The Approach: Making functions hearable
As Brain lab's products follow high design standards and are characterized by distinctive features, the brand wanted to enrich its software with a sound identity. The software is implemented in the digital control center Buzz, a system developed by Brainlab, but can also be used over a desktop computer. Buzz provides a wide range of functions. Medical staff is able to access and edit patient information, plans, pictures and videos, which are important for planning or carrying out procedures. An integral part of Buzz is the videoconferencing application. This software should facilitate and complement the communication between OR, offices and nurses station and is used by doctors and other medical facility.
To be able to enhance the software with important sounds, the questions to be answered first was how does the brand Brainlab sound like?
Defining and Creating the sound for Brainlab
amp developed a set of functional sounds, based on the brand values INSPIRATION, INTEGRITY and SIMPLICITY, taking into account various technical requirements as well as orientating on graphic interface design. On the one hand this set supports the usability and interaction with the software, on the other hand the sounds pick up and express Brainlab as brand. In workshops with the development team amp definded sound characteristics, considering effects and intermodalities of sound and then decided for a sound route that sounds familiar, but is enriched with small individual surprises. amp transferred its resultes into a kit of various sound components so that ultimately the set of functional sounds was designed.
The result and its potential
Using the software now, a rather simple, seemingly organic sound family is heard, consisting mainly of musical-rhythmic components but also of noise-like ones. This sound character aims at being a good contrast to the dense noise of surrounding medical devices and can be perceived as different. For the sound components named above amp developed specific function types, that were assigned in the application area.
In particular amp consindered the spectral transmission characteristics of different devices (internal and external speakers at Buzz, laptop, headset), so that the final sounds are as flexible as possible.
Likewise and next to the assertiveness of the sounds in a realistic background noise during an procedure, amp had to ensure intuitive sounds-interpretation. Therefore it was important to test and optimize the synergistic audio-visual perception of actions and animations, to make the user´s interaction with the videoconferencing application and acoustic signals more intuitive and comprehensible.
Brainlab understood that an unique sound identity supports both usability and brand image. Sounds for feedback, advice, alarm and error now support and supplement the interactive usability of the software and create a clear brand fit with the holistically designed acousic identity.