User Problems

Glass users who do not fit characteristics of Glass' current target market

The following individuals and their stated experiences are fictitious, but the context of their stories reflect common problematic areas associated with the current version of Glass. Each persona represents Glass in a real-world situation. They all also act as specific personas showcasing the current version of Glass inabilities to cater to a very broad population.

nancyThis is Nancy (photographed by Chris Hunkeler). Nancy is a twenty-four-year-old student who was injured in a car accident last year. Nancy now suffers from a serious speech impediment, which hinders her speech pattern.

Nancy had a chance to test out Google's newest technology--Google Glass. Nancy tried to search the web on Glass through a series of voice commands, but Glass could not register what she was trying to say due to her speech impediment. Nancy knows that Glass uses both voice and gestural commands, so she tried to use alternative gesture commands to effectively get information from Glass.

Ultimately Nancy realized her command could not be accomplished because not all voice commands translate into gestural features.

How this affects Google? According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), “Approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have trouble using their voices" (2010). 

This statistic only refers to people within the United States. Since Google is an international company, this statistic would refer to a larger number of individuals affected by voice impairments. Therefore, more than 7.5 million people will not buy Glass because they cannot effectively use it. 

benjaminThis is Benjamin (photographed by Mer Chau). Benjamin is a twenty-year-old college sophomore who was born with type 1 diabetes. When Benjamin turned eighteen, his vision started to get blurry. After several eye-doctor appointments, Benjamin was told he had diabetic retinopathy. This disease causes abnormally large blind spots in Benjamin's range of sight. As the disease progresses Benjamin is very likely to go blind. 

In one of Benjamin's elective courses, students had a chance to test out Google's newest technology--Google Glass. When Benjamin first put Glass on, he could not see the screen. However, he knew the display and nose piece could be adjusted, but when Benjamin went to go do these things he realized the display and nose piece are limited in their adjustable range.  

Benjamin's eye disease makes it so he cannot interact with Glass effectively because Glass can only be manipulated and adjusted so far. 

How this affects Google? According to the American Optometry Association, “Over 5.3 million Americans age 18 and older have diabetic retinopathy” (2010).

Although people who suffer from diabetes are specifically susceptible to acquiring some form of diabetic retinopathy, everyone is susceptible to failing eyesight as they continue to age because worsening eyesight is inevitable with age (American Optometry Association, 2010). 

By the  by the year 2020 one in four Americans will be at least 65 years of age. — American Optometry Association, 2010. 

Therefore, in five years one in four Americans will have some form of eyesight hinderance, which will affect the way these individuals are able to use Glass. Hence, one out of four individuals will not purchase Glass because they will not be able to effectively use or see information within Glass. 

AbigailThis is Abigail (photographed by Thomas Hawk). Abigail is a mischievous five-year-old who loves life. Abigail just started kindergarten, and is learning how to read and write. 

Abigail's mom, Sandra Hemmerts, is a child psychologist. When Google announced their Glass Explorer program, Mrs. Hemmerts applied to become an explorer to see how Glass affected children's' learning processes, specifically how Glass affects a child's ability to learn how to read and write. So, instead of having Abigail physically write down letters and read physical books, Abigail talked into Glass through various note-taking applications to write out words she was learning.

This method was difficult because Glass' current note-taking features do not let users pause during the recording process. For example, when Abigail would try and spell "cat" in Glass letter-by-letter, the note would send before she was done spelling. This started to confuse Abigail, so Mrs. Hemmerts reverted back to traditional pencil and paper. 

How this affects Google? Using Glass to teach Abigail how to read and write forced her to use different learning processes, which could act as a way to revolutionize education. However, the current Glass features need to evolve more so users, like Abigail, can manipulate how they input information.

Consequently, consumers will not want to purchase and education systems will not want to use Glass after they realize they are unable to manipulate how they want to input information into Glass.

jamalThis is Pastor Jamahl (photographed by Sascha Kohlmann). Pastor Jamahl is a sixty-five-year-old Pastor at a local church in Louisiana. Pastor Jamahl practices his sermons every day to make sure he knows exactly what he wants to teach the congregation. 

Once Pastor Jamahl was aware of Google's Glass Explorer program announcement, so he went home and applied. He not only wanted to understand Glass' interactions in religion, but also in terms of public speaking.

When Pastor Jamahl received his device, he used it to deploy one of his sermons instead of intensely studying traditional paper notes. Before the sermon, Pastor Jamahl saved a bunch of notes to his Google Drive and took photos on his device in hopes to access them through Glass during the sermon.

Ultimately Pastor Jamahl was not able to access his Google Drive files because Glass does not support this feature. Pastor Jamahl wanted to share the photos he took with his Google Drive and realized he could not do this either. In fact, there is no way for Glass users to access previous information stored in an outside account that is not shared with Glass. The inability to access documents on specific accounts through Glass was extremely frustrating for Pastor Jamahl and ultimately was the main reason he stopped extensively using Glass.

How this affects Google? Since Glass is a Google product, users are especially frustrated when Google apps are not available through Glass as an interactive platform. According to Liz Gannes, writer for All Things D, "in 2013, 120 million people were Google Drive users" (Gannes, 2013).

