Music and mood boards

Ultan Ó Broin (MUGATEAUX)
2 min readDec 19, 2021

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Music, sounds, and auditory tone settings are often absent from UX design mood boards. Why? All are powerful communicators of empathy.Music and mood boards

Here’s a reminder for UX designers to keep things multimedia when conceptualising that all important empathy. How many UX designers include sounds in mood boards? Using auditory cues can help frame the design of an eventual solution, and communicate feelings and empathy, implicitly and explicitly.

Sure, sometimes there are copyright issues if you publish a recording for commercial use and that is a deterrent. Yet, there are other options for discovering sounds and auditory cues to consider when looking for sound examples for your UX design.

Mood board with colour, tone, images, drama, and sounds included. I was aiming to invoke a sense of hopeful empathy in this mood board (h/t IADT project).

Some of my favourite musical mood pieces include Brian Eno’s Music for Airports (an ambient set to reduce stress at airports — before mobile phones) from 1978; the Gavin Bryars (with Tom Waits) 1993 version of Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, and The Walker Brothers’ The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) from 1966. I’ve found these pieces to be useful when conceptualisation feelings of well-being, reflection, and hope.

It all depends on the context of course whether any sound or song works for your design mood. The point is, when it comes to mood, search far and wide for music and sounds.

You may have your own favourites for designing mood settings? Feel free to share yours!

Some learning on Sonic Mood Boards is available on LinkedIn.

Ultan Ó Broin is a user experience design professional and student from Ireland. Always willing to help.

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Ultan Ó Broin (MUGATEAUX)

Un concepteur d’applications mobiles faisant des recherches à Dublin. Je travaille à distance. Étudiant.Content does not necessarily reflect the views of IADT.