Sally was at work. The job was boring and the piles of boring work heaped upon her never seemed to end. She decided a little break was in order. She logged onto her Facebook account, even though that was not looked upon well with her employer. Among the usual status updates and friend activities she noticed a link to a website that looked like it might be interesting. She clicked on it and was immediately greeted with music. It was loud, for she had recently watched a training video related to her work. Panic overcame her as she scrambled to turn off the sound, but it was too late. The boss peered over the edge of her cubicle wall and she knew she was in big trouble.
Jim was a skinny guy. He was sitting in his favorite chair in the living room one evening, laptop in lap, surfing the web. His wife wouldnt be considered skinny, but he loved her unconditionally. She was sitting on the couch watching television. She deserved to relax, for her day at work had brought some kind of trouble with her boss today. Jim was reading some news and happened to notice an ad for a sure-fire weight loss plan. Without thinking he click on the ad to see what it was all about. Immediately a sales video started to play Do you want to lose weight, well we have the…. Jim was a quick thinker, and he immediately hit the back button. But it was too late. Jim’s wife was now glaring at him and he knew he was in big trouble.
These are just two scenarios where unexpected audio cannot only cause your website visitors to leave your site in a hurry, but you can cause people some serious trouble in their lives. Audio can be very effective at getting a message across or setting a mode, that’s nothing new. But unless your visitors are expecting it you run the risk of it being intrusive, or worse, violating their privacy.
Use audio on your website wisely. Since you can’t predict the volume level your visitors will hear, only provide it if they choose to hear it. Click to play. Yes, some will never click, but isn’t that much better than losing the visitor and having them angry at you?