UI Enhancements: How Sound Can Play its part?

Sound if used properly has the ability to draw the attention of the user and consumer. Sound simply acts a layer of information in the user interaction and it can do it in following two ways:

• It can alert you about something important without having to look at the screen or
• It can add a small moment of delight between the user and interface.

You can choose to implement the sound in any context but you will be required to take care of that the implementation of the sound is handled with extreme care. In this age of apps where our single attention is already divided between number of apps and services, the sound if used properly can paly a very important role in enhancing the experience of the user. This enhanced experience can be felt not only be the user interacting with your site but also by those who are nearby.

Desktop sites in particular have been quite since their birth and they present a great challenge when it comes to implementing the sound in them. Below are some thoughts which one must consider when implementing the UI sound.

Silence is golden
We all live in environment where we hear all types of natural and unnatural sound all day long and when it comes to UI sound one shouldn’t add it just for the sake of it. Any unnecessary sound can quickly become an annoyance driving the customers away and resulting in negative association with your site, product and app. Sound design is not at all about creating high quality sound but it about working with the UI/UX designer to determine where the sound is needed and where not. Also, while adding sounds keep in mind that it should be easy for the users to turn them off whenever they want.

Design principles
Design principlesWhatever you design, one thing is sure that you are designing the experience and this experience has nothing to do with the looks. Experience is all about the interactivity and usability and sound has the power to impact them greatly in bot negative and positive ways. Hence, it is important to follow the same design principles so that the entire brand looks coherent.

Detailing
Finer details, real craft and skill are some elements which are behind every world-class design and same principles apply to sound as well. Even the smallest of sounds such as keyboard click or screen swipe must be optimized and be crafted to quality and perfection and this all is verified in sound testing where any sound which does not meet its intended purpose is discarded. Also, one should take care not to over design the sound because sound is all about recognizing the UI usability and drawing attention is not the purpose here.

Make sound the part of design process
We all have different taste and the definition of good sound can vary greatly from one person to another but most people will recognize the bad sound immediately. In case of UI sound, each sound has its own purpose which must closely relate to its intended functionality. So, it is necessary to make the sound inclusive in the design process and once it is given its rightful place, it will enhance the UI interaction and experience greatly.