Gregory Kramer observed that the development of design research was the way towards commercial applications in auditory display. Since his comments at ICAD ‘96 there have been some scattered examples of design research, but commercial applications have yet to appear. This paper proposes to bring design research to the fore as a way to move auditory display beyond the science laboratory and artistic exhibition. Rather than focusing on the development of an elusive general theory of sonification or a sublime aesthetic experience of digital data, it paves a pathway to the craved “killer app.” The proposal of Sonic Information Design consolidates and validates efforts to develop design research as an epistemological paradigm in auditory display. The focus on applied and pragmatic outcomes, and the aspiration to make the world a better place, sets Sonic Information Design apart from existing human factors, cognitive science and phenomenological approaches. Design research complements scientific and artistic approaches and defuses the clash between the correlation co-efficients and the learned ears by offering a third design-oriented alternative for future development.