Prepare to Design the Future
March 19–20, 2017: Training
March 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Making wearable tech wearable

Darrin Caddes (Plantronics)
4:25pm–5:05pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers and designers of wearable devices

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Basic design experience and understanding

What you'll learn

  • Understand the current state of design in today’s wearables environment
  • Learn how social structures and norms impact wearable design, aesthetics, and adoption
  • Discover the most current wearable device user experience trends


Wearable technology is already becoming an integral part of our world, whether we’re ready for it or not. But will wearables really catch on? That will likely be determined by not just the technology they house but also the willingness of people to actually want to wear it.

Design is an increasingly important element in determining the success or failure of a personal device. Anyone working in wearable design should consider trends in the field, along with ergonomics, miniaturization, color and materials, durability, and style. Still, when designing for people and genuine, everyday scenarios, you must start with an understanding of the physical and emotional relationship between the device and the end user.

Darrin Caddes offers an overview of the state of wearables today from a design and aesthetics perspective, covering societal drivers, motivating factors, user experience trends, potential barriers for adoption, and core keys to success.

Photo of Darrin Caddes

Darrin Caddes


Darrin Caddes is vice president of corporate design at Plantronics, where he leads a world-class team of industrial design professionals to ensure that Plantronics products effectively marry the intricacies of superior sound technology, for which the company has been known for more than 50 years, with the intimacy of personal fashion and comfort—and do so in a very small and elegant package. Known for his expertise in designing products that truly become extensions of their users, Darrin spent more than 20 years designing for some of the world’s most prestigious automotive and motorcycle brands, including BMW, Fiat, and Indian Motorcycle, where he worked on a variety of projects ranging from concept vehicles and clothing accessories to corporate identity programs and strategic brand management. Of particular note: Darrin designed the BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle, which was displayed at the Art of the Motorcycle exhibit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Darrin is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design.