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The problematic happenstance creativity of Google Glass

I’ve had Google Glass for just over a week and here is a look at he first big problem I have found with this new device and form factor.

In the few days I have been using Glass I’ve found that I like it a lot more than I thought I would when I use it to consume content but its a different story when I want to use Glass to create content. The process of taking a picture or recording a video through Glass is a really happenstance creative process especially if its being used by a creative director who wants the image to be framed a certain way. I have found myself taking some photos 6 to 10 times until I get the shot I want or starting video 2 or 3 times because it starts recording and the subject is completely out of the frame which is incredibly frustrating because I need to have the devices I use be used for more than just content consumption.


I realize that part of the problem is created because we trying to impose the usability of other form factors like a camera or smartphone onto this new device which is trying to create its own new set of usability conventions but I think Google needs to find a middle ground between the old and the new.  I think this could be done with a few simple tweaks to the user experience and interface design.

1 – Adjustable interaction timing

One of my biggest problems is that for me everything on Glass just happens more quickly than I want it to.  Photos are taken before I have a chance to frame them up, video start recording with no reference for how the video will be framed and emails are sent before I have a chance to really proof read them. I can tell that this timing was created with a bias towards capturing content in the spur of the moment which would seem to be supported by the fact that every video of what it is like to use Glass shows it being used that way.

The problem with this usability bias is that if you want to be more precise in your approach you can’t adjust the timing of your interactions. I think this problem could be fixed if you had the option to have Glass keep it’s current timing or change a preference that could activate a ‘precise’ mode where things would happen a little more slowly and you could be be given more cues from Glass before to creates content. Let me elaborate on what I mean by that…

2 – Interaction timing cues

I think the adjustable interaction timing preference I wrote about above could be brought to life through timing cues where you get to see more of what is about to be recorded before it actually happens.  For example when you said ‘record a video’ the display would show you the image it is seeing with a 3,2,1 countdown before a video starts recording so you can frame the shot the way you want. This way I would know that the subject is in the frame and I am not going to have to spend the first 2 or 3 seconds of a 10 second video trying to get that right.

3 – Access photos and video as a content grouping on Glass

I wish I could access all my photos or all my video on Glass without having to scroll through my timeline to be find them individually sprinkled in with all my other events. I have wanted to do this a few times when my iPhone has no data service and thus Glass wasn’t able to push the photos and videos to Google+ where I could view them easily.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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