Design. Technology. Problem Solving.

Todos for Google Glass

April 2014


This project started off with a simple goal statement: can we create a task management ("todos") app for Google Glass"? To accomplish this, we first chose to learn more about the behaviour of "todo"-taking along with its various nuances, review past work in this field, and then proceed to designing and testing out our concepts.

This was a group project done as part of the Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing course at Georgia Tech, and I played the roles of UX Researcher and UX Designer.

UX Research

To learn more about todos and todo-taking, we did several distinct steps:

The research taught us that todo-taking behaviour encompassed more than just what we traditionally call "todos". We also learned a lot about the various ways people took todos, and also the variety of media they used to do so.

Variety of "Todos"

From our study, we learned quickly that what starts out as a todo-management behaviour quickly branches out into something that is more broad. We found interview participants talking about related note-taking activites which were not todo tasks, but something allied to it. Past literature has called it "notes" or "information scraps".

The kinds of notes that people often took fell in the following categories:

Types of "todos"

Variety of Media

How and where people jotted down information was also quite varied - it varied between people, and between the kind of information being jotted down. Here are some interesting patterns we saw:


We brought all our findings from the interviews to our design board, and explored numerous ideas about which direction to take the note-taking app in. We realized most clearly that the space of "information scraps management" is very vast and varied, and we need to consciously focus our design to be specifically targeted to todos and reminders, and avoid the space of larger unsctuctured note taking, and long-term planning.

Some design desicions drawn from our background research were:

We came up with detailed user flows for accomplishing tasks that we thought would matter most, like taking a note, viewing their notes, and reordering them.

Wireframes with user flows

Prototyping and Testing: Iteration 1

We built a prototype of our app and had people try it out and complete tasks like taking notes, deleting a note, reordering notes, etc. To avoid having to build the actual app on Google Glass, we implemented a web-based prototype that would allow us to conduct "wizard-of-oz" testing.

The prototype requires test administrator, a laptop and a projector to run. The test user would wear an inactive Google Glass and sit in front of the projector, while Google Glass "cards" would get projected to the top right corner of the projector to the display of the actual device. When the user issues voice commands, or performs actions on the device, the test administrator can update the display based on the user's actions. This allowed us to run a "wizard-of-oz" style user test to identify some initial quirks with our task flows. The prototype we implemented can be found online.

A testing session in progress

View Prototype

Prototyping and Test: Iteration 2

After some initial testing with the web based prototype, we built a real prototype of our app and tested it with users using the actual app with a real Google Glass. We assigned them a few tasks like creating a new todo, adding a picture to it, marking a todo as complete, or reordering todos in the app. 9 out of 10 testers successfully completed all the test tasks assigned to them.

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