Myo armband

The Myo gesture control armband allows people to control applications on their desktop computer just by moving their arms, rather than requiring a keyboard and mouse for input. This is the out of box and first run experience for that device.

The packaging is well designed with a simple card insert directing the user to a web URL for setup, instead of using a printed manual.

A single image composite of 3 photos showing different angles of the Myo armband packaging.
From left to right: A photo of the front of the Myo packaging, a photo of the back of the Myo packaging, and a photo of the inside of the box showing a card that reads “Visit”

Setup can only be run on a desktop computer; if the user navigates to the provided website on their phone they are informed that they must install the Myo software on their desktop. When the user navigates to the URL on their desktop, they land on a webpage instructing them to install the Myo Connect Beta application in order to get started. In this case, the installation and setup flow is shown for MacOS.

Composite of 4 screenshots with annotations showing (from right to left) the Myo website if loaded on a mobile device, and then the remaining 3 screens show the website on desktop with a prompt to install the app; the MacOS install app screenshot; and then the first screen of the Myo setup flow in the application.
The Myo Connect Beta application installation flow as guided from a mobile webpage redirecting the user to their desktop, and from there showing installation of the app on MacOS and the first screen once the application is opened. The first screen shows a wireframe illustration of the armband and simply says “Getting Started Guide” with a “Continue” button.

Myo’s setup wizard is made of two distinct parts, and a blue progress bar is omnipresent throughout both to give the user a sense of how much work is involved.

The first part of setup is a more traditional wizard, in which the new user follows a set of prescribed steps to get the armband connected. This part of the setup wizard provides realtime feedback as steps are completed. For example, green checkmarks are highlighted when the new user plugs in the provided Bluetooth adapter and armband. The screen will then auto-progress to the next step or reveal “Continue” actions as necessary. 

A composite of 4 screenshots in a 2x2 grid showing instructions for connecting both the Bluetooth adapter and USB charging cable.
These four screens show how the Myo Connect application guides the user with feedback through connecting the Bluetooth adapter and USB charging cable to their computer and the armband. Top left: The starting state shows a diagram of the two devices, the two adapters/cables, and unfilled checkmarks next to each of the two adapters/cables. Top right: If the user pauses for too long, a help tooltip appears asking “Need some help?”. Bottom left: When the user connects the Bluetooth adapter to their laptop, the checkmark associated with it fills in green. Bottom right: When the user connects the USB charging cable between the armband and computer, its associated checkmark fills in green as well, and the “Continue” button enables.
A composite of 4 screenshots in a 2x2 grid showing follow-up setup steps after the devices and cables are connected.
Once the devices are connected, the setup wizard continues with additional steps. Top left: The user is informed that an update is available for the Myo armband, with an “Update Myo” button enabled. Top right: After the update completes, the user is promoted to name their armband; by default, it uses the name currently associated with the current computer system name. Bottom left: Now that the basic steps are completed, the user is prompted to disconnect their Myo from the USB cable so that the device can now be shifted over to being connected with the Bluetooth adapter. Bottom right: Once the Myo is connected with Bluetooth, a green checkmark lights up.

Once the device finishes the functional part of setup and is connected via Bluetooth, the wizard moves to its second part. This part is a playthrough experience, in which the user is able to perform a series of realistic, hands-on exercises to learn about the gestural interaction model. The playthrough portion of setup utilizes a combination of video and interactive exercises to teach the concept of gesture control.

The first video shows them how to wear it and then invites them to put it on, while informing her that it will take a few minutes to warm up. Interestingly, this video may also double as a diversion for said warmup period, during which the device is not responsive.

A composite of 4 screenshots in a 2x2 grid with annotations showing the device playthrough and calibration experience.
These four screenshots show how the play through leverages a combination of video instructions and interactive steps to teach users about gesture control with the armband. Top left: The first video shows the owner how to wear their armband, and then invites them to put it on. As it takes a few moments for the armband to “warm up,” this video may also double as a diversion while the device is not fully responsive. Top right: After hitting “Continue” on the first video, a second video teaches the user about the “Sync Gesture” and invites them to perform the gesture themselves. Bottom left: If the user completes the Sync Gesture successfully, the screen auto-progresses to one that shows which arm it has detected the armband on. Bottom right: If the user completes the Sync Gesture again on the previous screen, they’re moved on to a more detailed deep-dive into other gestures they can use.

After establishing these foundational elements, the playthrough gradually increases the scope of its interactive gesture guidance. The user is asked to perform a basic set of gestures in a set order. Each gesture is given a dedicated step with a video example. Each step gives realtime feedback in the form of green checkmarks appearing upon successful completion, the armband vibrates, and auto-progression to the next step. At the very end, the videos are removed and the user is invited to practice the gestures in any order they would like.

Subsequently, the playthrough introduces the user to 2 sample applications, a music player and a thermostat, and shows them how to combine basic gestures to perform actions like play, pause, or change the temperature. This gives the user a safe place to practice actions, provides context in the form of sample applications, and gives realtime feedback to reinforce learning.

Gif animating through multiple steps of the playthrough
The playthrough experience gradually guides the user through understanding gesture control through a series of interactive exercises.

If, at any point, the user pauses and does not progress, contextual help will appear. This ensures that while users can first try and figure things out on their own, they will get help if they get stuck.

Single screenshot showing contextual help bubble in top right.
A “Need some help?” tooltip will appear in the top right of the screen if the user goes too long without taking action.

Upon completion of the setup wizard and playthrough, the user is introduced to a market of apps so that they can explore real-life ways to apply the gestures they were just guided through. When opening one of these applications, toasts appear to let the armband user know that Myo gestures are supported. These toasts will only appear the first time an application is opened after setup.

A composite of 4 screenshots with annotations showing toasts and tips in applications that support Myo armband gestures after setup is complete.
These screens show the post-setup follow-up where the user can explore a market of apps (top left), and gets toasts and feedback in applications like Keynote that support the use of Myo armband gestures (top right, bottom left, and bottom right).

The good bits:

  • The user is guided to get the Myo Connect Beta application across multiple surfaces, including on the inside of packaging, and there is support if they try to navigate to the URL on their mobile device.
  • Despite being a longer setup wizard with two distinct parts, all steps are linked together in a natural progression without feeling like they’re tacked on and disjoint. The blue progress bar provides continuous signposting across both, which helps with the cohesion.
  • Realtime feedback is provided consistently and extremely thoroughly across the flow, ensuring the user knows at any given time if they are doing things correctly and what their next steps are. This feedback is not only provided on the screen in the form of, for example, checkmarks, but is also provided via complementary vibrations on the armband.
  • Myo adds a personal touch by auto-filling the armband name during setup based on the computer to which it is connected.
  • The playthrough portion of setup is extremely well-designed and uses scaffolding across the instruction, first adding support in the form of practice runs with videos, and then taking away that support to let the user practice and learn without the aid of the videos. Additionally, the responsive feedback and help bubble that presents on a delay provides supportive guardrails.
  • There is a clear follow-up after setup is completed, where the user can now segue into the market of apps that supports the armband gestures and start applying what they’ve learned to real-life tasks.

To be improved:

  • A user cannot pause or replay some videos shown in the setup wizard. This can make it hard to follow certain instructions without falling behind or going back a step.
  • There’s no visual indication in the wizard if the armband’s warm-up period is complete. While the video can serve as a form of distraction, it is possible that the user may be waiting more than the length of the video.