As part of the design series at the California College of the Arts, I partook in a Google Glass design workshop.

After a night of wearing glass, eating hors d’oeuvres at the San Francisco Google office, we reconvened to put the Google 5-day design sprint methodology to use in 5 hours:

  • Understand
  • Diverge
  • Decide
  • Prototype
  • Validate

This was apparently the first time the course had been shortened this drastically, so we unfortunately had very little time to work designing + prototyping, but we captured the essential flow of what we wanted to create.

Our task was to address the needs gleaned from a simple user story: Valentina, an accomplished chef and restuaranteur in Los Angeles, is launching a network TV show. However, it seems she values her time at home, with her family, more than anything else.

user profile

We went our own ways for a short time, then came back together to decide on the direction of our design. Given the unfortunately fast paced nature of the sprint, we ended up tossing a lot of the (I think) most fun ideas.

I loved the idea of a connected kitchen - pots that know when they’re boiling, measuring cups that accommodate adjusted measurements in a parameterized recipe, and other kitchen gadgets. Tying them into more interactive recipes would be awesome – imagine Glass tells you where to find your hidden-away measuring cup via augmented reality, or you get a timeline view walking you through the whole process.

brainstoming ideas

We charted all of our ideas based on their “UX Value” and “Technical Complexity”.

charting UX versus complexity

We then made paper prototypes of our collective ideas.

initial prototyping

Our app included all the hallmarks of any modern app: intelligent suggestions, collaboration, and sharing completed projects, all integrating location + personalized APIs.


Step 1 - User Profile

Upon going to the grocery store and coming upon some carrots, Valentina’s Glass (knowing she is a creature of comfort-food habit) recommends some of her favorite recipes, and other suggestions.

Step 3 - Carrot Overlay

After deciding upon a recipe, a list of ingredients comes up, which can be assigned to other users.

Step 4 - Recipe View

A key principle of Glass in particular is intelligently minimizing interaction in typical flows - for example sending a text message to assign a task to someone.

Step 5 - Buy Garlic Task

The more the app is used, the smarter it becomes. Beyond simply sharing meals on social media, they are remembered and educate the app, are recommended to others, and adjusted.

Step 7 - Saving a created meal

The Design Sprint teams shared ideas and critiqued each other’s designs as the final activity.

Everyone sharing their project

All in all, the workshop turned around my opinion of Glass - it’s such a new, unique, novel interface. Can’t wait until wearables do more than they do now!