Showing all posts tagged sounddesign:

Creating Earcons

While working on an environmental design project for the visually impaired with Viirj the other night, I was excited to find myself using this free resource called the Sonification Handbook. We were particularly interested in creating earcons for blind users who will be navigating in space and I thought chapter 14 did an excellent job describing how transformational earcons are combined to create complex auditory messages.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with earcons, I’ve included an excerpt from one of the Giulio Rosati’s papers:
"Earcons were originally developed by Blattner and coworkers, who defined them as 'brief succession of pitches arranged in such a way as to produce a tonal pattern sufficiently distinct to allow it to function as an individual recognizable entity.' Earcons are abstract, synthetic tones that can be used in structured combinations to create auditory messages. Many acoustic and musical features can be used to communicate information by means of structured sounds: pitch, intensity, timbre, rhythm, and space."

If you would like to learn more about sonification, I recommend this book, Sonic Interaction Design, by MIT Press.

Deliberate Use of Female Computer Voice in Tech

While I was researching about voice interface and how to design one properly, I stumbled into this article.

While the story about why users preferred female voices was certainly interesting, I was quite intriguied by what Rebecca Zorach, the Director of the Social Media Project at the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, said in the article.

"What's interesting to me is how they seem to intentionally make her [Siri’s] speech sound artificial -- they could choose to make her speech more seamless and human-like, but they choose instead to highlight the technology," she said. "That makes you aware of how high-tech your gadget is."

via CNN

How Foreign Languages are Perceived By Non Speakers

An interesting video showing how languages sound like to non speakers. Although this is quite amusing, there's something to be said about the influence of linguistics in interaction design, from both literal and perceived points of view. The sound designers who worked on Wall-E and The Sims knew this well and used sounds to carefully facilitate the interaction, emotion and mood of the experience. Definitely check out the videos below to learn more.

What Languages Sound Like