A smart-glasses optimized app that keeps users up to tasks and helps them set reminders
NextDash is a smart-glasses optimized app that helps users keep their reminders and tasks organized daily. It enables cross-platform functionalities between smart-glasses and mobile through either iOS or Android systems. Though the app is going through a beta stage, it has been proven to be effective and convenient by many testers, and it is now being finalized with a few more updates that can maximize its capabilities in the modern technology world.
Simplified Design with a Microphone Functionality
The glasses seem to be flooded with too many colored texts that affect users' visibility when wearing them. For efficiency, the app needs to be modified with a more simplified design that conveys requested information more conveniently and effectively. Also, to receive orders, the glasses need to have a built-in microphone that recognizes the user's voice.
I am hired as a Product Designer who can focus on revising the steps of creating and amending reminders and implementing the microphone functionality as the core foundation of the app, revamping the power of artificial intelligence and bringing a new future product that can soon be connected with mobile and desktop platforms to work cross-platform.
The target audience is for 20s-40s who are working and studying both indoors and outdoors. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, people began to rely heavily on technology to stay connected, keep working, enjoy entertainment, and be informed. Thus, the usage of cell phones and desktops has increased dramatically, and companies started investing much money and energy into creating software and digital platforms where they can connect with their audience.
Though the mobile and desktop platforms sufficiently deliver the results to both the companies and consumers, people have been wondering about an alternative technology that can better assist their requests. As a result, tech giants have been working on inventing multi-functional smart glasses connected to mobiles and able to offer quicker and more convenient services than mobiles. People can check out time, weather, appointments, and messages through glasses rather than going through their mobiles.
The app is designed to give something new to the existing audience, a glimpse of future technology, and even though smart-glasses are not widely used worldwide, this app is shaping up to change the trajectory and provide people who are working and studying indoors and outdoors convenience to stay active and organized through weekdays.
Nielsen Heuristics Analysis
Visibility of system status
- Although the glasses are not as big as mobile or desktop screens, they are big enough to convey information to the users. The users can understand how the glasses work and what materials are prioritized for them to use the app and complete their tasks when reminded.
User Control and Freedom
- The users will have total freedom in controlling the app. They will monitor how the app is responding to requests and what responses the glasses make on every reminder. They will be able to turn the app off when not used, and they can manually select the typography and visuals of the app.
- The usage of a built-in microphone will be the key to providing the best service for users to request and receive. The microphone will act as the bridge of communication between the device and the user.
Aesthetic and Minimalistic Design
- The core focus of this mission is to minimize the overall design. My role is to design an app that conveys the message to the users without confusing them with unnecessary colors and texts. The efficiency will increase with the decrease in design.
Data Research on Smart Glasses Trend
I conducted secondary research on how smart glasses will be marketable in the foreseeing future. It is important to note that to design the most optimized app, the designers have to know whether the glasses will be used by many people around the world, which provides us with valuable feedback. I examined data from multiple sources that cover technology and its trend, and both data suggest that the smart glasses market will grow, and tech giants will produce more sophisticated products that are linked to mobiles and desktops and multi-functional over the next five years.
8.8 million to be sold over the next five years, and the growth of smart glasses is exponential. The forecast also predicts that workers in factories, hospitals, and oil fields will soon adapt the simple, smart glasses with essential functionalities
61% of the growth will come from America, asserting that big tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple are already working on the next device of the century, and the incremental growth of the smart glasses market is 8.07 billion dollars by 2023
America will lead the world of smart glasses, and companies like Google and Apple will soon offer smart glasses that are connected to mobile apps. Companies like Asahi Glass, Gentex, and Saint-Gobain are critical foundries that can provide the best quality glasses with the most optimized functionalities that enable users to efficiently and conveniently take care of their daily errands
Data Research on Voice Recognition and AI
The emergence of Artificial Intelligence like Siri, Alexa, and Google has transformed people's daily life. Now, people can request information without typing through voice, and the AI will return accurate information accordingly. More than 70% of Americans use AI daily, and the integration of smart glasses as a new AI device will bring more convenience to the floor. The critical feature that smart glasses need to implement sufficiently is voice recognition, and they need the functionality to read and register verbal orders and present information accurately. With more advanced technology shaping up to slay another array in the technology puzzle, the implementation of voice recognition into smart glasses seems very probable and promising.
