September 1, 2007 | Written by: David Bowen

Designing Quiet Products

Sounds made by products can be either pleasing or annoying. Sounds are pleasing when expectations are met and the decision to acquire the product is reinforced (e.g., the familiar sound of a car door closing). Product sounds are annoying when they are unexpected, intrusive, or raise concerns about the function or quality of the product (e.g., a knocking sound in the engine). We tend to refer to sounds in the latter category as “product noise.”

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