User centric design is all about putting the users first. Yet, most of our knowledge about users comes only when users themselves report their preferences, which disturbs the inherent variable of interest „“ such as their current level of emotion, or stress level.

What if we could use users“™ existing data, to understand behavior, design better interfaces and provide better UX, by capturing their subconscious processes?

Today“™s IT products enable us to capture plenty of user information, such as eye movement, mouse hovering patterns, heart rate, or other signals that users keep constantly generating. These subconscious clues are nothing but indicators of what users are likely to do, which products they prefer, which websites they prefer to use, and several such choices.

UX Designers can utilize these data, to know their users better and design better.

To capture such user information, several platforms have been developed in the recent past, with different subset of features (such as sensor integration, web experiments, user interaction studies, among others, see Hariharan et al. 2017). We present Brownie, a Java-based open source platform available for use by UX designers and researchers.

  • Brownie can be used to find out, if a user interface works at all.
  • It can be used to find out, whether users prefer one design over the other „“ but without users reporting directly.
  • It can be used which parts of a system a user prefers to use, which interfaces make them react more, and which interfaces do not invoke the users‘ interest.
  • It can even be used to investigate user errors, unused parts of an application, or other operative issues.

Brownie is unique in the following aspects:

  • Synchronous recording of multiple sensor modalities
  • Usable across human computer interaction, UX design, practitioners and researchers
  • Open source and extensible

UX with neuro-physiological data
Figure 1: Human sensor based UX process using Brownie © OPITZ CONSULTING

If you are interested to conduct sensor-based UX research for your products/ design human centric IT using Brownie/ would like to request for a workshop to know more, feel free to contact me at

Brownie“™s source code can be downloaded here .

Alle Beiträge von Dr. Anuja Hariharan

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