Jaime Levy InsantityWorkshops

Speeding Toward UX Concepts for Google Glass Apps

By October 31, 2013 No Comments

by Jaime Levy I love teaching UX design, but sometimes it can be a challenge, especially when you’re coordinating a workshop for a yet-to-be released consumer digital device for designers dying for a chance to experiment with it. It’s even more challenging when you’ve got a mild hangover from slamming a martini down the night before after an intense 2-hour lecture at UCLA Extension on “Value Innovation for Digital Products.” Then add the fact that Fox 11 News was promised an exclusive look at the “cool new tech” at the event and you’ve created a massive stress monster. So when I woke up on October 30th I already wanted the day to be over before it started. But I sucked it up and called my Glass workshop co-instructor, Cecilia Abadie, to make sure things were on track for our “UX Design for Google Glass” workshop at Cross Campus that evening. Things were not. The night before, Cecilia was pulled over by the police for speeding. When the cop realized she was wearing her Google Glass (even though it wasn’t on), he wrote her up for a second violation—wearing a TV screen while driving. Cecilia went home. She posted the first ever “Google Glass Ticket” to her Google Plus profile, tweeted it to #googleglass and fell sleep. By 7am, Android News already had called for an interview. I guess a lot of people thought the ticket was cool.

Well, not everyone. The first comment on the article said, “I hope [Cecilia] gets the book thrown at her. Stupid woman trying to circumvent the law for the sake of some stupid new piece of crappy technology.” By 2pm, the story was picked up by CNN Online. At 5:30pm I was standing in front of Cross Campus in Santa Monica surrounded by news media trucks from every station. So much for that Fox 11 exclusive. At 6:15pm, Cecilia (whom I now lovingly call “Speedy Gonzales”) had arrived and was attacked by reporters who wanted to see her “Glass Ticket!”

Despite all the craziness, Fox still aired the piece at 10pm on the actual Glass workshop – not just the traffic ticket. It featured Cecilia, me and all of our awesome mentors—Kai Gradert, Crystal Erhlich, and Alan Shen. Special thanks to the local Fox 11 news crew Sandra Endo and Kevin Scalir for being epic reporters and “traditional media” producers! Also thanks to Cross Campus for not letting me cancel the event weeks before when I could not find enough Glass device owners to mentor! So the question remains – is Google Glass worth all this hype? Well, Cecilia could have been just as distracted fiddling with her stereo. Even if wearing a Google Glass while driving becomes illegal in California will it stop people from driving with it? Look around you when you’re on the freeway. It seems like every other driver is staring at their phone. Would I pay for a Google Glass if the price was $500? No way! They look lame and don’t really do much… yet. Plus, I already wear glasses and severely hate the constant disruption from my iPhone. But that’s not really the point. We as user experience/digital product designers are pioneers.We get to discover and create new experiences by having an open mindset towards experimentation. We get to try out new devices at the risk of looking like tech dorks. With that in mind, please check out our final Glass workshop presentations where strangers worked in groups on new concepts that explored innovative user experiences using the unique capabilities of Google Glass.