ENO - Case Study

Combining neuroscience and psychology with the technology of tomorrow

The one where we developed a revolutionary product for those who appreciate distraction-free work.

Client:
ENO
Industry:
Neurotech Consumer Electronics
Scope:
product design branding product strategy UX research
Technologies:
Python SQLAlchemy Bluetooth React Electron Cloud technologies

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01 Headphones that listen to your brain

What is ENO?

Eno is a revolutionary company founded by Jacob Flood and David Doyon dedicated to building a global community dedicated to mental fitness. It was born in 2016 in Monteral by people passionate about productivity, and performance. After spending countless hours working with the latest technologies they created Enophone.

Enophone is an innovative product designed to help its users get to the highest level of focus and leverage neurotech to prioritize productivity. The ecosystem consists of hardware – a pair of complex headphones equipped with EEG sensors and complementing software – an app that continually communicates with the headset. They both inform users about their current deep work session by showing the real-time state of the user’s brainwaves.

ENO was created for people that want to learn how to improve their productivity, track focus levels, and uncover daily rhythms. Additionally, they can now discover which apps are the most distracting, and how to optimize deep work sessions.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The Enophone headphones are a pair of noise-canceling headphones with 4 EEG sensors for reading the electrical activity of the user’s brain in real-time. Those potentials are a representation of the current user’s engagement in various activities. The signal is sent via a Bluetooth connection to the Enowork app which converts it into comprehensible graphs highlighting session lengths, focus streaks, and most-used apps. Users can also browse through a detailed history of the deep work sessions: view their efficiency, and readiness — all in a daily, weekly, or monthly overview. Enophones can be successfully used for meditation, tracking focus during focus sessions, and the overall well-being of the user.

And that’s not all!

With Enowork, users also get access to Enosound – an exclusive library of neuroadaptive music designed to improve focus and boost creativity. These specially curated sounds were compiled by musicians and neuroscientists and react to changes in the focus levels creating a personalized soundscape to keep users in flow. The app monitors the effect of the music on users’ focus and trains AI to create the ideal environment for work.

01 The challenge

When it comes to product development, there can be many challenges just waiting for the team to slip. This time, a major one was the fact that we’ve been working on improving the software while continuing to support the live product in a maintenance mode.

We also were responsible for creating new functionalities, like the Session Page, that had to seamlessly integrate with the already existing product design. Those views had to be functional and ergonomic yet not distract the user’s attention.

Another one of our goals was to introduce a new cognitive layer where users will learn detailed information about the metrics and how to read them.

We put a great amount of work into preparing our team for development by conducting research and organizing comprehensive workshops. This allowed us to build dashboards that are capable of visualizing complex neuro data in an accessible way, even for users not familiar with neuroscientific terminology.

On top of all that, the client approached us with the task to design a brand new e-commerce website for the product, and refresh the existing branding. The website had to reflect and promote the Enowork app and Enophones.

The Approach
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    Discovery workshops. Before we wrote a single line of code, we conducted workshops with the Product Owner and the development team to gather insights about the current state of the project and plans for the future.

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    User interviews. We also interviewed Eno’s early adopters who had been supporting it from the very start. This helped us to discover their needs and pain points, as well as their expectations. Some of them wanted to get some tips on how to correctly read and understand the graphs, others mentioned the need for a mobile app and a feature that will allow them to extend the session duration and continue it. 

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    User journey and product roadmap. Having business requirements and goals in mind, we created a user journey map and product roadmap, which were later transformed into wireframes and high-fidelity design with new and improved metrics.

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    Website information architecture and UI. To build the e-commerce website we started out with defining the information architecture, which was translated into visual sketches. Then we proceeded to create the UI and motion design, and refresh the company’s branding.

01 The process

THE PRODUCT PATH

We adjusted our development process to the specific needs of the client and the product’s users. Because we worked in a maintenance mode, we had to remain flexible as a truly Agile team. It was crucial for us that the client remained involved throughout the entire process and helped us define the business goals as well as understand the end-users.

All solutions were closely discussed with the Product Owner and the wireframes served their purpose when validating our approach.

We made the discovery workshops and user interviews the starting point for creating a coherent product strategy including a user journey map, and product roadmap. We worked in iterations, not limiting ourselves to a set number of them, as perfection is what keeps us going!

THE TECHNOLOGY PATH

We had been working on the project for nearly 2 years, finally approaching the first stable version. We had some technical debt to pay, resulting in switching from an ORM back-end framework due to the need to store and process a great amount of data in the database. We also had to handle the Bluetooth connection on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux as well as implement algorithms for processing the EEG signal from the headset.

When it comes to the specific technologies used we went with Python, SQLAlchemy, and ​​Bluetooth + BLE for the back-end with React and Electron on the front-end. The team also introduced cloud technologies including Flask, SQLAlchemy, Gitlab CI/CD, and Amazon Web Services.

CHALLENGES

Apart from the fact that we had been working in a maintenance mode, the neuroscience nature of the project proved to be quite as challenging. First and foremost, we have the headphones – intricate hardware measuring the electrical activity of your brain with small EEG sensors delivering excellent sound, and active noise cancellation. Then we have the data received by the sensors that interacts with the Enowork app to determine the level of focus and power up the neuro-adaptive music, modulating the tracks’ intensity and complexity. This neuro-adaptive music curated by excellent musicians and neuroscientists reinforces the brain’s sustained attention mechanism improving the focus over time like a mindfulness gym.

On top of all that we had the most crucial part of the product – the users – who want to create their own perfect work environment by measuring focus, tracking attention, mind wandering, and fatigue. The ENO ecosystem gives them insights into daily productivity and routines allowing them to find the right flow for deep work routines. The app helps them focus by blocking notifications, learn what time is best for the task at hand, and create more productive habits for the future. As one of the users once said: “ENO isn’t just a headphone, it’s a productivity coach.”

THE PROCESS SUMMARY
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    Product
    discovery
    workshops
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    User
    interviews
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    User
    journey
    mapping
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    Product
    roadmap
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    Wireframing
    & iterating
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    High-fidelity design
    & design language
LESSONS LEARNED

Combining neuroscience, psychology, and medicine is not an easy task, especially in a working product with users having set expectations about the future of the solution. We also had to learn how to work with hardware and how to make it flawlessly interact with the software.

The entire ENO product line is an innovation in itself, addressing the emerging trends of how to work better and smarter, maximize productivity, and stay focused when working from home.

01 The result

Countless iterations later we reached a working, high-quality product with robust Bluetooth functions, fully functional CI/CD, and cloud infrastructure. The desktop application is now working on all operating systems, improving the user experience hand in hand with the new Bluetooth API.

The CSHARK team managed to refresh the look of the entire application, with a great emphasis on user-friendliness and intuitiveness. We addressed the concerns of the loyal users making the data displayed easier to understand. Additionally, we built a beautiful, energetic e-commerce website and redefined the company’s branding. You can read all about it on our Behance.

Along the way, ENO has also become one of our investment products so we’re even more excited to see how it’s going to grow. We hope this product will truly influence the lives of those looking for a way to cut off from the world and improve their productivity.

Summary
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    Project start

    2020

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    Market

    Canada

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    Dev. time

    17 531 hours (approx. 2 years)

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    Team

    Project Manager; Backend, Frontend, and Cloud Developers; UX, UI, Motion, and Product Designers

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    Services

    UX research, Product design & development, Product strategy

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