Sound detection app

UI/UX Designer


The coursework project focused on designing a user-centric environmental sound detection app tailored for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

Team of 3 people
Environmental sound detection app screens

Problem Statement

Individuals may have limited to no access to sound.

For Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) individuals, auditory information is crucial for survival alongside visual input. Yet, their limited or absent access to auditory cues poses challenges in interpreting their surroundings.

Illustration of a woman wearing hearing aids

Solution: Interactive Prototype

Interactive Prototype of the Sound app. Give it a try!

Target Audience

DHH smartphone users

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals rely more on their visual senses to compensate for hearing impairment. It was crucial to understand the problems of our target audience in order to design a solution that perfectly fits their needs. Therefore, conducting thorough research with relevant users was essential to extrapolate the required information.

Illustration of two DHH people having conversation

User Research

Interviewed 4 DHH inidividuals

Four volunteer participants were recruited through social media.

We asked open-ended questions:
1. What type of sounds do they want to be aware of?
2. What information would they like to know about a particular sound?
3. What features would they like to see in a sound detection application?

Illustration showing four DHH participants

Design Process

The design process was a thoughtful and thorough journey, involving multiple reviews, critiques, and user testing

User research
Competitor analysis
Market analysis
User Personas
Pain points
Empathy mapping
Information architecture
User flow
Low fidelity
High fidelity
Usability testing
Feedback analysis
Accessibility testing

Empathy Mapping

Empathy mapping of DHH people's pain points and needs


Persona of a DHH person named Stacy build to showcase DHH community user journey

User Flow

User flow to demonstrate the ABC app layout

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Low fidelity wireframes screens of the ABC app concept

High Fidelity Wireframes

High fidelity wireframes screens of the ABC app concept

Design Rationale

Main screen

The app's primary function is sound detection, with the main screen presenting a central circle for user interaction. Tapping this circle allows the system to capture and analyze environmental sound, offering relevant information.

Home screen of the ABC app
User profile

Account creation is essential for establishing social presence and storing critical information for emergency situations. It allows users to save preferences, notification settings, and a list of recognized sounds.

Profile screen of the ABC app
‘Text 911’ feature

This feature enables quick sharing of information during emergencies, including sound name, location, severity, user's name, and location. Users have control over enabling or disabling this feature for each sound.

'Text911' feature enabled
Sound list

The list represents all the sound in the database. Users can add new sound data or delete unwanted data. Users can also customize existing data according to their needs. The red dash on the right side of the sound represents that the 'Text 911' feature is enabled.

Sounds screen of the ABC app

Future Scope

Audio and Haptic Cues for Blind Users

In the future, audio cues and haptic feedback could be integrated to assist blind and blind-deaf users.
Integrating the application with smartwatches would enhance user experience, enabling them to use the app without constantly checking their mobile phones.

ABC app on smartwatch


In designing this project's user experience, my focus was centered on meeting the distinct needs of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals. Through user interviews and a keen understanding of their preferences, I crafted an application that is both visually intuitive and personalized. Icons, color-coded indicators, and customizable features were strategically incorporated to enhance usability.