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When do you think UI sounds are important?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Antypodish, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Antypodish


    Apr 29, 2014
    I had discussion with few people on UI design and one specific point was focused on the sounds from UI.

    We know probably most of games have UI with clicking, or blipping sounds, etc.
    This is to mimik tactile responsiveness. Right?

    On mobile for example, UI buttons clicks are typically represented by visuals, vibration and sometimes sounds.

    I don't have much experience with UI on consoles, neither games, but as far I remember, there are often click on UI buttons. However, UI buttons are not that often used in consoles, as UI is designed more toward pads controls. Correct me please if I am wrong.

    On PC, tons of game have clicking menu buttons. However, certain games does not have it. On PC we have not only feedback from visuals, but also sounds feedback from mouse and keyboard.

    Interestingly, on windows OS for example buttons got optional sounds.
    Earlier win OS had enabled by default.

    Web pages doesn't got sounds for UI clicking.

    Most games also does not target blind people. So the UI sounds importance for most is even lower.

    1. So do we really need, or in what circumstances UI sounds are useful?
    When can be annoying, distracting, or simply unnecessary.

    2. How choice of sounds / or not may be affected, when navigating in the menu, game during pause (all stands still), game running (i.e. multiplier which can not be paused) etc?

    3.Does games with slower and less sounds effect, are more likely implement sounds of UI sounds?
    And vice versa, when game is fast, dynamic with many sounds from actions, would UI sounds implementation be limited?

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  2. LuiBroDood


    Mar 13, 2019
    confirmation of actions,
    especially for inventory or things that effect the game
    Socrates, xVergilx, SparrowGS and 2 others like this.
  3. Murgilod


    Nov 12, 2013
    Action confirmation, but also previews. Trying to adjust the sound volume in a game relative to the dialogue and music often involves me going in deaf because I can't tell if I've got it at the right level.
    Socrates, xVergilx, SparrowGS and 2 others like this.
  4. Joe-Censored


    Mar 26, 2013
    Any time a button is pressed which does not result in an immediate UI visual response, I think a sound confirming the press is useful.
    GliderGuy and SparrowGS like this.
  5. SparrowGS


    Apr 6, 2017
    The sound is just one extension of the feedback, vibrations (like you said) is another, the button changing color/sprite is another.
    You can do without it if you have enough of the others, but it's usually a very strong feedback source - I still like keeping stuff like that as more of a final polish, to help with the accessibility of the design, if I can get the button without sounds so can a deaf guy.

    Like you said I too don't think a lot of blind people play video games, and if they do it's probably with a game that specialized in communicating with them in some way.

    As for how much UI sound depends on how much UI is part of you game, if you only have a minimap/compass on a hardcore FPS dedicating 50% of the sound to it is pretty crazy, but if you do some tycoon game that has a ton of menus having a variety of sounds can be great.

    edit: also have the option to turn down/off UI sounds separately from background music or in-game SFX, so if a user feels like it's too much he can tweak it.
    GliderGuy and Joe-Censored like this.
  6. kdgalla


    Mar 15, 2013
    At the risk of pointing out the obvious- Why not just watch some "let's play" videos of console games that look similar to yours? Most of these type of videos have the game's audio audible.

    In place of on-screen buttons, Console games occasionally have controller button prompts, but more often they just have a lot of menus where you navigate the menu items with the control stick or directional pad and select with the (A) (or whatever) button. Press (B) to cancel (go back to the previous menu). Usually there is a small sound when transitioning from one menu item to another and a bigger sound when selecting and item. Even something as simple as a yes/no question is often implemented as this type of menu.

    Come to think of it, do you ever play PC games with a game controller? The UI style is essentially identical to console.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  7. Antypodish


    Apr 29, 2014
    Thank you guys for your input so far.
    All are great.
    If anyone has anything else to add, please feel free.

    Yep I did watch some after your comment. Not specifically to console, but more on PC too.
    And there is plenty cases, where there is sound of UI, but very subtle indeed. Sometimes hard to hear.

    And I agree on point, where an option to adjust sound volume of menu, is probably most reasonable solution.
  8. neginfinity


    Jan 27, 2013
    Few cents.

    The general idea is that sounds indicate that something actually happened. However they shouldn't irritate the user.

    A game where you use mouse for pressing buttons doesn't necessarily need UI sound, because you have tactile feedback from pressing a button.

    Games targeting gamepad often have some sort of effect to indicate that you've moved the cursor.

    For buttons that activate during important moments but are on cooldown otherwise it makes sense to a sound indicating that the cooldown is over.

    One other thing. Effects shouldn't be loud/repetetive. For example... I tried playing Pistol Whip (VR title) recently and someone had an amazing idea that you have to shoot the buttons to press them. It is awful. Going through options menu turns into constant "Blam blam blam blam! Blam!". Gun Club VR (also a VR title) dealt with it better. In GunClub you can shoot buttons to activate them, but you can also activate them via a laser pointer.
    Socrates likes this.