Sound on the Web - Whats Your Take? | April 26, 2004
I have to say that I really don’t like sound on the web. I usually surf while listening to iTunes, so any site with it’s own sound track just interferes with the music I’m already listening to. I frequently have numerous tabs open at any one time, so whenever these kind of clashes occur, it’s a mad scramble through all on my tabs to find the culprit. The cacophony is usually so great that my initial instinct is to close that site down as soon as possible. Sometimes I do look for a mute button, but usually can’t bear to wait that long.
More often than not, a sound track detracts from the user experience rather than add to it. It’s like elevator music or hold music. If I want to listen to music while I shop, I’ll bring an iPod. I don’t want to be force fed a 20 second loop of Vivaldi or Moby illegally downloaded of the web. And I definitely don’t want to hear some badly composed drum and base loop bought for $10 from annoying-flash-loops.com.
I was pretty surprised a few years back when D&AD decided not to hand out a website award because none of the sites made enough use of sound. For me this shows more about the judges lack of understanding of how people use the web, than a problem with any of the submissions.
I’m not saying that all sound is bad. Used intelligently it can make GUI’s feel more responsive and help brand a site. However, 9 times out of 10, sound on the web is just irritating. I’ve seen so many badly designed and useless sites that use sound that I immediately associate these negative qualities with any site that force feeds me a loop. Another reason why I’m quick to shut these sites down.
However, I realise that this is a very personal and subjective feeling, so I’m curious as to other peoples take on the subject. Do you likes sites with sound or do you find them irritating? If you like sites that use sound can you point to any that use audio intelligently?
Posted at April 26, 2004 2:50 PM