A Semiotic Approach to the Design of Non-speech Sounds

  • Emma Murphy
  • Antti Pirhonen
  • Graham McAllister
  • Wai Yu
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4129)


In the field of auditory display there is currently a lack of theoretical support for the design of non-speech sounds as elements of a user interface. Sound design methods are often based on ad hoc choices or the personal preferences of the designer. A method is proposed in this paper based on a semiotic approach to the design of non-speech sounds. In this approach, the design process is conceptualised by referring to structural semiotics, acknowledging the unique qualities of non-speech sounds, as a mode of conveying information. This method is based on a rich use scenario presented to a design panel. A case study where the design method has been applied is presented and evaluated. Finally recommendations for a practical design method are presented supported by this empirical investigation.


Sound Effect Design Panel Impaired User Auditory Display Individual Sound 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Murphy
    • 1
  • Antti Pirhonen
    • 2
  • Graham McAllister
    • 1
  • Wai Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Sonic Arts Research CentreQueen’s University of BelfastBelfast
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science & Information SystemsUniversity of JyväskyläFinland

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