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User Experience Heuristics for Wearables in the Enterprise


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Generic user experience heuristics for designing solutions in the enterprise. Covers heads-up displays, smart watches, sensors and wearable tracking bands. Trademarks and copyrights acknowledged. Comments welcome.

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User Experience Heuristics for Wearables in the Enterprise

  1. 1. Wearables in the Enterprise: User Experience Heuristics Wearables User Experience Heuristics for the Enterprise 1.0 Ultan O’Broin ( Solve an enterprise problem Articulate in a single sentence what work problem that the device is solving, for which wearer, and in what work environment. The problem should be recurrent. The device should augment work productivity; don’t advocate using a wearable “just because you can.” Vuzix heads-up display providing warehouse picker inventory with augmented reality view instructions Examples: • Displaying knowledge-base details to technicians on heads-up displays (HUDs) as they work on service calls, enabling hands-free operation • Showing the latest customer information to a sales rep about an opportunity that’s approaching • Scanning barcodes on inventory items, enabling order pickers in a warehouse to ensure accurate order fulfillment Wearables solve a clearly identified problem for the wearer, make work easier, and add value to the enterprise. Page 1 of 8
  2. 2. Wearables in the Enterprise: User Experience Heuristics Augment and automate tasks where appropriate Use built-in cameras, GPS capability, optical character recognition, voice-to-text capability, contextual sensors, or other technology to enhance task completion and productivity. Use capabilities that wearers are already familiar with from mobile devices, such as maps, check ins, QR code scanning, and so on. Aim to automate the short, frequent tasks or error-prone tasks, and augment more casual tasks or tasks that wearers love to do, such as collaborating with others. Business card details capture on Google Glass HUD Examples: • Detecting locations and time durations automatically with sensors to eliminate manual time entry • Capturing and converting business information to a digital format with cameras and microphones • Recording daily activity levels and calorie intake for HR wellness programs • Detecting a foreign language warning on a machine and translating it automatically Enable context-of-use awareness Extend the wearer’s real-world expertise by understanding their context of use. The system should know where wearers are located, what transactional object names need to be recognized, what social interactions are involved, how the device is used in the environment, and so on. Display the right information at the right time so that wearers are in the “know” and in the “now.” Use augmented reality where appropriate to improve context for the wearer. Page 2 of 8
  3. 3. Wearables in the Enterprise: User Experience Heuristics Vuzix HUD being in use on construction site (left). Apple iBeacon in-store sensor (right). Examples: • Informing wearers with sensors when a new sales prospect is approaching and what the prospect’s past buying preferences were • Showing the correct placement of a new part on a machine being serviced • Detecting the names of businesses and other important objects correctly and associating them with relevant information for further interaction • Providing for robust use in the enterprise; for different weather, lighting, or temperate conditions; for health and safety considerations; and so on Connect with other software and devices Integrate the system with other applications and devices in the enterprise. Wearable devices can be considered as an optimized UI for a single source of truth business object in the cloud (a sales opportunity, or employee, for example) that other applications can access and use elsewhere. However, keep the number of device switches to the minimum for wearers. FitBit Flex data is viewed and analyzed on a smart phone or desktop dashboard shown (left). Nike FuelBand performance details shown on smart phone (right). Page 3 of 8
  4. 4. Wearables in the Enterprise: User Experience Heuristics Examples: • Using a HUD to make calls, view directions to a customer location, or follow social media interaction about an opportunity, while later completing a contract for the sale on a desktop application • Capturing customer engagements, context, and conversations using a sensor, while later reviewing and analyzing the details on a tablet or desktop dashboard Prioritize the wearer over the device Wearable devices should have the same basic form and operational paradigm as their more traditional counterparts. The system should have a nondistracting form and should not require new behaviors. For example, we know how to use watches and regular eyeglasses, so smart watches and HUDs should have the same familiar appearance, fit, and feel. Wearable devices must accommodate the wearer and their contexts of use, not the other way around. Wearables should be attractive, not “geeky.” Wearers shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or self-conscious about wearing or using devices. General Electric technician view of jet engine repair details using Google Glass HUD (left). FitBit Flex bands come in a variety of sizes and attractive colors (right). Examples: • HUDs with display windows in the upper-right corner of the visual field help wearers avoid diverting their attention from other more pressing activities. • HUDs, sensor bands or smart watches that are designed with modern, attractive yet discrete appearance using innovative materials and available in alternative or interchangeable styles. Page 4 of 8
