I’m excited to announce that sound designer Aaron Day and I have joined forces to produce a book on sound design for products called Designing With Sound. Why write a book about sound? Sound is part of everyday life, but it is often overlooked. Sound can make or break an experience, but we don’t think about it enough. There are many opportunities for brands and makers to consider sound as a crucial part of experience design. In this book, we explore sound from a number of perspectives, from the buzz of a phone, the distraction of an open office, architectural acoustics, sound and health, and the unexplored opportunities of employing more senses in our lives.
I released Calm Technology: Principles and Patterns for Non-Intrusive Design in Fall of 2015. Since then, I was approached by a number of different companies looking for ways for products to fit better into a user’s soundscape. I realized that sound was just one part of the equation for experience design, but it deserved a much closer look.
That’s why I was so excited when my colleague Aaron Day asked me what to do with his 18 years of experience designing sound for brands, retail electronics, films, environments, automobiles, healthcare and museums. I told him that I was running into the same kinds of questions. There were designers, product owners and developers out there that needed answers to questions for a new class of connected products. How can we make products that work alongside us, instead of against us? How can we improve the sonic environment? First, we realized we needed to show people how sound affected them, how they could fix it, and then how they could make it better. The outline of a book quickly formed, and we pitched it to O’Reilly. O’Reilly was excited because it’s difficult to find a book that introduced more advanced sound design concepts without getting too technical. This world doesn’t need perfect sound, it just needs “better” sound, and through case studies, patterns and principles, we aim to show you how!
Designing with Sound will hit the shelves Oct 2017. Until then, you’re free to pro-order them. I’ll be starting to speak about various aspects of sound design starting May 2017 at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.
Thanks so much for your support and feedback while we work on this book! It’s been great to be able to reach out to so many people already with their stories and relationship with sound. See you in October!
Designing Products with Sound: Principles and Patterns for Mixed Environments
Order from Amazon | Order from O’Reilly
By Amber Case and Aaron Day. O’Reilly Books, September 2017 (est.). 300 pages.
Sound is one of the most commonly overlooked components in product design, even though it’s often the first way people interact with many products. When designers don’t pay enough attention sound elements, customers are frequently left with annoying and interruptive results. This practical book covers several methods that product designers and managers can use to improve everyday interactions through an understanding and application of sound design.
- Understand the place of sound in design, and how it can make a difference in your product
- Learn key concepts in sound design, with patterns and principles you can use to improve user experience
- Learn how to integrate sound design into a project
- Use exercises to help evaluate sound design