1

I'm building an application that is will mostly be used by "novice users". My team wants to add a sound effect to help aid the user understand that something is clickable when they hover over a button.

Is this a good UX practice to add sound effects on rollover? If so, what kind of sound would be best to use assuming there is already a "click" sound for the click actions?

  • 1
    Why does your team want to do this? What requirement do they think a sound will meet? – Peter Apr 30 '15 at 12:04
  • 1
    that won't help deaf users – Albert Lang Apr 30 '15 at 12:31
  • One reason they gave for wanting to do it was "mouse over sounds are standard in games" (the application we are building is a simulation game). "It is not to help users that have never touched a computer before but because audio queues work together with the visuals to convey what the user is about to do." – Sindri Jóelsson Apr 30 '15 at 14:51
6

No; it's uncommon and would lead users to thought that action has been already performed after mouseover, rather than indicate possibility of clicking. Also, note that volume control in vast majority of cases is under control of user and it's often the case it's just set to 0.

I would suggest:

  • Underlining, changing background, changing/emphasizing typeface (depending on kind of element)
  • Changing cursor to standard pointer cursor

Both of practices have been around for decades now and they are commonly accepted as intuitive, while sound on mouseover is considered annoying (since it's quite likely interface will produce a lot of accidental, unwanted noise).

  • I would only add that, especially if you're dealing with novice users, you should make the interface as clean and simple as possible - that includes removing potentially confusing audio cues that have no practical function. – Andrew Martin Apr 30 '15 at 14:21
  • The first thing that came to mind when they told me they wanted to add the sound was that it would become annoying and superfluous very quickly. Thanks for the advice, I might show them this question and its answers. ;) – Sindri Jóelsson Apr 30 '15 at 14:56
0

Right now I'm working on an app of selling cars and I will try to use a simple sound when users touch the favourite button in detail page. I believe that action reinforce the think of the action is successfully for users.

  • Why would you think that's the case? Would you want to hear a sound each and every time you hover/click on a button? – Mayo Apr 30 '15 at 14:14
  • Yes, I believe that it's good. Users don't use the favourite button usually so when they use it I think it make the "wow effect". Sound it's a resource, so why we can't use it? – Marc Garrido Apr 30 '15 at 14:23
  • Be sure you test your users. I personally HATE sound feedback on my sites. I may be using my computer at work or my wife or daughter may be napping nearby. – Mayo Apr 30 '15 at 14:25
  • Absolutly, I pretend use it in test A/B and the sound must be very subtle – Marc Garrido Apr 30 '15 at 14:33
  • 1
    On touch devices you generally don't have "Hover" vs "Click" you only have one type of interaction "Touch" ( and then "Drag" and then so on) and I think you are confusing them together? What you describe is actually more of a "click" event rather than a "hover". (Unless the user is dragging some element around and holding it above another element that can "receive" elements by having them dropped on them, that could be called hovering and in that case I don't think you should play a sound as the most likely intended action has not been completed.) – Sindri Jóelsson Apr 30 '15 at 15:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.