Beyond Nexstem : decoding the UIX

Carbon Scribes
Studio Carbon
Published in
5 min readFeb 28

--

Nexstem’s Wisdom SDK (web application) is a revolutionary app designed by Studio Carbon to make Brain-Computer Interfaces accessible. The SDK is an app built to create an interactive interface between Nexstem’s BCI headset(Also designed by Studio Carbon)and the user. With a lucid ‘no code’ workflow and playful interactions, the app empowers its users to tap into the limitless potential of EEGs (Electroencephalogram) & BCIs’.

The awe-inspiring nature of human thought was the inspiration for the visual language of the app for us. The application was designed with a vision of making complex BCI tools and workflows accessible to both experts & general public. The intuitive interface has democratized BCI capabilities making it possible for persons with major psychomotor or cognitive impairments to have empowered communications.

Wisdom SDK BCI Teaser

We took on the challenge of designing this UIX for Nexstem because we wanted to make a mark in the industry and explore new opportunities in the deep tech space. It was a thrilling project that pushed us to our limits, but we knew we could rise to the challenge. Designing for a future-centered innovation, we had to develop UIX principles that defied the norms of UIX design. It was a creative experience to see our ideas come to life in such an exquisite and innovative design.

From the Carbon way of UIX design, this project was realized through five major stages -

Creating the DASHBOARD — The dashboard design was all about creating all the basic functions necessary for the user to interact with the software. This included options such as login, account creation, and the ability to access the different sections of the application.

Nexstem Wisdom Dashboard contains all the functions to access the different sections of the application

Refining VISUALIZATION — Once the dashboard wireframe was ready, we moved on to design how the user could visualize the signals of their own brain. Multiple points on the head were targeted with the headset electrodes that captured signals, and these brain signals were visualized in the form of linear graphs. Here, we also meticulously designed the experience that allowed the user to choose which parts of the brain they wanted to focus on. (see youtube video below).

Nexstem WIP Visualisation

Designing the EXPERIMENTS — Once the dashboard was completely visualized we designed a functionality in it that allowed users to design their own experiments and see how their brain reacts to them. So now you could study your brain patterns during simple activities like listening to music or more complex activities like solving puzzles.

Wireframe to create an experiment
Experiment Onboarding

Processing the ALGORITHMS — Once the brain data was captured and visualised, it needed to be processed using algorithms to create meaningful data. We designed this section of the application to be iterative for the user, allowing them to experiment with different algorithms and see how it affects their brain data.

NexStem Wisdom — Running an Algorithm

Allowing for DEPLOYMENT — And for the final leg of UI functionality, we designed an insight interface that processed the brain data and allowed the user to decode their signals. This meant users could decipher how they were feeling during the activity or even use it to connect with other applications that used BCI technology.

The stream of Deployment
Screens for the deployment steps

In the end, we had designed a dashboard that was one of its kind. And it does not end here. We designed additional features into it, such as the status of the headset and related information that the user might need to know about the physical product.

During the design process, we initially experimented with Visual Scripting which offered a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface to write code. However, we soon realized that it wasn’t suitable for our final design and we needed a more efficient approach. After some brainstorming, we hit the jackpot with the One to One mapping technique! With this technique, we were able to significantly reduce the cognitive load for the user. It was a win-win situation as it not only simplified the coding process but also enhanced the user experience.

In the end the Wisdom app had a fresh look and the Nexstem brand design(also done by Studio Carbon) played a big role in that. The brand our team had designed for Nexstem was all about enabling BCI to tap into the power of the human brain. A brand narrative that believed that technology is a powerful tool that can help us tap into our most human qualities — our emotions, our creativity, and our intellect.

And even though at first the project timeline of 18 months seemed ambitious, we were able to innovate our way through the process and complete the designs in just 12 months. And our biggest reward in this project came from seeing the Nexstem team develop the Wisdom app, keeping the sanctity of its design down to the last pixel. It’s was like watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly — a metamorphosis that’s both awe-inspiring and energising.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/ClqoPDaN0XZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

CII Design Excellence Awards UI/UX in Software & Application Development in Communication Design Category for NEXSTEM WISDOM WEB APPLICATION

Our approach to the Wisdom App design has defined a sector shift, setting new standards for UIX design. The ideas we brought to the table were beyond what the market was capable of, and we’re proud to have raised the bar. The design itself was an exquisite piece of work that matched the level of innovation and creativity that Nexstem is known for.

--

--

Carbon Scribes
Studio Carbon

Studio Carbon is a design studio that works at the intersection of technology, systems thinking and storytelling to build solutions for a better future.