Re: Sound effects

On Fri, 2008-12-12 at 10:20 +0000, Iain * wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 8:18 AM, Patryk Zawadzki <patrys pld-linux org> wrote:
> >
> > Please remember that sounds are also a means of providing feedback to
> > impaired users.
> I knew someone would bring this up, and I actually meant to mention it
> in the original mail but it was late and I was tired (etc)
> I actually totally disagree. Not because i dont think impaired users
> are not important
> but because they are a very special case who's needs are met by other
> technologies
> such as screen readers and screen magnifiers
> much better than by sound themes and 125 arbitrary sound effects.
> This brings up another point that I forgot. The actual difficulty of
> initially working out what a sound means.
> Because the sounds are arbitrary there is no expectation[1] on the
> part of the user that a certain action should create a sound
> Which means that whenever a user hears a sound they need to try to
> work out what it means. Was that swish new email or
> CD burning finished? The user closes the laptop lid and hears
> "lid-close" sound, thinks "what was that sound?" and opens the laptop
> to check.

lid close is a bit of a dumb place to have a sound. Lets consider though
that there are useful sounds for a moment, but some sounds are
relatively useless to normal users if there isn't also a visual

New email arrives - sound is emitted, email icon blinks in the
notification area.

File transfers complete, the file transfer icon flashes for a moment
before fading out in the notification area.

Apple have done a good job making sounds fit with what's happening.
"This is what the positive sound concept is trying to solve" - is this a
project? are there any links? It sounds like it would be great to have a
project that considers the user experience benefits of desktop sounds. 


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