Working closely with the team, we recognised the need to reconfigure the design of every screen. This wasn't designed for audiophiles who appreciate intricate sliders and buttons. Quite the opposite. Users needed to be able to connect, calibrate, and start listening in under 2 minutes.
The directive for the app was clear: emphasise simplicity. As a result of its evolution towards a broader consumer base, our challenge was to refocus its core purpose. This became an exercise in minimalism — fewer features, less confusion, and reduced time spent navigating. Accessibility was paramount; we needed larger fonts and improved colour contrast to ensure readability. Our labels had to be precise, descriptive, yet approachable.
Clinical diagnosis is a difficult path to walk when it comes to audio devices. While the technology within Audeara is akin to a hearing-test, there's legal implications assoicated with saying 'this is your hearing'. We wanted to educate the user on their health. And while it wasn't the primary goal, we felt it was a great opportunity to let get an idea of their overall hearing health.
Onboarding – the process of guiding users to that 'a-ha' moment – presented another challenge. Audeara's headphones perform brilliantly even without personalisation. However, they genuinely shine when tailored to an individual's hearing. We devoted significant time to streamlining the headphones, focusing on both the hardware and software, to ensure users received the best possible experience. considered integrating directly with audio clinics, pre-loading hearing calibrations sourced from audiograms, and deploying them straight into the headphones.
From Open to On ASAP
At the core of the app is the calibration of the user's hearing to the headphones. A hearing test typically takes between 5 to 7 minutes. While this might seem lengthy, the result is a highly accurate representation of one's hearing. The real 'a-ha' moment for users is the subsequent personalisation demo. Switching from the default profile to the personalised one can be a revelation. Suddenly, activities like listening to music, having conversations, and watching television become possible again. We sought to provide a variety of audio playback options, including support for Spotify and other external players.
Clinical diagnosis can create some complexity in how the user interprets their hearing. It's one thing to have boosted sound, and another entirely to see that your 7K range is hitting at -20DB. Although it wasn't our primary goal, we believed translating the state of the person's hearing offered a valuable opportunity get a better understanding of their overall hearing picture.
We wanted to motivate users to re-assess their hearing every six months. This would ensure their headphones remained synchronised with any changes in their hearing capabilities. It may seem minor, but such adjustments can have significant long-term effects.
“Hatch Head complement our team's capability with their knowledge of digital design and user experience. It's a pleasure to have access to them, where they can jump in and work to deliver great outcomes.