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59

The physical mute and volume buttons affect all other apps too. It's better to have a mute button in your app because as a user I may only want to mute the notifications from your app and not others. For example, there's a chance I want to mute Facebook notifications but not those from Twitter. So for that I'd need a mute button in Facebook because the ...


17

Working as a sound designer in the games industry the response I have get from most programmers regarding this is that they simply don't realise that linear volume scaling is wrong. Once shown the difference they are converts (I've seen this multiple times). It's an incredibly easy (one line) fix that will make your controls feel significantly nicer and ...


16

Because a lot of it relates to real-world counterparts. This creates an instant bond with the controls, and allows for easier reading of purpose and meaning. More specifically, and to answer Nick Coad's comment; the reason it's more prevalent when mixing music, is because there is more UI than in possibly any other job. To learn two separate skill sets, ...


13

TL;DR: An app forcing me to use the global mute would be uninstalled in the blink of an eye. So they better have a mute function if they want to use audio at all. EDIT: The previous was a bit too short for an answer, here's an explanation: Audio is in essence quite intrusive, that is, you can hardly block it out. That's different from vision - you can ...


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

Just a small extra consideration but I'll make it an answer anyway. I tend to listen to the radio via an app whilst playing casual games so need to be able to choose which app's volume to control. If I had to use the volume control for all apps I wouldn't be able to complete half of my objective (as I want to do both). This goes beyond the other answers that ...


8

Mobile OSes usually have broad scoped sound controls instead of app specific ones. Android (AOSP) sound volume has three separated controls: one for general effects and notifications, another one for multimedia apps and the last one for alarms. But those are system-wide, so adding sound controls into the app you can control the app specific sound volume ...


8

I am a former recording engineer and a current UX designer. I think skeuomorphism initially allowed engineers to transfer deeply ingrained behaviors from the physical interfaces they were trained on to a very different set of digital tools. It's the same role skeuomorphism has always played in digital interfaces. The reason it's stuck around longer in music ...


7

One explanation is to know the difference between a lost feed and a censor. If a censor was to just cut the feed then a censor and a lost feed are the same. But if they put the beep over the feed there is difference. If the beep is to mask what is on the feed it needs to be louder than what it is masking and at a higher (or comparable) pitch. If the cut ...


7

As someone who listens to music and radio a lot while I work, I have the main volume on my computer set to a level I find comfortable - this control over-rides any embedded sound or video for websites - If the websites adjusted their sound to, for arguments sake, 50% then their volume level would be 50% of my comfortable listening level: comparatively quiet ...


7

Yes. The Ads will hurt the UX of GPS navigation system. These systems use audio to guide the users as they drive, and their subconscious mind is always waiting for the system to guide them (particularly when they are driving on unknown roads). However, you can use some special tune for navigation advice that will alert the users to pay attention. I will ...


6

Good question, it has bugged me in the past. From W3C - Audio Control:Understanding SC 1.4.2, it seems that pages that do not offer sound control, or mute, functionality are not adhering to the criterion. Summarising the link: 1.4.2 Audio Control: If any audio on a Web page plays automatically for more than 3 seconds, either a mechanism is available to ...


6

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 ...


6

TL;DR: It should be, and likely will be soon Throughout the history of the internet and browsers, many well-intended features have fallen prey to abuse: popup windows, alerts before closing a page, back-button redirects, mislabeled links, download buttons, etc. Audio is no exception, with auto-playing videos and advertising becoming more common in recent ...


6

The W3s WCAG Accessibility Guidelines: http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/visual-audio-contrast-dis-audio.html basically states to remember that SOME users are using screen-readers (so you want to avoid auto-start any contrasting audio), and of course others are deaf (so whatever is supposed to be communicated via audio needs to be communicated ...


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

Here is what I would do. And to make tabs visible, I would try not to stretch tabs making them equal to the width of video container. I would use them the way they are shown.


4

The main reason is to simplify the UI so it's easier to navigate. The excuse ("reason") this works is because the hardware almost always supports hardware volume adjustment, whether it's your iPhone or a 5.1 speaker system. Is that a good reason to remove it? No. However, even Apple has struggled with the right way to handle having both a volume adjustment ...


4

Users with vision impairments will typically use a screen reader. If you have never tried one, I would highly suggest looking up the basics of how to use one (you already have one in your pocket — VoiceOver and TalkBack are built into iOS and Android, you just need to enable it!), and watch a few YouTube videos that demonstrate how screen reader users ...


3

I think the smart approach would be to include a volume control on desktop computers, but hide it on mobile. The reason is most desktop users don't like to adjust their speaker volume, it's often inconvenient, and even adjusting the volume slider in Windows itself is less convenient than adjusting the player volume. The other important reason is that a ...


3

When you say signal I am assuming you mean something like a waveform? If that is the case then doing an interface that shows the waveform with sections highlighted that the user can hover over/click on to get more detailed information would be something that makes sense to me as a user.


3

The scale doesn't matter most of the time and the label of that scale almost never matters. In a broad sense, the user only wants volume controls with 2 settings: Off and the correct/desired volume. If the user is adjusting things up or down it's because they are trying to reach whatever the correct volume is. Most likely the situation has changed and what ...


3

Sonification is the general term for this, and has been a topic in HCI research for a long time. Your question brings up a lot of interrelated, complex issues, but in my opinion the basic question of "why don't you see this more" boils down to a combination of: a general lack of UI designer familiarity/experience/training with sonification as a technique a ...


3

How about generating a short audio from a string that describes the feature? There should be plenty of ways to auto generate this kind of thing (as a c# developer I know it is a few lines of code to play a sound from a string). That way they are not listening to some random sound on repeat, but a sound that is different every time and that gives them the ...


3

Understand that you are currently in the user research phase, just like to point out that the way users respond via audio only and video (with or without audio) are very different. And typically people’s attention span on receiving answers via audio or video are less than 5 seconds because audio and visual cues work based on short term memory usage of users. ...


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 ...


2

It's more than four years since this question was asked, and the Punkchip article is even older (but still relevant). However, Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) recently revisited the topic of video usability with an excellent article which it's worth referencing here to keep the topic up to date. Here's the relevant part of the article that refers to autoplay: ...


2

You don't have to use visual cues to make this apparent to the user before things happen. Users expect it's either one or the other. What you need to do when one channel is playing and the other channel is requested to play is to pause the other channel and represent the paused state with a play image: Don't close the video screen and don't make it ...


2

Soundcloud has such an option after you register. When you log in there's a pop-up that lets you change the volume. This is very user-unfriendly. Not only are you taking away an important feature. You also keep that fact hidden from potential users. Who will think there is no option to change the volume.


2

Adding ads to a SW which core functionality is focused on voice and visual navigation will result in poor UX. There is couple of reasons for that. Navigations in general struggle a little bit with screen estate. If you are designing a mobile app, you need the app to be comfortably controllable with huge buttons, so it can be operated while driving. So ...


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