So Much Unnecessary Noise From Your Computer

from the make-it-shut-up-already dept

A relative recently called me up to complain that her new computer kept making “animal sounds” for no clear reason. A dog would bark, or a pig would oink and it wasn’t entirely clear why. Eventually, it turned out that it had something to do with some useless new offering from AOL. One of the first things I usually try to do with new computers, after going through all the necessary security setups, is “de-sound” them. I don’t want my computer to alert me that it’s turned on. I turned it on, and I know what’s happening. Software programs that buzz and beep are almost as bad — but most of them can be turned off. It looks like I’m not the only one to wonder why computers feel the need to annoy people with so many sounds. Websites are worse, as many add background noises on the site itself or in the ads — and often they can’t be turned off. For many of us, the answer is to simply turn off sound completely on the computer, unless you’re specifically calling up something that requires a sound. Still, it makes you wonder why so many web and application designers simply assume you want to be annoyed with noise so often.

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Comments on “So Much Unnecessary Noise From Your Computer”

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kael says:

Blame not the designers....

Typically, the people that request such “features” are advertising drones or PHBs (pointy haired bosses). Most designers lack the necessary pull to inform these folks that such a “feature” is a major annoyance and will result in more ill-will than good.
Sadly, there is a good percentage of designers that don’t care as long as they get paid. The problem is the disconnect between the annoyed and the annoying.
So, the next time a site annoys you, think about taking a minute or two to inform said site they are annoying you. Perhaps, just maybe, it might do some good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Blame not the designers....

I work for a sport centered clothing company. I recently was forced to develop a flash based intro with sound. My boss liked the thing so much he wanted the sound to play over the entire site. It took a bit to talk him out of it. I would highly recommend complaining to the source of the problem. The people who talk to the designers just don’t know the web and how users will react. Complaints from users or in the case of an ad possible clients do get things changed. I am lucky I have the ablilty to second guess decisions like that saftely.

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