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Published on May 21, 2015
Trevor Coleman, Founder & CPO of Interaxon, and Jay Vidyarthi, Senior Designer, present a comprehensive human-centered design strategy leads to the first consumer-ready brain sensing technology. Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband won Silver Prize for Best Next-Generation Experience at the 2014 UX Awards in San Francisco.
Muse: the brain sensing headband is a daily use tool that helps you do more with your mind by training you to calm and settle your mind. Muse senses the activity of your brain, much like a heart rate monitor senses the activity of your heart muscles, and provides real-time feedback through a connected Android or iOS app. When the project started, we had a research prototype of the hardware and an algorithm that could detect and quantify the changes in brain state associated with focused attention exercises. Our UX team had to develop an application from the ground up which established a mental model that would help users understand and engage with the complexities of the technology while offering a positive user experience. We did all of this with a small team and limited resources applying user experience methodologies in unique and novel contexts. In one year, we analyzed UX data from 134 participants engaging with 62 product iterations in 21 user studies. We used collaborative design thinking exercises, lean UX processes, rapid iterative testing & evaluation, and long term journal studies. Our data shows that the resulting system helps people understand the technology (near 100% acceptance of our metaphor-based mental model), teaches people how to fit the headband and get good signal on the first try (over 90%), and offers an engaging and rewarding user experience that keeps them motivated. At the time of this submission, we’ve just started shipping and are thrilled with the positive response: “Muse is the first device that has the potential to bring brain enhancement to the masses. And that makes it the most important wearable innovation on the market this year.” – VentureBeat “Within two days of using Muse, I had my family and friends asking me what I was doing differently. [It’s] teaching me how to control my head, something I have never been able to do before.” – User Feedback