When we hear Uguisu (Japanese Bush Warbler)’s singing, we feel relaxed, as if we are in a quiet forest. We also think that spring is coming soon by listening to the sound of Uguisu.
Sounds can communicate how the environment would be. For example, The Uguisu’s singing reminds us of a quiet forest because the bird inhabits a mountainous forest. Furthermore, Uguisu reminds us of the spring season because the bird starts singing in early spring to attract a mate. Finally, sounds can retrieve memories relating to the objects, knowledge, and experiences you have had.
As a mood changer
Sounds can change our mood, too. When I listen to relaxing music, I feel relaxed and forget about my anger or stress. It is not all about the music and natural sounds that make us feel calm. Some sounds in our living environment have soothing effects on our mood.
One good example is the Japanese school chime. In Japan, students listen to the following sound at the begging and end of classes:
Unlike the school bell in the US, the school chime in Japan sounds calm. This school chime in Japan uses the melody of Westminster Chimes. It has been primarily used in elementary and junior high schools nationwide for over a half-century. The soothing sound has the effect of calming students to start and end classes at school.
You can find other melody sounds in towns. Examples include train departure melodies at train stations in JR, subways, and other railways in Japan. The departure melodies notify passengers about the train departures without bothering them, especially during morning and evening rush hours.
As a taste communicator
In addition to visuals and smells, sound cues communicate what product experiences you can have. For example, the sound of a carbonated drink can make it feel refreshing even before drinking.
Multiple-sensory cues enhance user experience
While a good cue impacts user experience, the sound alone is strong enough to give an impactful user experience. Multiple-sensory cues, including visuals and sounds, enhance the user experience and make the user experience memorable.