The Smallest watchOS Change I Want in 2023

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 2 min read
The Smallest watchOS Change I Want in 2023

After you do a workout in the Workout app on the Apple Watch, it gives you a summary of your workout. It's nice, but it's also a pain because to get rid of that summary, you need to scroll allllll the way to the bottom of the report to hit a lonely "done" button.

But this is a pain and I'm annoyed literally every time I have to do it. As a bonus, as Apple has added more tracking over the years, that also means I need to scroll further with each update to close it out.

My proposal is very simple, I just want to be able to dismiss the after-workout summary without scrolling through the whole thing.

One thought was to just move the current "done" button to the top and push everything else down, but that would push the time off screen, which is annoying Β as well. That lead me to using the standard system back button used all over watchOS already, and I think it's a good fit here. You lose zero vertical space for the content and it uses a system control users understand.

The only possible issue here could be that someone may think the back button would take them back into the workout, but I don't think that's what most people would assume, and even if some do, it's immediately clear what it does after one use and then it would be just the new thing they were used to. As always, neither I nor you, dear reader, have done the user research to find out for sure πŸ˜›

Now of course you can just hit the crown button to go back to your watch face, or you can drop your wrist and it will go back to your watch face in a minute or so, but of course watchOS maintains your state in apps for quite a while after you close them, so if you go to do another workout in the next few hours, you'll tap the app icon and be greeted with the summary that you now need to dismiss anyway. If you go longer between workouts, then watchOS will clear Workouts from memory.

My proposal should have zero impact on the people who don't work out more than once in a few hours, but it would solve a usability problem that other people (like me) have with the behavior today.