Challenges with Virtual Reality
Although the concept of virtual reality has sparked some excitement and anticipation from the public, people do not view virtual reality as the future of technology. They very much worry that the usage of such devices will bring some significant health concerns. The two data on the left demonstrate the growing challenges that virtual reality devices face among the public. For example, Smart Data shows that among the casual technology users, 53% have expressed their no-interest in using, 43% think the devices are too expensive, and 14% have health-related concerns over virtual reality. Also, research has been conducted on the negative health effects that VR devices will bring to people. It demonstrates that people are concerned with experiencing headaches, motion sickness, and many more. This is one of the challenges that VR developers will have to address and consider moving forward with device upgrades.
Initial Usability Testing:
Ray-Ban Smart Sunglasses
To understand the functionalities and benefits of smart glasses, I tried the Ray-Ban smart glasses as a user, which are the currently available smart glasses with a video-recording functionality. I explored the types of benefits and functionalities that the glasses provided and analyzed how the device would help users achieve their goals. Then, I jot down some criteria regarding user interfaces of Ray-Ban smart glasses, which include User Awareness, User Control on Functions, Error Recognition, Actions Visibility, and Flexibility. Although the glasses offer great video-recording functionality, it is hard to control the device manually, and the navigation within the device is not easy-to-follow, which does not make it an accessible, user-friendly device. However, it is a great blueprint for future VR technologies to come, and it has a great chance of being used ubiquitously by the general public in the near future.
I drew out some possible routes and functionalities of these VR smart glasses. First, the user would be able to direct commands through Voice Recognition functionality on the glasses, and the screens would display UI-friendly buttons and texts that could guide the users through the process. In this case, the purpose was to create, edit, and delete new to-dos to the daily task list and simplify the steps taken. Thus, I made sure to make the user flow as smooth, accessible, comprehensive, and easy-to-follow as possible.
Reminders/Events Add + Edit + Delete
Social Media and Visual Price Detector (Hypothetrical)
The UI elements consist of ambient light colors (Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Red) that illustrate light and easygoing mood, not affecting users' eyes when the screens pop up on glasses. Also, the primary buttons will be positioned on top of the glasses to ensure the users that it is 5G connected, the battery will show, and they will be able to give commands through the mic.
Some of the social media icons can be displayed as options as the glasses become advanced, and the calendar icons with time and date are also important.
The user flow will map out a journey of Reminders/Events being added, edited, and deleted. The goal is to simplify the user journey on the app, and it is important to visualize how the user will be guided through the journey with buttons and instructions. In this user flow, the user will be asked first to decide what to add for their reminders or events, provide details, and the reminders/events will be created. Then, they will have the option to either edit or delete such reminders/events, all of which contribute to a very straightforward, user-friendly, and accessible user flow.
User Flow: Create + Edit + Delete Reminders/Events
Low Fidelity WireFrames
Here are the low-fidelity wireframes that illustrate the essential steps of NextDash. Users' voice recognition makes the orders through a microphone attached to the glasses and given specific orders; the app will register and output performances accordingly.
The first route showcases how to check reminders and mark them as done. The second route illustrates how to add, delete, and edit reminders. The microphone button will appear on every screen on the left. When the user wishes to make any changes or request information, the glasses will receive, register, and respond accordingly to accommodate the user's schedule the best.
Red Route : How to Check and Edit Reminders
Red Route : How to Add Reminders
High Fidelity MockUps
Based on the UI Elements, User Flow, and Low Fidelity Wireframes, I created the High Fidelity Mockups with visuals added. Although the mockups do not look visually appealing, they provide essential buttons and texts that guide users through adding/editing/deleting reminders and events. More upgrades and ideas will be added as the smart-glass versions become known to the public in the years to come.
NextDash: Add/Edit Reminder
NextDash: Finalize Details
NextDash: Other Possible Mockups
Although this app is only conceptual, I believe it will come to fruition in about five years, when big tech giants start pumping out smart glasses as a primary device that can work compatibly with other devices. This year, Meta already announced that it is working on creating the "Metaverse" where people can digitally live inside a digital universe, and with the combination of Oculus and Ray-Ban smart glasses, the company is rigorously revitalizing the importance of expanding its presence in the digital world of technology and what will play an essential role in near future. Also, Microsoft began their operation in creating the Metaverse that will encompass the creative field of daily device that can be used prevalently among people. In addition, Google is rapidly developing its AI which is already utilized in our phones and desktops, and it is predicted to be implemented to augmented reality in near future, so the concept of smart glasses is soon to be tested and become reality.
Completing this project has been challenging because of limited data, but I believe through this experience, I have been able to suggest a new route into the future and seize an opportunity to design something that can define the future.