As Jobs said, good ideas emerge from connecting seemingly unrelated dots, but what could be the connection between design, apps and Jürgen Klopp’s glasses?

Dot #1. The Eyewear Boutique.

A few weeks ago, I went to buy some new glasses. Nothing new. They show me different models of glasses frames, I sit in front of a mirror and, under the indiscreet eye of the optician, I try on the frames that have caught my attention.

Problem. I’m nearsighted and sample glasses, obviously, don’t have prescription lenses. Consequently, to see correctly how glasses suit me I need to get very close to the mirror. So close I cannot get a good perspective of my face (just imagine if you had to try on some shoes at a distance of 10 inches from the mirror).

Based on intuition, I choose one of the frames and go home without being completely sure if I made the best choice. I won’t discover it until the day I’ll pick up my new glasses.

Dot #2. Jürgen Klopp’s Glasses.

A few days ago, I was looking at (just by chance) some photos of Jürgen Klopp, the charismatic coach of the German soccer club Borussia Dortmund, on Google Images.

In some images he appeared with his distinctive black framed glasses that suit him so well and make him stand out from other boring coaches. In other older images, however, Klopp was wearing an ordinary lightweight metal frame. Until then, I had never been aware of how glasses can change a face.

And, suddenly, the eyewear boutique and Jürgen Klopp met in a mirror

Yesterday, I looked in a mirror and dots #1 and #2 were connected: When trying on glasses I should be able to look at myself as if I was just looking at images on Google Images. The eyewear boutiques should have an application where my face would appear and I could try the different models only touching the screen.

I looked on the Internet and, yes, I found virtual try-on applications for glasses, but I never saw one of them in an eyewear boutique. What’s the point of using these apps at home? I need to touch real glasses. And I cannot imagine some older people using a webcam with ease.

Implications for design

Reviewing these points, the most surprising thing is that I had never thought that there may be a solution to the problem of glasses. And how many times I have been in the same situation?

Undoubtedly, this is the great problem of users. They interact with services and products, they feel uncomfortable, dissatisfied or confused by some elements, but they aren’t able to distance themselves from the context to delimit and analyze it like a surgeon.

And this is also the problem of designers. They are able to observe the service and the product as a whole, but cannot really experience the interaction.

The answer is to be able to join the two pieces of the puzzle. Experiencing first hand services and products and, at the same time, observing the interaction from outside to hunt those key moments.