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Designing for Glass

Wearable Design 101s

Mar 12, 2013

1 min read

These are just really 101s for when designing for Glass.

Design for the platform

As with any other platform, you should design especifically for Glass and not port over an existing experience.

This platform features a unique, low resolution display, that’s always in the field of vision of the wearer.

It has advanced sensors such as GPS, Accelerometer, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radio, internet connectivity isn’t guaranteed.

It’s even more personal and accessible than a mobile phone, requiring only a head tilt or voice command to interact with.

Don’t get in the way

In a device as personal, present, you need to be extra careful not to get in the way of the wearer.

Interaction with the Glass is immediate but limited.

Voice controls and internet connectivity may fail, touch pad requires a free hand and might not respond when wearing a regular glove.

Golden rule is: be passive, unobtrusive. Limit the need for input, limit output - be vewy vewy careful with notifications, remember your app will co-exist with many others, and if everybody’s shouting for attention… it’s Glass-induced insanity.

Keep it relevant, timely

Basically: don’t nag the wearer. People don’t like being nagged (who knew!), especially when the information is irrelevant (people really go mental with this one: why are you showing me this!? Aww cute kitty, wait… throws Glass onto the floor stomp stomp).

Remember: with access to the wearer’s eyeballs, comes great responsability.

Be predictable

No unsolicited Adventure Time clips. (okay, maybe one)

Seriously, just follow to the platform guidelines, the wearer will have less to learn if apps behave the same, know what to expect and don’t have any surprise interactions requiring expensive cognitive load (comes in short supply) and input.


Experience design bonus: This is a unique platform, with a priviledged place in the wearer’s life, don’t just copy experiences, create something that’s only possible with the Glass. Be a good app citizen, consider how your app will exist in the larger ecosystem.

Wonder how will an unmediated app ecosystem fare on such platform, its implications on the end user experience, product perception.

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