FoundSounds is an iOS app that bridges the gap between art project and social network. Users are able to record and share sounds that they find intriguing, surprising, or disruptive. These recordings are geotagged, allowing users to browse sounds by scrolling through a timeline or exploring a map.
We were brought on early in the development face to help develop the design and UI, allowing the app's creator to focus on coding and back-end work.
Early in development many of the apps features were in flux, forcing us to be agile in our approach to designing UI elements.
In addition, iOS - the iPhone's operating system - was undergoing a massive overhaul of its design language at the time. As a result, we needed to be quick to take into consideration Apple's updated UI guidelines to ensure that FoundSounds did not have a dated appearance upon release.
We worked closely with the app's creator during the process, letting the app's functionality inform design decisions in some places, while letting the design inform the apps functionality in others.
In addition to the app design, we also brought additional continuity to the project by designing the FoundSounds website.
The end result is a cohesive user experience for discovering and sharing intriguing audio experiences.
While it would be easy to mistake FoundSounds for an attempt at a social app, intriguing features like SoundWalk show it's true potential as collaborative global art project.
While on the surface what might be most easily described as "Instagram for Sounds", FoundSounds differs from traditional social networks in several noteworthy ways.
First, it creates a community of sound seekers rather than encouraging users to follow specific individuals.
Secondly, unlike social networks, FoundSounds creates an experience for users. By using the app's "SoundWalk" feature, one can place their headphones in, and stroll through an environment hearing audio echos uploaded by users in the past - not unlike a phantom history of events in the area.