Redefining the listening experience

thirteen23 teamed up with pioneering audio company Bose to help create a global design language for its growing ecosystem of connected products.

001. Brief

Bose needed a flexible design system that its internal teams could leverage and extend across its products.

002. Solution

We created a detailed design language, helping apply it to Bose’s mobile and on-screen software.

003. Outcome

As Bose’s software offerings grow, our design language will serve as the foundation for new products.

Putting software first

As hardware and software become increasingly interconnected, Bose continues to look for ways to evolve its software to match the clean, modern look and feel of its hardware. We started with Bose’s mobile experiences, addressing everything from first time use and set-up to playlists and controls.



In creating Bose's new software experience, it was important to create layouts that felt spacious and well-organized. We focused on creating rules that not only ensured contrast and legibility, but that provided a flexible framework capable of supporting a variety of controls, text, and photography.


To differentiate Bose from other music services, we created a playback experience that feels unique and playful. By taking advantage of full-screen album artwork for the background of the player, we achieved a bold, unexpected playback experience that is still uniquely Bose.


After updating the software UI, it became clear that Bose needed to align its growing icon libary with the new look and feel. We came up with over 100 custom icons that Bose’s internal teams can use for both hardware and software.
The 10-foot experience
When designing for TV, we considered other factors such as audience attention span, brightness, size, and user environment. This led us to create a clean, content-focused user experience that uses a white background when it needs attention and a dark, cinematic background the rest of the time.
The work has been consistently high quality and the output has been awesome. We find y’all to be hard working, diligent, detail-oriented, with great design chops, and culturally a very good fit to work with our team.

Creating a foundation for the future

After testing our system, we created a detailed set of guidelines that 
outlined the thinking behind the design language and provided documentation that Bose’s teams can reference as they build new products and software.


Before laying out the specifics of the new design language, we established a set of design principles informing how Bose’s future software experiences should behave and perform.


Our design guidelines covered everything from color and type usage to layout hierarchy and animation. This provides Bose’s internal design team a shared foundation from which to build future products.

Preparing for emerging technologies

As part of our engagement, thirteen23 also helped define a strategy for Bose’s future products. The team examined a number of emerging spaces and technologies, investigating voice, personalization, augmented reality, and virtual personal assistants.