by John Finley
When you think about the design of your product or service, what comes to mind? Is it the color scheme, the layout of the navigation, or the smoothness of the animation? What about… how it sounds?
As humans, our ability to perceive and identify sound is powerful, but typically underutilized by the products we use. Mediums like film and video games have long harnessed the emotional and psychological powers of the aural channel, while many products and services today seem to miss the mark.
Since so much of what we design communicates visually, it can be easy to ignore our ears. But when used effectively, sound can close the feedback loop just as good as anything else, whether it's exposing the state of an application, identifying the boundaries of behavior, or rewarding an action.
In this talk, we'll examine the role of sound in interaction design, the kinds of sounds that make sense, and the times when you should use this exceptional feedback channel to create a positive user experience.
1st–4th February 2012