This paper embarks on giving the audience a method of evaluating audio logos and sound designs which do not require any form of formal training. Often, the testing of sound designs is primarily conducted by experts. In case, non-experts individuals want to participate in the evaluations then they would need to undergo training. Two designers and 40 listeners were selected to take part in the study that involved both male and female participants. The first designer creates sound identities for company brands. The designer trialled four different audio logos. The second designer specializes in radio drama; he created all sound effects using physical props that were layered on previously recorded radio drama (McGregor & Cunningham, 2015). The study used a repertory grid technique in its design; the technique had fixed constructs and elements. The technique enabled the matches for the designers and listeners to be calculated as a result of the comparisons. User and designer generated categories were the primary constructs used.
The results of the experiment indicated that the method can highlight both the difference and similarities between the participant and designer. From the results, it was, therefore, possible to show that it is possible to compare the untrained and trained experiences of the audio logos as well as the radio drama by making use of the provided constructs. The front/back construct which was the primary construct to be investigated had an average match of 61%. When examining the level of matches, the audio logo element showed a match of between 45%-95% while the radio drama elements showed matches of between 75%-100%. The high matches in the radio drama elements can be attributed to a limitation in the number of constructs applied. There were various limitations in the study; first the views of designers could affect the ratings, and therefore, results are likely to be skewed (McGregor & Cunningham, 2015). Secondly, comparing the result of 20 listeners with a single rating of the designer carries an inherent limitation. Future researchers could focus on extending the scope of the experiment and include different scenarios such as using sounds that have been designed for film, video games, TV, mobile devices and sonic icons.
McGregor, I. & Cunningham, S. (2015). Comparative evaluation of radio and audio logo sound designs. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 63 (11), 876-888. http://dx.doi.org/10.17743/jaes.2015.0076