Re: Sound effects

On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 3:00 AM, Iain <iain gnome org> wrote:
> Some thoughts on sounds.
> People don't use sound effects on the desktop.
> One of the first things many people do is turn them off.
> The only device I know where people don't turn them off is the iPod.
> We have a sound naming spec[1], yet no-one seems to care to design
> sound schemes for them [2]
> I think the reason for this is twofold:
> a) The sound naming spec specifies too many arbitrary sounds
> b) The sound naming spec defines so many sounds that it is nearly
> impossible to a sound designer to create meaningful sounds that
> differentiate between the actions
> The sound naming spec defines 125 sounds.
> That is 125 sounds for the user to learn the meaning of.
> Because the sounds defined are incredibly arbitrary the sounds run the
> risk of having their meaning overloaded.
> For example,
> We have complete-media-rip, complete-copy, complete-scan, but no
> complete-print, no complete-fax. What sounds should be used for those?
> Each time the sound is overloaded, it is a new meaning for the user to learn.
> With sounds like window-new, window-move-start, window-move-end,
> window-minimized, window-unminimized will the computer ever be silent?
> No wonder people turn the sounds off if they're going to make it sound
> like there's a hyperactive child in the room screaming for attention
> constantly.

---- 8< ----

Please remember that sounds are also a means of providing feedback to
impaired users. It's true that 90% of sounds will not be used in a
typical theme but it's also true that 95% of users don't need the High
Contrast theme yet it's uber-useful for the remaining 5%. (Not exact
numbers, statistics generated by rolling D100)

Patryk Zawadzki

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