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Sound matters . Sound can put a user at ease or put them on edge during their interaction with a device, a website, or a piece of software . A calm, welcoming sound can change everything about the experience,

and can relieve tension in frustrated users

Far from being a simple on/off indicator, a well-designed status tone (much like a well-designed status light) can also serve as a unique identifier with relatively little cognitive demand . It allows technology to communicate information without using the spoken word, and without requiring the attention and distraction that verbal communication demands

Getting this right means doing more with the tone than simply making an arbitrary sound, though . In many Japanese factories, for example, the alarm that stops the production line is actually a short tune that is customized to the team that sounds the alarm . This serves the dual function of letting the people on the floor know what’s happening, and enforcing a sense of ownership among workers for the factory’s process . It also lets everyone in the factory know, in seconds, where to start looking for problems to fix .

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