  5. 5. Wearables in the Enterprise: User Experience Heuristics Keep it simple, stupid. Speculative unobtrusive heads-up display, designed by Wired magazine (left). Wearers should not feel awkward about their devices (right). Enable personalization and customization Enable wearers to tailor their user experience to create an experience that reflects the ways that they work. Provide different modalities for information and use. Enable wearers to easily turn off or on capabilities and for the system to remember their decisions. Enable wearers to designate where and how frequently they want to use features and have information delivered. Pebble Watch supports i0S7 notifications center services (left). Google Glass HUD head angle option for activation from sleep mode (right). Examples: • Providing smart watch settings and preferences to select which apps may communicate with the wearer • Turning on or off HUDs by voice, head angle, or gesture • Sending notifications by email, SMS, vibration, sounds, LED sequences and colors, and so on Use natural gestures and interactions Enable wearers to operate devices using familiar or learnable gestures or regular voice input. Keep it simple to minimize command overload and eliminate ambiguity through consistency. Use short phrases for voice commands, consistently. Page 5 of 8
  6. 6. Wearables in the Enterprise: User Experience Heuristics Google Glass HUD uses swipe gestures for timeline navigation (left). Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch uses swipe gestures to access notifications. Examples: • Swiping action on HUDs for timeline and other navigation • Turning of wearer’s wrist to activate smart watch display • Entering data or commands by speaking in a colloquial voice • Swiping or tapping gestures on watches or bands Craft information visually and concisely Design for a simple, consistent user experience using icons or other visualizations to communicate with the wearer. Use short, precise text or voice phrases for commands, and organize information in familiar ways, such as in cards or light sequences. Present only essential, contextually relevant, information in real time. Supplement the displays with audio information for accessibility reasons. Samsung Galaxy Gear notifications use icons and numbered badging (left). Google Glass HUD uses short, clear information on cards (right). Examples: • Displaying information on visually attractive card decks on HUDs for object overviews and drill downs • Showing essential information only on business objects in context • Using short voice phrases for menus and commands Page 6 of 8
  7. 7. Wearables in the Enterprise: User Experience Heuristics • • Communicating with concise notifications, alerts, and other instructions on smart watches and HUDs Indicating progress or status with LEDs on bands or sensors The infolet concept offers scope for use on HUDs and smart watches as well as other optimized user interfaces. Provide timely feedback to wearers Indicate that the system (application and device) is working as intended. Provide advance information rather than startling wearers with unexpected outcomes. Request wearers’ attention, don’t demand it, using audio confirmations or visual indicators, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), icons, precisely worded messages, and so on. LEDs indicate level of power on FitBit Flex (left). Google Glass HUD uses card bundles with icons and text to indicate connectivity (right). Examples: • Showing that traveling to a customer site is being recorded • Confirming that a captured image or information has been sent • Indicating that device battery level is sufficient to complete the task or that the battery charge is low • Indicating when the device has been disconnected from Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Help wearers to correct errors and provide for graceful failure and exit As with any system, issues may arise, so provide wearers with the means to correct captured data or inputs that they’ve made. Provide a way for wearers to escape easily from a task and start again. Page 7 of 8
  8. 8. Wearables in the Enterprise: User Experience Heuristics Google Glass HUD captioning of image previously saved in timeline (left). Vuzix HUD enables wearer to confirm before continuing (right). Examples: • Enabling wearers to manually edit or re-record business details if they were not captured accurately the first time • Enabling wearable technology to machine-learn from mistakes and suggest alternatives • Saving objects on the devices for submission or sharing later, if connectivity is lost   Online References • • • • • • • • • • • • • “ok, glass” (Morgan) 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design (Nielsen Norman Group) Design Principles for Smart Glasses (APX Labs) Designing the Oracle Voice User Experience: Oracle Shares the Lessons (Oracle Usable Apps) Google Glass Developers Design Principles (Google Developers) Localizing Wearables, Schmerables: If Google Glass Had Italian Stylists (Blogos) Smartwatches are the Future—But Samsung Galaxy Gear Only Partway There (Nielsen Norman Group) Some thinking required (Vesterli) The Apple iWatch (Ask TOG) The Paradox of Wearable Technologies (MIT Technology Review) Top 10 Wearable Technology Design Principles (Venture Beat) Wearable Technology to Take Workplace by Storm (GigaOM) What Would Generic Usability Heuristics for Wearables be like? (UX Stack Exchange) This document acknowledges the trademarks and copyright of any products and services shown and referenced. Page 8 of 8