Has the Role of the Google Glass Designer Reverted Towards an Art Director and Copywriter?

Will the lack of standard options throw the digital designer?

Will the lack of standard options throw the digital designer?

I recently ran a Google Glass hack day where ~40 developers and designers were tasked with pioneering new creative uses for Google Glass. One of my favourite parts of the day was when I briefly caught up with the head of design and I asked how his team was doing. He said to me that his input as a designer using the mirror API was limited and often his design choices were reduced to choosing an image, a few words, maybe an icon or two, and the use of colour to get his key message across. This made me question: is the role of the Glass designer more similar to a traditional art director and copywriter than it is to a digital designer?

Google Glass currently only let’s you design content through the Mirror API where only cards of images, copy, icons, and colours are permitted. As Glass places content directly into your field of vision, choosing the right content is essential to stay relevant and therefore installed. This means the choice of image, copy, and iconography is more important than ever before and a designers role is now more to choose the perfect image, write (or work with someone to write) the perfect short form copy, and use iconography and colour in significant, meaningful ways on the tiny real estate.

Designing for the Glass Mirror API calls for considered, concise design choices. Whilst designing for a smartphone app could be compared to writing a blog post, with room for flourish and explanation, designing for Glass is like composing the perfect tweet, say only what is relevant with minimal media attached to get your point across in a couple of seconds.

Innovative UI for text entry in Steam’s Big Picture mode

Valve have created an excellent way around the usual god-awful text input usually seen on a games console. I’m sure most of you will be aware of the pain that is entering even simple text fields, such as your login details, on a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. This is a great bit of UI design that takes something as ‘simple’ as text entry back to the drawing board, creating a superior text entry method to the awful virtual qwerty keyboards we currently see on both the Xbox and the PlayStation.

Steam's Big Picture text entry mechanic

Steam’s Big Picture text entry mechanic

See the new text entry method at 4:05 in action video below, via IGN.

Bravo Valve.

Great UI and IXD from iPhone app ‘Languages’

I love a bit of good mobile UI I do.

Just saw this cool example of a small tweak to the UI / IXD made in the iPhone app Languages. Great job @jerols.

Check out the video, specifically from 40 seconds on, where you see a beautifully simple and well executed idea of indenting the A-Z navigation as you scroll down, so your thumb is never in the way. There’s also a really nice example of a folding side-nav in the video too… as a bonus.