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I came across a brief guideline that talked about how to do UX design for sound, and there were some very sensible advice that covered a number of points including:

  • How to decide what type of sound to create
  • How to create the audio file
  • How to decide where and when the sounds is triggered/used
  • How to implement and test for improvement

So it seems like audio cues or interactions fit quite naturally into a design guideline, but I don't know if it is commonly covered in design systems or frameworks in such detail.

Given the amount of attention and focus on accessibility, are there design guidelines or frameworks that dedicate an adequate amount of information on the design of audio/sound elements? What are some good examples that you have come across?

This question has an open bounty worth +50 reputation from Michael Lai ending in 6 days.

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Google has guidelines for Conversational UI of which one of the presentations is obviously voice but it's not audio specific. Also, Wayfinder's Open Standards group has a section on Audio Design but its extremely basic.

Overall it does seem to be a huge gap that the UX design community should consider addressing.

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As an industrial designer and music producer, I agree that sound is important for accessibility. The design of audio/sound elements and a user's perception to them lies more in the field of music theory, specifically Music Psychology.

However, keep in mind that some users prefer that their products/devices do not make any sounds. In which case it's good practice to give the user the ability to disable the sounds. A bonus for the user is the ability to adjust the volume level.

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Here are some useful articles about UX for sound I used for a project a while ago:

Susini, P & Houix, Olivier & Misdariis, Nicolas. (2014). Sound design: An applied, experimental framework to study the perception of everyday sounds. The New Soundtrack. 4. 103–121. 10.3366/sound.2014.0057.

Carron, Maxime & Dubois, Françoise & Misdariis, Nicolas & Talotte, Corinne & Susini, P. (2014). Designing Sound Identity: Providing new communication tools for building brands "corporate sounds".

Will Littlejohn (Sound Design Director @ Facebook) - How to enhance mobile interactions with sound design https://medium.com/facebook-design/how-to-enhance-mobile-interactions-with-sound-design-3c3b30e98177

  • +1 Thanks for your contribution to UXSE. For completeness of the answer it would be good to summarize or point out some key points in the references. – Michael Lai Nov 8 '18 at 13:42

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