ARCHIVE / Should we use sound on our site?

If your web site is meant to be informative or to sell goods or services, the use of sound should be limited to audio and audiovisual streams which the user must initiate.  Always avoid forcing the user to listen to sounds, even if they are going to a page known to contain an audio or video track.  The reason for this is that web sites are accessed in many environments in which the presence of sound may be disruptive and embarassing.  Consider that your visitors may be accessing your site from a wireless hotspot at a cafe, a hotel lobby, an open set of office cubicles, maybe even during a meeting.  In any of these situations, the presence of unwanted sound may be problematic and it is unwise to create negative associations with your web site when you can avoid it.

last updated 2008.08.03

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