121

My understanding was that it came from a time when startup could take a while, during which the user's attention would be elsewhere and therefore worth notifying them when the computer was ready for use. Something similar was mentioned in answer to another question: The Operating System took so long to start up that the chime notified people that it ...


71

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 ...


32

Part of it is iconic branding, much like putting the logo on the boot screen. I can still remember the startup sound from windows xp and playstation one.


28

To give auditory feedback to the user that the system has started loading. Here are 3 reasons why: Prevent users from hitting the power button multiple times. Users should not wonder whether the system is starting or not. If there was no starting sound how would users know that the system has successfully started? They might press the power button a ...


20

Beeps during POST are there to help with troubleshooting. Think of it like debugging: if you can't tell why your script isn't working or where, it helps to have it echoing its status along the way in a very verbose manner so it becomes apparent where the issue is. It's like a ping. POST does a lot of simple things very quickly to test itself (this is all in ...


16

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

Asides from old systems and their delay times at start, or branding considerations (both correct reasons), one reason that I might add is that it serves as a Sensory Cue. This is true both for blind or impaired vision users, in which startup sound is of paramount importance (this sound is the only indication they have in order to know that the system is "...


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 ...


11

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 ...


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 ...


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

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

You can't count on sound being on, it isn't accessible to every user, and it can be distracting and downright annoying for apps used over long periods. These reasons make it time consuming and somewhat expensive to get right. If you have to choose between a new feature and some kind of branding you're not sure is ever going to be noticed most often ...


6

Branding. Of course there are other reasons to include it, like letting the user know the hardware is working, start up is finished and they can interact with the computer, etc. but it is an extremely powerful branding tool. It is familiar, it becomes expected, and if it's a good one, it can evoke strong feelings in us (see for instance http://gizmodo.com/...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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

I can think of a couple good reasons off hand. It would be annoying to be using software at work and constantly getting little clicks and confirmation dings when you are listening to music at the same time or something. Or if you have a clueless co-worker who has their speakers on... jesus. Loading all those audio clips takes time, audio is not really a ...


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

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

I believe most users will expect sound, and if there isn't they might feel something is wrong with the app (either with their version of the app or the app itself). Even if most users don't want the sound, I think that is an opt-out decision. So you might probably get complains from users telling their app is not working correctly, because if there is no ...


2

Although I'm sure things are much more advanced now, my Grandfather who was blind used the POST beeps in tandem the Windows opening noises (especially once 95 released) to let him know that his speech card had not caused the system to hang. I'm not sure if it was an issue with the brand of cards he would purchase, the retailer, or just the technology wasn't ...


2

It's about saying Hello Hello The start-up sound was a machine, designed and made by people, announcing its variant of "Hello", indicating it's now present, here, and in being on, is a being, here. By which I mean to say it's antiquated. A greeting of the past. Just as beeps and blips indicating errors in boot are now a thing of the past, the welcoming ...


1

It is a notification that the software and hardware checks have passed (with no beep codes), and that the user is now able to access an operating system through a command interface shell or an associated GUI (Graphical User Interface) desktop.


1

You should experiment with Android's built in accessibility tool called TalkBack when designing for vision impaired users. Even as a sighted person you can enable TalkBack on your device and experience your app through the same interaction model vision impaired users use. The first thing to realise though, is that once enabled users don't simply guess where ...


1

Give him an option to play sound, but don't play by default. If he loves music in every clicks he will definitely find it and enable it


1

Do not use sound.. its a way back story, when you used to have sound/Music on your sites..mostly with flash sites. Think..if you are opening a site in your office and all of a sudden a music plays and you do not know how to turn it off..and now everyone is looking at yourself... embarrassing..ehn? having said that this is completely dependable on your ...


1

With multi-tab browsing becoming the norm, your uses may often times have the page open but not visible. And few things are more annoying that trying to figure out what tab is playing sounds you don't want. If you do add them, make them off by default. And only add them to actions where they enhance the user experience. For example, in Mail on the Mac, I ...


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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