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Former Apple Designer Celebrates Apple Watch’s Fifth Birthday With Inside Look at Design Process

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Imran Chaudhri was on both the team that created the original iPhone and the team that created the original Apple Watch. While the designer has moved on from Apple to help found Humane, a company started by a number of former Apple executives, he celebrated the Apple Watch’s fifth birthday by posting some fun facts about the device’s creation on Twitter.

Chaudhri, who played a pivotal role in the Apple Watch’s creation, offered an inside look into the device’s design process Friday, showing off an early concept drawing of the smartwatch’s home screen.

His sketch, shared on the 5-year anniversary of the Apple Watch launch, looks amazingly close to what is in use now. He also showed off a video of the very first Apple Watch band and talked about the history of some Watch faces.

Apparently, the shape of the circular icon was driven by the clock that lived in the center of the app dock. The Digital Crown on the right side of the Apple Watch gave the home screen a dimensionality, allowing users to scrub through various layers of the UI.

The Digital Touch feature, which is available in the Messages app on the Apple Watch, was originally called E.T. (Electronic Touch) after the popular science fiction movie E.T. Apparently, Imran thought of the name as the feature had the potential of a new form of emotional touch. The drawing ink was inspired by the designer’s graffiti days. The feature was designed to communicate transmission while making it guilt-free.

He also shared a video of a watch band that was attached to a sixth-generation iPod Nano, which served as the original prototype for the Apple Watch. Imran said that he wrapped up iOS 5 and took it down to show it to the internal development team. He wanted to share what the notification center and Siri were, but he never managed to show it to Steve Jobs as he passed away just after iOS 5.

The Apple Watch celebrated its fifth birthday yesterday, originally releasing to the public on April 24, 2015.

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