Connecting Google Drive with Google Glass would be the most logical in terms of activating storage account interactions on Glass because they're both Google products. However, also activating other storage accounts will cater to more users by presenting them with options to access additional files and information via Glass. 

The inability to access files on various accounts weakens consumers desire to become Glass users. Due to the fact that they do not understand the purpose in buying another device that cannot complete tasks devices they already have can. 

victorThis is Victor (photographed by The U.S Army). Victor is a thirty-year-old retired Army Sargent who needed his right hand amputated due to a brutal battle during a deployment.

Victor's physical therapist, Dr. McCallan, applied to be a Glass Explorer in order to see how Glass would work in rehabilitation environments. Dr. McCallan let Victor try them during one of their sessions; however, Victor could not use the touchpad because of his amputated right hand. Victor tried using only voice commands to operate Glass, but he could not wake Glass up after it had been idle and he could not use all of Glass' features, such as browsing the web. 

Due to Victor's prosthetic hand, he cannot fully use Glass the way it is intended because users must use the touchpad to interact with all of Glass' features. 

How this affects Google? According to ISHN, the magazine for safety and health professionals in 2014, “Each year, there are approximately 50,000 new amputations. Out of all of those amputations, one out of four are upper-limb amputations."

This statistic is referring to people who suffer from upper-limb amputations, but there are also people who suffer from other hand traumas and disabilities that will limit the amount potential users can interact with Glass. Therefore, each year more than 12,500 people will not purchase the consumer edition of Glass when it is released; thus, limiting Glass' ability revolutionize all of human communication.  

melanyThis is Melany (photographed by Carmen Jost). Melany is a thirty-eight-year-old stay-at-home mom. Melany is traditionally the average stay-at-home mom; except, she is extremely left-side dominate. 

Once Google announced their Glass Explorer Program, Melany applied to become an explorer so she could see how this new technology affected her mom routine. However, when Melany got her device, she noticed the interactive features were all located on the right side. Melany tried to unscrew Glass from the stock frames and install them on new frames, but realized Glass does not offer left-side installments.

Due to Melany's lefty preference, she is unable to effectively interact with Glass because it is uncomfortable for her to interact with the device using her right side. 

How this affects Google? According to Coeli Carr, a writer for CCN, “Only 15% of the American population are die-hard lefties, but when it comes to buying left-handed products, 50% of people who encounter left-handed products will buy it over the right-handed version" (2009).

Not very many companies cater to left-handed individuals because of the statistics; however, if companies created more specific left-handed products and saw similar positive reactions from consumers that Coeli Carr did; then, both companies and customers would benefit from the left-handed products. Therefore, it is important to give left-handed people the option to make their Glass accessible for their lefty lifestyle. Not only will customers appreciate it, it will make Google standout against other glasses as wearable technologies when competitors develop theirs. 

xxavierThis is Xxaviar (photographed by William Martins). XXaviar is a thirty-two-year-old taxi driver in New York City. Xxaviar spends 40+ hours a week driving. So, when Google announced their Glass Explorer program, Xxaviar wanted to explore Google's implications on driving. 

When Xxaviar got his device, he knew in order to optimize his experience with Glass he was going to have to sync Glass with his smartphone. During his first driving experience with Glass, Xxaviar was on his way to pick someone up when he got a phone call. Xxaviar answered it through Glass, but realized the person on the other side was experiencing a lot of static and noise from his end. When Xxaviar switched over to his smartphone to talk, there no longer seemed to be static or noise. Xxaviar thought this was peculiar, but continued operating Glass with his smartphone connected via Bluetooth.

As Xxaviar was talking to another friend through Glass, he realized the person on the other side was no longer there. This was when he looked at his smartphone and saw the tethering feature between Glass and his smartphone was sporadically disconnected. This kept happening to him throughout the remainder of the day, so he could not use Glass the way he wanted to.

Over the next few weeks, Xxaviar kept experiencing dropped connection between Glass and his smartphone. Ultimately, Xxaviar stopped using his device because he could no longer accurately interact with it due to complications with the smartphone tethering feature. 

How this affects Google? The fact that Xxaviar had continuous tethering problems depicts Glass as a unfriendly device.Users need technology to work the way they want it to right away, otherwise they are going to find a different device. If Glass' connectivity does not become more promising, Glass will have hardly any consumer base because all consumers want technology to work perfect every time they use it.

katrinaThis is Katrina (photographed by Ding Zhou). Katrina is a fifteen-year-old student who just moved to the United States from Korea. Katrina knows a little bit of English, but prefers to speak in her native language--Korean. 

Katrina made a new friend at school the other day who is a Glass Explorer. Katrina's friend wanted to see how Glass browsed the web when users spoke in a different language. Katrina tried commanding Glass to search something in Korean; however, Glass did not register Katrina was attempting to interact with it. 

Ultimately Katrina was not able to interact with Glass the way she wanted to. Katrina cannot be an effective Glass-user due to Glass' inability to interact with her through a language other than English

How this affects Google? As an international company, it is important to continuously understand each culture as separate identities (Filippouli, 2014). If Glass is sold in areas where English is not the primary language potential users will not purchase the device because they cannot effectively interact with Glass the way they want to.

The inability for users to interact with Glass through different languages diminishes Glass' ability to cater to a broad population and gives users a reason not to buy the device.

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