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73

To provide several channels of feedback: haptic: "I feel the key has been pressed", optic: "I see the key change its color" and auditive: "I hear the system felt that I pressed the key". The change in the graphic interface is the effect of this action, and thus an additional, indirect form of feedback. Why should different channels be provided at once? ...


65

Context is important here. Sound feedback can be very useful when people need or expect it. The ATM. That annoying credit card pad that only accepts a button push every 3rd time at the pharmacy check out line. A cash register. And maybe it can be important for your web site, but realize that that is a very atypical behavior and not something your users are ...


15

I would ordinarily not offer an opinion here (as I am just barely worthy to read this site), but I would remind everyone that while the vast majority of users are sighted, introducing sounds can interfere with visually impaired users. If you do add sound (which I think is an excellent idea), please make sure that you include a way for those with difficulties ...


12

Playing sounds can be useful when showing error messages, information dialog boxes etc. However... It is not the responsibility of your application to force the user to hear these sounds. This is something that must be configurable by the user, and since most operating systems already have such a configuration possibility, I see no added value in creating ...


10

When the student gets an answer wrong, you probably shouldn't play any sound at all. From About Face 3, chapter 25: Given the choice of no noise versus noise for negative feedback, people will choose the former. Given the choice of no noise versus soft and pleasant noises for positive feedback, however, people will choose the feedback. The ...


9

Sound effects are a type of attraction to the user, true. But take care of the following things while implementing sound: The sound should be pleasant, which means it should not be annoying or irritating. Different people have different preferences. Be aware of that. People working working at offices prefer silence. If a user opens your website and a sound ...


9

I think casinos can be used as a good model for positively reinforcing a sense of achievement to the user. Specifically slot machines, as they make all types of pinging noises even when you are really losing money. This gives the user a false sense of achievement in a lot of cases but it can still be used as a good reference point. This video summarizes a ...


8

The benefit of an audible alarm is that it gives the operator information without them having to look at the screen - and hopefully draws their attention to the screen. Each sound is also different to give the operator quick feedback on what the alarm is. So when you have multiple simultaneous alarms, playing only one of the alarms would give ...


8

I recommend looking at this smashing magazine article Designing With Audio: What Is Sound Good For? for additional inputs on how sound is used to communicate feedback and bring about interaction with the users. To quote the article : MOBILE Much of the Web is moving to mobile, which of course entails smaller screens and people on the go. But ...


6

Sound is like the Blink & Marquee tags - it may seem like a great idea to the page designer, but most users will hate it (while a few might like). I.e., you will create a lot of ill will with a lot of people at the price of a little good will with a few. Do not do it.


5

The main ticket system for commuting in Stockholm uses touch screen devices to purchase tickets. But when you "touch" a button on the screen, there's a several second delay before anything actually happens on screen. Yes, it's that bad. So most people hammer on the screen in vane and then all of a sudden the screen moves several steps forward, having stored ...


5

It allows user with poor typing skills to recognize that their key press was registered while keeping their eyes on the keyboard instead of looking up into whatever area of the GUI is being updated. Anecdotal: There's a gas station near me with keypad that had letters that are hard to depress (I guess they are just worn out) and there's no auditory feedback. ...


5

You need to beware of thinking of a wrong answer as a "user error". Your application's purpose is to tell the user whether their entered answer is correct or not. An incorrect answer is not an "error" as such, and shouldn't be treated like "invalid input". It's valid input that happens to be the wrong answer. (Carried to extremes, applying 'error handling' ...


5

Depends on the look and feel of the game and the game mechanics, but you should try and match the sounds to the feel of the graphics and pace you want to achieve, how rewarded a person should feel for answering a single question, versus passing a level, etc. Examples: if you use avatars(illustrations of people), record someone saying "Correct!" or ...


5

General Guidelines: Play and pause should toggle Volume control should be separate from mute (dragging the volume down is not clear on how to stop the sound) Play button should be in close proximity to the timeline. UI design should blend into the background of what is being viewed. Small, but big enough click area for users to miss with their selecting ...


