Saturday, October 11, 2008

A thought on Websites

I surf the 'net a lot. And I do mean a lot. It fills the area in my life most people use for social interaction. I have been noticing an increase in something very annoying. That thing is sound.

An embedded audio player is fine. Just let me decide when it starts playing. Nothing makes me hit the "Back" button faster than sound that starts playing automatically, often before the page has even finished loading. I leave those sites and never return, even if the sound isn't part of the page itself; just one of the ads. I can forgive flashy animations and violently clashing colors, but I consider surfing the 'net to be exclusively a visual experience. I only accept audio when I expect it.

Later,

4 people have spouted off:

John said...
And before anyone mentions it, sites like YouTube are exceptions. I expect the video to start as soon as the page finishes loading. That's not the sort of automatic start to which I am referring.
10/11/08, 9:55 PM
Qalmlea said...

In general, I agree. I'll make an exception if (a) the sound is pleasing and (b) there is an obvious way to turn it off should I wish to. If there's no obvious way to turn it off, I close the site and never return. If the sound is annoying, I usually just close the site without bothering to find a way to turn it off. Hmmm... if we had more traffic, we could do a "pointless internet poll" to see how many people agree...

Btw, having flashblock will stop many of the automatic sounds from starting, but not all.

Jackie said...

I vote for no sound. You should have to hit the play button if you want to hear the sound

Qalmlea said...

I just thought of a pet peeve to add to this one. SNAP previews. It's possible that somewhere, somewhen, there's a web-site where such previews would actually be useful, but every time I've come across them actually used (invariably on a blog), they are a distracting nuisance that makes it difficult even to read the post, since a tiny mouse movement might put the cursor over a link and, *BAM!*, stupid SNAP preview pops up and blocks the text. Ugh. That's another case where I'll often just close the window rather than deal with the irritation.