Aiming to create a compelling sound logo and brand elements, we embarked on a sonic branding exploration for Hotjar. They create heatmaps, which are a type of overview that show the high spots and low points of your website based on how users scroll through it. Hotjar was in need of a new sound design for their videos explaining all functionalities.
Through lots of conversations with the client, insights from brand questionnaires and brainstorms with the brand guardians we gained a deep understanding of Hotjar's identity and went to work. The challenge was to capture the essence of the internet insight tool and infuse a human touch into a tech-driven environment.
As a bridge between the digital and human worlds, we crafted sound design by recording a physical computer mouse clicking. Conceptually linking the traffic orbs on the heatmap to people gathering and interacting, we recorded several mouse clicks with reverb, creating a sea of clicks for a breathing sound effect. Additionally, for the emotive lines, we recorded mouse movements on a variety of surfaces and added chimes for a magical flavor.
The centerpiece sound logo incorporates drums, percussion, and bass guitar, resonating with Hotjar's brand values (human-centered, playful, yet professional, among others). There is flexibility in the rhythmic bass pattern because there is no indication of the major or minor key. The sound logo also integrates the mouse whoosh of the emotive lines when it appears, enhancing the connection with other sonic elements.
We decided on incorporating a blend of percussion and bass. Those instruments seemed to resonate the most with the brand. We used a bongo rhythm and an upbeat, funky bass to give the logo an energized feel. We used the sound created for the emotive lines as a connection between the sound logo and the rest of the brand elements.
Melodically, the sound logo is an energetic, rhythmic bass pattern. Only judging by the notes in the sound logo, there’s no indication whether it is in a major or minor key. This results in an open feeling, leaving more to the imagination. It can, therefore, work with both minor and major keys. Here’s an example of the melody of the sound logo with a minor and major piano chord underneath.
The mouse is a bridge between computer and human; we captured that by recording some clicks and scrolls for the sound design
A website visitor’s mouse movement and scrolling are referred to by Hotjar as an emotive line.
We used the movements of a physical mouse to create the sound of the emotive line.
This results in a whooshing effect. We added some chimes to give it a lighter and positive twist.
What do the orbs on a heatmap mean in real life? People gather and interact on a website. So, in essence, it resembles how crowded a place is.
We recorded repeatedly clicking the mouse button and used reverb to create a ‘sea of clicks’. This results in a breathing sound, indicating increasing crowdedness.
In order to fit different animation durations, we created multiple lengths for the sound design