The Sound of Software

Roger Stringer Roger Stringer
May 12, 2024
2 min read

Andy Allen and Thomas Williams, from Not Boring:

Sound is an outcast in Software Design. We may embrace the aesthetics of animation and visuals, but sound is different. It’s intrusive. Unlike visuals on a screen, you can’t look away or ignore it. It’s enough to make you rip the batteries out of a toy or frisbee an iPad across the room (speaking from experience).

And yet, play a video game without sound and its powerful punch lands with no force. Without music, once moving moments in a film become dull, even comical (Jurassic Park, Rocky). Sound holds an immense power to elevate any experience — including the most boring of software.

Sound in software isn’t inherently bad. It’s just been really badly designed.

We use sound in every !Boring app, and many have called it out as one of their favorite aspects of our apps. We’ve learned a few things about when to use sound, how to design it, and how to implement it. When done right, sound unlocks a path to much richer software experiences.

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