either competitor. UX is one of the most important aspects of design, because customers won't want to use your device if your UX is bad. Pebble has likely known that it will have to evolve its products, and these new hires will help do that. 

source: pocketnow



1. jgalvez21

Posts: 21; Member since: May 29, 2014

i hope this means a color screen e-ink soon.

2. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

WebOS is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7601; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think they need to make something like Android wear. If not use or make an Android wear watch as well. If you do make an Android wear watch, then yours could be better because you could also create a runtime or pebble emulator that could run on Android wear as well. You currently use a cortex-M3 120mhz processor with 128kb of ram with 32mb of storage for the original pebble and 64mb of storage for the pebble steel. You could almost fit 10 Pebble Steel's in the 512mb of ram on a Android wear device. I never got to the 4gb of storage on Android wear devices. You could fit almost 90 pebble steels in one Android wear device. Not to mention the current Android wear devices use a Snapdragon 400 CPU running at 1.2ghz. The specs for an Android wear watch could eat pebble for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pebble take my advise make an Android wear device as well. Or at least make a pebble emulator for wear devices and charge money for it.

7. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I have to strongly disagree. Pebble is, by and large, better than Android Wear, at least at this time. It's a more versatile device, has a considerably better battery life, and by and large has great functionality.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7601; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

As far as being more versatile then Android Wear. Please do tell. Battery life yes. As far as functionality is concerned you must be kidding. Just look at all current pebble devices have a major restriction in ram alone which greatly limits a programs features and functionality. The ram is only 128kb vs Android Wears 512mb. There is a different of 4096 TIMES in size. Can Pebble use existing Android apps to send functionality to the watch without creating an actual app for a Pebble device. Nope. But Android wear allows current Android phone and tablet developers to inject Android wear code snippets into their existing apps. So far Android wear is the only platform that can do this. Not to mention its a full Android KitKat api set. Pebble doesn't even have a touch screen. And only has a 3-axis accelerometer. All Android wear devices have a 9-axis accelerometer/gyroscope plus a compass.

13. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I find it to have greater versatility insomuch as it is compatible with both Android and iPhones, as well as having a screen that is much better in direct sunlight. Here's the thing though: What the Pebble does, it does well. I still don't think that Android Wear is at that level yet. I also don't believe that there is a massive need for future proofing here, as this is a device that bridges the gap with your smartphone, and shouldn't be attempting to replicate the same functionality. Will Android Wear get there? Most likely. But right now the Pebble has *much* better battery life, a simpler approach, and is easier to use outdoors. For my money the Pebble works better right now. Do they need to improve? Absolutely. But I think it still has the lead position.

8. moroninc

Posts: 193; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

Your advice? what are your credentials? what do you know about marketing? your talking purely on specs, take my advice... no one cares about specs. you could have an ugly UI and still have a snapdragon 801 processor in it.. but whats the use for it? calm down mate...

10. sgodsell

Posts: 7601; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If the Pebble guys don't pick and use an Android device to check out their competition, then pebble is moronic. This is coming from a guy who has the original pebble. Specs do matter when it comes to growth and future proofing your platform. Also Android Wear is open source and Pebble is closed. Pebble should maybe download the source and take a look.

15. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Pebble is in trouble. Sure, they may be acquired by some big company for their smartwatch expertise, but things are going to be tough. Most likely, Android Wear and Apple will be the dominant players. They are the only ones who are bringing a quality platform and ecosystem to the game. They understand this deeply. Pebble does a few things and does them well, but Android Wear and Apple will do these few things reasonably well *and* offer apps and other platform benefits that aren't available with Pebble. Pebble would be smart to look at adding an Android Wear compatible communications layer to their devices. If such a thing would work well, it might open up some interesting possibilities.

16. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

I hope they use a Mirasol screen in the next one :)

3. cleat-glitch

Posts: 109; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

support it after it gets cancelled...stupid

4. Timmons

Posts: 24; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

I like the look of these smart watches way more than the others. I think the moto360 will be nice but I feel it's priced too high

5. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The 360 is the same price as the pebble steel. If Motorola had used the same materials as pebble had on their lower series, the price would be lower as well.

11. Timmons

Posts: 24; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

I read that the 360 may be plastic which would be similar to the lower pebble watches. If it's actually are of premium materials then I agree

12. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

there are some article, it's actually metal.

14. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The story about the casing being plastic was a fake. PA had an article on that and it got pulled within a half hour of being posted due to false info.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.