The importance of User Interaction (UI) sound in creating a well-rounded user experience (UX)September 21, 2022
What is UI sound?
The user interface, or UI, refers to the parts of your website or app with which the user interacts; it’s where they click, tap, type, and swipe. In other words, it’s the interface between human and computer interaction. While you may already know that your UI needs to be easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing, you might not know how sound can enhance your UX. By incorporating sound into your UX design, you can make an app or website more accessible and enjoyable for all users—including those who are visually impaired or have hearing disabilities.
Perhaps you recognize the following UI sounds.
UI sound design is an element of UX that aims to create audio cues for feedback, validation, errors, and more. It helps navigate users through complex interactions by making actions feel more predictable, responsive, and pleasant. UI sound is any sound related to your app or website that is explicitly created to help users navigate and enjoy your interface.
Why do we need UI sound?
Our brains have evolved to pay attention to certain sounds, like footsteps or screams. These sounds signal danger—and an instinctive response kicks in: We know what to do. But we’re still learning about UI sound. What are people hearing when they use your app? How do these sounds affect their behaviour? Just as sight has nuances, so does hearing — both play a part in UX design.
Many businesses are guilty of focusing on visuals when it comes to UX. It’s easy to neglect sound in favour of designing visually, but incorporating great UI sound into your app is crucial for creating an immersive experience. Having poor sound (or no sound) in your interface could be costing you conversions. If you need help making the perfect UI sound for your app or website, please don’t hesitate to contact us — we’ve helped many companies throughout the years with creating UI sound, audio logos, and audio strategies.
Why UX sound design should be part of your branding
While it’s true that sometimes good sound design comes down to what you don’t include as much as what you do, adding thoughtful sound effects and other audio elements to your designs can have significant benefits. Audio UX isn’t just about making things pretty—it’s also about making them more useful. UI sound can guide users through complex processes, give them feedback on their actions, and even convey information through audio alone (think audiobook apps). When done right, UI sound enhances your user’s experience without getting in their way. It’s worth noting that some sites have started calling themselves audio websites instead of websites with audio. This is because they see audio as an integral part of their site rather than just something tacked on at the end.
How we create UI sound design
As a sonic branding agency, we know how crucial sound is in branding. Sound is a highly effective tool for enhancing and strengthening your brand—which is why we work with audio branding, strategies, and audio identities and logos. When your brand has a specific sound, e.g., an audio identity, users and customers are more likely to remember you. To cover every brand touchpoint, it’s important to incorporate UI sound in your app or on your website that coexists with your brand’s sound—that’ll give the users and customers a great experience overall and make them remember you.
Our philosophy is that every sound we make has to create more meaning than silence itself – because otherwise, we’re just making noise. Our philosophy is essential in every aspect of our work, including UI sound design. If the UI sound in your app doesn’t make sense or communicate effectively, or if it’s not a part of a larger audio strategy, it shouldn’t be there. Our mission is to create meaningful UI sound design that enhances your app’s user experience, making your customers and users remember you and getting the necessary and meaningful help they need when navigating your app.
Check out some of our work with UI sounds
Those Beyond (Fates)
Audio Identity | Sound Design
Moments of Space
Audio Identity | Audio Logo | Sound Design
Asteroid Lab (Terraformers)
Audio Identity | Sound Design
Audio Identity | Audio Logo | Music | Sound Design