Resources for Sound Design in Interfaces

Pairing animation with sound can enhance both the impact and meaning of an animation. In games, experiments, and interfaces alike, adding sound to animation adds a certain polish or depth to the experience. The connection between UI animation and sound has sparked me to do some extensive research on sound design for interfaces. If you’ve been curious too here are the most interesting and useful resources I’ve found so far.


Designing Musical Interfaces (2015)
Audio and the User Experience (2007)
SUI: Sound User Interface in Web Design (2009)
Designing with Audio: What Is Sound good for? (2012)
Guidelines for Designing with Audio (2012)
Being Smart with Sound (2015)
Why Is That Thing Beeping? A Sound Design Primer (2004)

Research papers/ebooks (PDFs)

Multi-listener sonification: A team approach to Interactive Auditory Display
Earcons and Icons: Their Structure and Common Design Principles
The SonicFinder: An Interface That Uses Auditory Icons
Auditory Interfaces
Utilizing Sound Effects in Mobile User Interface Design

Sound in Design Systems

BlackBerry’s detailed earconography design system
(They designate layers for the sounds and what info/effects should go on each as well as list out the notes used in each sound.)
iOS Human Interface Guidelines on Audio
Beyond the Beep
(A collection of UI sounds from a few years ago)

On Music and Mood

Characteristics of Musical Keys
Emotional Effects of Intervals

(I’ll update this periodically as I do more work and research around sound too.)