Muse: the brain sensing headband guides and motivates mindfulness meditation through changing sounds of weather based on real-time neurofeedback.
Role: Head of User Experience, Product Owner
Timeframe: 4 years
Led UX as we visioned, launched, and scaled the product.
Conducted all UX research and UI design for the first several versions of the product, including intensive collaboration with mobile devs, neuroscientists and hardware engineers.
Hired and managed a product team to take over my tactics as I grew into product ownership, taking a data-driven approach to refining and scaling the product into a category leader.
Extensive content development, including guided meditation programs, automated emails, and blogs.
The Full Story…
Exploring a New Interaction Paradigm
When I joined this small startup which had early prototypes of a consumer EEG headband. My mission was to create a compelling meditation product experience based on this tech. I immediately started facilitating collaborative design thinking workshops with the founders and early dev team exploring basic interactions and metaphors for this new type of product.
Iterative Research on Rapid Prototypes
I helped define our target audience, recruited participants, and started testing rapid prototypes with them. We tried all kinds of wacky ideas in pursuit of a brain-sensing experience which people found compelling, usable, and authentic to mindfulness. Outcomes from our workshops and research helped me iterate a minimum viable product and test it. A key challenge was creating indicators and tutorials to guide users to fit the headband and get signal easily.
From an MVP to a Refined Product Experience
This was a complex product. I ran countless lean UX research studies to nail down EEG algorithms, mobile user interfaces, audio experiences, behaviour change paradigms, and product marketing materials. Eventually we went to market with a playful and engaging brain-sensing mindfulness product. Based on analytics and real-world UX data, I created many new features and fixes, and eventually led a complete user interface redesign. Part of this involved me leading the writing and production of a full guided meditation course in the app.
Finding Product-Market Fit
Early marketing materials did not communicate well. I led a web redesign emphasizing comprehension and realistic context-of-use. The new website generated a 4x increase in conversion, helping sustain the business as a major sales channel. I also spearheaded a market research effort which led to a deep understanding of our target audience and a more authentic value proposition about mindfulness.
Creative Clockwork: Bringing Rigor to Product Development
As we grew to global reach, millions in revenue, 100 000+ Muse meditators, and major clinical/academic/industry partnerships, I hired a team to support me and I developed a sustainable rhythm for lean UX sprints which brought more rigor to ongoing product development. I created detailed master specifications, wireframes, and prototypes to communicate effectively with developers and continued the process until I hired my replacement and left in 2017.
A Humbling Response and Continued Growth
Today, Muse continues to double revenue year over year as a consumer product available in major retail stores and online. We received an incredible response from press, who have helped us bring this new product category to those who need it. I feel grateful when I see online reviews describing how meditation with Muse is improving people's lives. It was an honour to help bring the first human-centered brain-sensing technology to the world.
A Foundation for the Growing Ecosystem
Not only has the product become a category leader for transformative tech, it has also become the seed for a growing ecosystem of academic researchers, clinical practitioners, and product developers. There’s a long way to go, but I’m proud of the strides we've made toward a future where sensor-based mobile technologies are used to support the mental health and well-being of the masses.