Early detection of hearing loss

A smart hearing app helping to detect & raise awareness of hearing (dis)abilities.
Hearing impairment is still heavily stigmatised. Mimi hearing technology, a Berlin based startup, set out to develop an application to make people sensitive to their hearing abilities. The challenge was to create a delightful user experience around hearing (dis)abilities, to make people aware of their hearing, and enable them to realize a problem early and easily seek help if needed.


In an agile development process we faced the problem of visualizing sound input and output to show the users' hearing ability, as well as to show the potential of the support of a hearing aid. Because hearing disability is still a taboo, we wanted to create a positive experience around the possibility of enhanced hearing and the steps to get there. A priority was to also allow the app to let people experience somebody else's hearing to further raise awareness of potential hearing loss.

Based on the results of extensive user research with patients, their families, and doctors, we redefined the value proposition, the service-blueprint and the initial interaction with the service. We designed a new visual metaphor and the touchpoints for Mimi’s product-service-system.

Mimi has to be fun, because otherwise we cannot reach people.

Eva-Maria Zoll, Mimi


After a quick test the user receives a personal hearing result that gives them feedback about their quality of hearing. The data is also used to boost and modulate different sound sources and—in case of a hearing loss—the app lets the user experience what it is like to gain assistance from a hearing aid.

Mimi received prestigious innovation awards at IFA (2017) and CES (2018) and became the number one app in the Apple app store in the category “hearing”. Furthermore, after our input Mimi received  an undisclosed seven-figure investment in their series A funding round. This enabled them to develop and deploy further services initially sketched out by IXDS and to transform “not only our ability to listen to music but our ability to hear.” (Forbes)