Hot answers tagged

192

Don't do it. A lot of people (myself included) open many new tabs rather than browse in a single one. If I suddenly have a noise coming from a tab: I have to find the offending tab When I do find it, I'm annoyed with whichever company / site it is I then close the tab There is no good reason to do on a website. In an app, I would still argue against this,...


69

Don't do this! Jacob Nielsen listed this in his article "Readers' Comments on the new Top-10 Design Mistakes" where it is being called "intrusive" and "highly annoying".


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 ...


47

Answer this first: Is the user expecting it? To cite some actual recommendations rather than opinions, the punkchip article Autoplay is bad for all users is 3 years old but as valid as ever. The article should be read in it's entirety, but quotes the W3C’s specification for accessibility (WCAG 2.0). There is a small note in one of the audio criterion, ...


30

While I concur with all the others who recommend not doing this, there are some (few) products where start-up sounds makes sense: Hardware boot, where the Mac startup chime and the IBM POST beep codes both signify that nothing has gone wrong with the hardware (or, alternatively, that something has gone wrong with the hardware). Depending on the hardware ...


28

Put on a song that you know, and have someone hit pause and play at random times, then have them randomly turn the volume up and down. Lowering the volume, rather than pausing the music, is less disruptive to the user. Your brain can fill in the gaps in music they are listening to if they are even somewhat familiar with it (it's why people can listen to ...


23

It's all about expectation and convention / consensus, also in some respect it's about courtesy to your user, and not irritating them. Web Pages - No, never. The experience of opening web page which plays a sound, is widely accepted as negative. You will be hard pressed to find a popular web page/app that does this, Generally this consensus has been ...


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, ...


15

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 ...


13

I'll answer the question from a slightly different angle... The intention would be - evoking emotions on the user - make the brandname "stick" I think that's what needs the focus. There's two issues here: evoke emotion Sound can certainly evoke emotion. However, in the context of a user trying to accomplish a task, what are the emotions they'd ...


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 ...


9

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 ...


9

The goal of this sound is to associate the brand with the listener's experience on the site. The risks of this going wrong seem to outweigh the benefits. First, the person ended up on your site hopefully through a conscious decision. So you aren't giving the user any new, useful information by playing a sound. Meanwhile, there are plenty of scenarios where ...


8

This is not such a good idea assuming your text is reasonably readable for your audience (e.g., it’s not their second language, they’re not kids just starting to read, and you use decent font style, size, and color contrast). There’s evidence that simultaneously presenting the same text verbally and visually increases cognitive load and degrades learning. ...


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

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

Most people don't have an external amplifier or control on their audio output, so you can't assume it is there. You then need two other controls. One master control to set the desired global range of all your applications, and local controls for each application to set their sound relative to your global setting. If you tried to remove either one of these,...


6

The choice of which is better is mostly personal. I know some people prefer the one and other people prefer the other. Either one is a fair choice, so ask some of your users and then make a decision on the default behaviour based on their feedback. I would however recommend having an option in your app for how to handle the situation. In addition 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

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 ...


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.


5

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 ...


4

Here's another vote for ducking (continuing playback at a lower output level). However, I'll add that in Android, this decision is handled (at least in part) by the interrupting application. When an Android application requests audio focus, it provides a hint to other applications regarding the duration of the sound it is about to play (e.g., short sounds ...


4

As much as I generally hate About.com, I must prescribe to the opinions here: Pros and Cons of Adding Sound to Web Pages. Even if it is a little dated with its 'Invalid HTML 4.01' commentary! "You should always be careful when you use sound on web pages. After intrusive advertising, sound that turns on automatically and cannot be turned off is one of ...


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