Exploring the Google Glass UX

As wearable devices enter the mainstream, UX designers must develop ways to maximize those devices’ potential while acknowledging the new limitations they impose. That’s what the software team at ELEKS concluded after evaluating Google Glass – an experience that allowed them to abandon their expectations about head-mounted wearables, adapt user experiences to tiny screens, and forget about keyboards altogether. For many UX designers, Google Glass evokes visions of an Iron Man-like interface with numerous controls and augmented reality features. Our team at ELEKS, too, fell victim to these assumptions. It was only after designing and developing multiple applications for Google Glass that we began to truly understand its distinctive features – and how to work within its limitations. In particular, we came across numerous technical and contextual challenges that few in the UX space will have encountered before. As the market for Google Glass, and thus the market for compatible applications continues to expand, we feel it is of vital importance for UX designers to share their experiences creating applications for the device. It’s in this spirit that we’re sharing our own. Photo Credit: lawrencegs via Compfight cc Technological limitations We began playing with Glass in August of 2013. Since then, our team of designers, analysts and engineers has worked on seven related projects, ranging from business concepts to fully operational applications. Most of the projects catered to unique usage scenarios and provided an application from which clients can benefit, either by opening new opportunities or by optimizing business processes. First, we discovered that the predominant way to interact with Google Glass was via Mirror API, which showed text...

UIEtips: How Agile UX Can Be a Cost Effective Approach

In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article from Jared Spool. In it, he shares ideas on getting low-cost iterations into your Agile development process. Jared also makes the case that UX-focused design is a team sport. If you’re looking for more on tying UX design and your Agile process together, then you’re going to want to join us on September 18, when Aviva Rosenstein presents our next virtual seminar, Making UX Work with Agile Scrum Teams. Here’s an excerpt from the article: It’s tempting to let those UX-focused design team members do this early work while the rest of the team goes off and does other activities. However, the biggest value from these early iterations comes from the discussions and insights that emerge. The most successful teams involve everyone who will influence the eventual design—including developers and stakeholders—in their design studios and paper prototyping activities. Read the article: Cost Effective Approaches to Iteration in Agile UX. What techniques are you using to reduce the costs of iteration for your team? Leave us a note...

UX I/O: Prototyping Interactive Objects Workshop

Adaptive Path Experience Designers Scott Sullivan and Evi K. Hui are teaching this workshop August 16-17, 2014 at our Design Studio on Pier 1 next to the Ferry Building. Click here to register for this workshop. Workshop Details: As we are integrating digital capabilities in to our physical environment, the tools of designers are beginning to shift. In order to understand and prototype these new experiences, a new technological skill set is needed. This two day workshop will give you foundational knowledge of Processing, a programming language for Designers and Artists, as well as Arduino, an open-source electronics prototyping platform. We’ll focus on programming fundamentals as well as creating dynamic physical prototypes to elicit meaningful feedback from the people who will encounter your work. This workshop is designed to give people with absolutely no coding skills a kick-start in open source technologies. The biggest thing that you’ll walk away with is the ability to create your own ideas and a deeper understanding of the materiality of on and off-screen digital products. The second biggest thing you’ll walk away with is our Arduino prototyping kit! Items you will receive in the kit (yours to keep!): Arduino Uno – R3 6′ USB Cable for Arduino Breadboard 6″ jumper wires (10) 10K Ohm resistors (4) Super bright white LEDs (5) Momentary push button switch 10K trimpot potentiometer Ultrasonic range finder Passive infrared sensor (PIR) Custom laser cut Adaptive Path breadboard plate Adaptive Path Physical Prototyping...

UIEtips: Attaining a Collaborative Shared Understanding

In this week’s UIEtips, we look back at an article that discusses two types of shared understanding we uncovered and how one of them is far more likely to end with a successful design. Our next virtual seminar with Dan Brown covers shared understanding and how you and your team interprets and responds to everyday design challenges. Join us on May 15, 2014 for our next virtual seminar, Make Collaboration Happen, Even with Stubborn People. Here’s an excerpt from the article: I remember seeing an architect who talked about his best projects. When he walked through the finished building for the first time, he said it felt completely familiar because it matched exactly what he’d imagined years before. His intention had made it all the way through the implementation process. Seeing our designs rendered exactly as we imagined them is exciting. Yet it’s frustrating when our designs aren’t implemented the way we were thinking. As we study what makes design teams successful, shared understanding keeps bubbling up to the top of our list. Teams that attain a shared understanding are far more likely to get a great design than those teams who fail to develop a common perception of the project’s goals and outcome. Read the article: Attaining a Collaborative Shared Understanding. Which approach (contractual or collaborative) do you feel would be most effective in helping your team to attain shared understanding? Leave us a note...

Improve Your Mobile UX with These Six Podcasts

Below we feature the six UX luminaries giving full-day workshops at the UX Immersion Mobile Conference, April 7-9 in Denver, CO. Each of these podcasts brings insights on how to improve communication and workflow with your team and users. Structuring Your Workflow for Responsive Web Design by Ben Callahan With the need for the web to reconfigure and adapt to different devices and displays, designers and developers need to adapt to changing workflows. Ben discusses how to move towards an iterative and collaborative approach which in turn allows your clients to become more involved in the process. Listen to Ben’s podcast. The Challenges of Usability Testing Mobile Apps by Cyd Harrell Cyd Harrell has developed some good remote usability techniques that can be more effective, both in scope and cost as well as results, than a formal testing lab.( Even something as simple as “hugging” a laptop with the screen angled away from you and using the built in camera can give fantastic insights into how a user will interact with a mobile device.) Listen to Cyd’s podcast. Creating Responsive Interfaces by Brad Frost Frameworks and design patterns are no strangers in the world of web design. As responsive web design becomes common practice, making sure these templates work across every imaginable screen and device is trickier. Brad shares his concept of Atomic Design to tackle this challenge. Listen to Brad’s podcast. Responsive Web Design with Mobile in Mind by Jason Grigsby The ability for your site to display across screen sizes and devices, reduces development time and allows for one design to work anywhere. Jason the total experience...