5

The first question you should ask yourself is: How many users are woking with sound enabled? And how many of them are listening to music (surely with headphones)? I just asked around in my office (28 persons in my room), and only 4 of them have the sound enabled and each of them are listening to music. What I want to say: If we take the numbers of my quick ...


5

Playing a sound is useful when there's a chance that the user will miss the notification from the application. For example, Skype play a sound everytime you receive a message. Otherwise, there's also the flashy icon that helps the user to notice the message. So, in my opinion the best thing would be use both visual and sound notification. Remember also to ...


4

Many devices, things with simple keypads like microwave ovens, phones and bank ATMs, use a simple sound (e.g. "beep") to reinforce the fact that a button was pushed. I've noticed it's a little disconcerting with using a bank ATM in a noisy environment and I can't hear those beeps. I remember the sounds of an old fashioned dial up modem - the satisfaction ...


4

Nikko, If you're looking for a good, general overview of the use and affect of "auditory icons" and "earcons", this is a good read: http://www.nordiskergonomi.org/nes2007/CD_NES_2007/papers/A19_Fagerlonn.pdf Note that non-beautiful sounds tend to be what is most often used; little is really understood about spearcons (speech), and one sound rarely works ...


3

If the keyboard is giving tactile feedback and makes its own sounds, then I see no need for trying to better nature. Audio would be needed only if your application is not responsive, i.e. when nothing changes on screen within the 100ms of the causality barrier, but you still want to tell the user that you got the input. Remember, though, that's a only an ...


3

I suppose it depends on one major variable: does the user get into an accident? Since the experience only affects those that don't wear seatbelts, we have to assume these are people that don't like to wear seatbelts. So is the better user experience the one where they are forced to do something they don't want to do (wear the seatbelt) or is it a better ...


3

It's true that the Peugot's seat belt notification system is more effective in that it results in a higher fastened-rate. However, I'd pick the BMW is a better UX because I don't see the seat-belt fastening as a core-responsibility of the driving experience, but rather a bonus "added-feature." To translate to the web, it'd be like enlarging the "required" ...


3

The experience is identical if you use the seat belt, but worse in the Peugeot if you don't. Peugeot is more effective in teaching you to meet a required behaviour, because if you resist then the cost (annoyance) is greater, but the long term (hidden) benefit is greater. But the user experience I suppose is 'the here and the now', and that just simply ...


3

Very interesting question. I suspect that a lot of people will argue that the Peugeot's mechanism is more successful because it causes the driver to perform the intended action more often than the BMW's. I am not sure which truly has a better user experience, partially because i have not heard or seen both systems. This question is somewhat analogous to an ...


3

Quite honestly, no. If you want to try adding sounds then make them optional for the user to turn them on, not to turn them off. But I would be surprised if you have over 1% of users opting to turn them on and any that do will turn them off again rather quickly. Whilst the lines are blurring, a website is not an OS, nor is it a device — as previous posters ...


2

It's not so it can be done without looking, it's because beeping provides you with additional feedback that your action has taken place. It's a confirmation that your action has been detected. It's a similar situation with cellphones that vibrate when you press an onscreen keyboard key - although the key you type appears on screen it vibrates to give you ...


2

I'm not sure what the standard is for this, but when I'm annoyed by sound I always look in the upper left, then right-hand corners for a mute button. Failing that, I look for a settings area. You should also consider where you have put other user controls, and whether or not it makes contextual sense to group this with them.


2

Reassurance, additional feedback and accessibility as stated above, I imagine are the main reasons. In this particular case part of the reasoning for the feature could have been the fact traditional phones (without a screen) provided this audio feedback, therefore it was left in place as a form of familiarity and inherited from the traditional phone.


2

I would recommend playing a sound only when the user's attention is necessary. An example of that is the way Facebook makes a short beep when there's a new notification. A really compelling example of audio notification is the Podio collaboration tool, which make a pleasant and somewhat addictive "pop" sound when you receive a notification that someone in ...


1

Chloe, I think sound effects are completely underutilized in web UX and I encourage you to include them.... when attached to events that the sound would bring meaning to of course. Meaning, if you are thinking of bringing the midi background music back from the 90's, please don't. But if you are notifying a user of an event that has enough weight to get ...



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