Postmates Serve

Audio Brand Strategy, Brand Voice, Product Sounds, App Sounds
Serve In Product and In App

Project Overview

We recently had the opportunity to partner with Serve Robotics in developing their audio brand strategy, creating their brand voice and audio user experience for their delivery robot Serve. The audio experience encompasses everything from the way the robot interacts and speaks with customers to how the robot sounds when driving on pedestrian sidewalks.

Design for New Technology

Creating sound experiences for emerging technology requires loads of research in understanding best practices from aspirational fields that we can incorporate into design. The sound design for Serve needed to communicate effectively to a range of pedestrians across different interactions while being cohesive to support their overarching brand language. In order to accomplish this, we had to create a  framework for the language so it could be flexible in four key areas:

* Melodic Work, Melodic Play, Tonal Vocalization and Mechanical

Design System

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    Melodic Work

    Simple alerts that notify a customer that they've completed an interaction - snappy, but polite

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    Melodic Play

    More elaborate alerts that are moments of celebration for the customer to experience more personality

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    Tonal Vocalization

    Moments of personality that reflect the intonation of the human voice

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    Functional sound design to reinforce when Serve is driving, slowing down or turning

Serve’s persona is warm and friendly, but has the ability to flex with her audio language based on the type of interaction.


Seeing that Serve was one of the first delivery robots to market, we wanted to create sounds that ground the experience and make people comfortable in any interaction. In order to do this we created a design system that uses consistent instrumentation and key signature across the four categories while creating flexibility with layering, effects processing and sound envelopes for best communication.

Accessibility Testing

During our design process, we tested Serve in the wild to get peoples reactions across various locations in San Francisco and also prioritized testing for low vision populations. From there we continued adapting the design accordingly to achieve the most functional and delightful experience possible. Overall, we delivered over 30 distinct sound assets to accompany Serve and the delivery robot is currently deployed across LA and San Francisco.

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