Simbacom was a start-up whose aim was to provide a unified messaging service with the high level of usability. To further this aim, I pursued many different uses of audio to augment usability, both in the telephone interface and the web interface. Sadly, they folded before a product could be released.

Since the idea was to unify email, fax, and voice mail services through a single set of user interfaces, I intented to create a organized set of sounds that would be used across all capable platforms so, for example the sound made when deleting a message on the voice mail system would be the same sound made when deleting a message from the web site. On top of that, I proposed that the TUI (Telephone User Interface) have a set of prompts that did not not use a voice to communicate every action, but rather distinct sounds; instead of a voice saying "Message Deleted", the delete sound would be played. This would provide useful feedback without slowing the experience. Think about it: who really listens to what that lady is saying once you know the voice mail system well? Most experienced users already know what she is going to say.

Also, I prototyped a sound scheme for mobile phones themselves. Based on usability research in mobile phone interfaces, I designed a sound scheme that used musical note intervals to represent menu position and depth.

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