Introducing Designing with Sound from O’Reilly Books (Oct 2017)

designing-products-with-sound-oreilly-amber-case-aaron-dayI’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

designing-products-with-sound-oreilly-amber-case-aaron-dayOrder 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

Upcoming Speech: Design Week Portland 2016

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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at this year’s Design Week Portland! Even better, I’ll be introducing one of my idols, anthropologist Genevieve Bell from Intel! She’ll be talking about the Internet of Beings! The internet of animals is more than just Keyboard Cat and animated gifs. Intel’s in-house Anthropologist will explore what we learn from data mining animals.

What is Design Week Portland?
Short answer: it’s amazing and you should definetely participate!

Longer answer: Design Week Portland is a week-long, city-wide series of programs exploring the process, craft, and practice of design across all disciplines. Our mission is to increase appreciation and awareness about design and its far-reaching effects on matters of cultural and social relevance, including community development, education systems, and the economy.

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Schedule

Main Stage: April 15-16, 2016
Revolution Hall, Portland, OR
Two days of core programming before the festival kicks into independently organized Events and Open Houses. Register for the Main Stage!

Independent Events
The heart and soul of Design Week Portland is in these events, conceived and hosted by the creative community of an entire city. Most are free or low cost to make design accessible to all. Register for each event separately – there is no central pass. See Portland Design Week Independent Events.

Open Houses
Studios and offices around the city will open their doors to us to show what they’re working on! I’d highly suggest visiting as many as you can!
https://2016.designweekportland.com/openhouses

Want to learn more?
Read more about Design Week from Portland’s must-follow startup and tech blog, SiliconFlorist!

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Invisible Design at Portland Design Museum’s Story Hour

invisible-design-talk-design-museum-portland On July 15th I gave a short talk on invisible design at Portland Design Museum’s Story Hour. Story Hour is a recurring live podcast series hosted at various locations around Portland, Oregon.

This week’s event was the second in the series. Story Hour opened to the design community on July 15, 2015 from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, and the rooftop deck at OnDeck Sports bar was completely packed with people!

Story Hour: Invisible Design Storytellers

  • Grace Andrews, Co-Founder of Lurébel
  • Matthew Bietz, Founder & Creative Director, Quarter Twenty
  • Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist, Calmtechnology.com
  • Pete Cole, CEO, Gamblin Colors
  • Kristen Gallagher, Founder, Edify Education Design
  • Pinky Gonzalez, CEO, SightWorks
  • Nick Parish, President, Americas, Contagious
  • Melody Rowell, MFA Collaborative Design 2015, PNCA, Founder & CEO, Project COMIC
  • Ken Tomita, Founder & Sean Kelly, Product Designer, Grovemade
  • Kenneth Weigelt, Associate Creative Director, INDUSTRY
  • Jennifer Woodward, Founder, Pulp & Deckle

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About Story Hour
Design Museum Portland’s Story Hour offers the opportunity to share tales of creativity and exploration, live and onstage. It begins with a theme and a group of storytellers, each story is unique, drawing from the tellers interpretation and experience. Whether it’s a student’s first forays or an established professional’s years of practice, their range of perspectives offer an audience inspiration, commonality, and good fun. Each Story Hour is crafted into a subsequent podcast where the stories live on.

Invisible Design
Design doesn’t just make things beautiful, it makes them usable. And successful design has often been described as, at its best, invisible, seamlessly weaving its way into our everyday lives.

So many people design in a vacuum without any feedback from the group that’s going to be using the product. Design is for your customers, not for the manager in the room. This is why sudden redesigns fail (MySpace, Digg, stumbleupon). They were built incrementally with their users, and the redesigns were not. Just because something looks nice doesn’t mean it’s usable. Design is what works. Notecard from 2007. #timehop #design


So many people design in a vacuum without any feedback from the group that’s going to be using the product. Design is for your customers, not for the manager in the room. This is why sudden redesigns fail (MySpace, Digg, stumbleupon). They were built incrementally with their users, and the redesigns were not. Just because something looks nice doesn’t mean it’s usable. Design is what works.
Notecard from 2007. #timehop #design