Trim path

From eye to ear.

User Research for the Audio Branding of the DBSV

When hearing suddenly becomes the most important sense: We relearned user understanding for the audio branding of the German Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

User Research, Shadowing, Interviews, Project Management

Our mission

A sound for 80,000 ears.

The German Association for the Blind and Visually Imp aired has 40,000 members with varying degrees of visual impairment. They live in a world made for sighted people, and every day they encounter barriers that we unwittingly put in their way.

As sound strategists and designers, our colleagues at why do birds were faced with the task of creating an audio branding for the DBSV. But how do you map the different experiences and needs of so many people in a few minutes or even seconds of music? And how can we create an adequate representation of this association when our lifeworlds are essentially different?

This is where we, as service designers, come into play.
A blind woman walking through a park with a white cane to help her navigate.
Our Approach

Asking the right questions.

The audio branding of the DBSV required a sensitive user research process. It needed to be designed on a basis that essentially consisted of the people behind the association. We wanted to answer questions such as: What role does the association play in the lives of its members? If hearing takes on a greater role as eyesight deteriorates, can we map this distribution of tasks in Sound? Where does sound already offer support? And how can we, as sighted people, properly represent the world of blind people?

Part of the association.

We have selected a diverse group of members - different visual impairments, stories and interests are our insight into the association. We accompanied this group in their everyday lives, went shopping and to the post office, navigated our way through city traffic and visited them at home. This was the only way we could create a strong foundation for a sound that can do more than just sound beautiful.
A man standing in front of a paper full of information about train departure times. He is holding up a visual aid because otherwise he could not read the small information.

Together to the next step.

After intensive interviews and shadowing, we formulated a number of key findings. We were particularly keen to deeply involve the DBSV in the process at every stage. In workshops with board members and colleagues in sound design, we further developed our vision for sustainable audio branding.
Our vision

People make the community.

User-centered design is needed in all disciplines. The profound examination of the reality of our customers' lives is the basis for designers of all kinds to create a result that has a hand and a foot.
Telephone loop
»The team looked into the world of blind and visually impaired people both sensitively and systematically, and then incorporated the insights they gained into our Markenklang project. They had a plan - and it worked!« 
– Volker Lenk, Press Spokesman of the DBSV

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