Don’t Let Sound Effects Scare Away Your Web Visitors
It was late at night, cold and quiet. I was in bed, cuddled up to a warm laptop. My husband and the cat were both cuddled up next to me, snoring not quite in tandem.
I was clicking on my keyboard ever so quietly, checking my email one last time before I joined them in the Land of Nod. A link in an email lead me to a website. The instant that site loaded in my browser LOUD MUSIC BLASTED FROM MY SPEAKERS!!
Startled from sleep, my husband jumped up, tumbling the shocked cat from the bed. They both hissed at me as I struggled to turn down my speakers and close my browser. None of us were happy campers.
Has this ever happened in your home? It’s happened so often in mine that I now turn the computer speakers off after dark.
It’s not unusual to enter a web page and find music blasting when you’re in Facebook or when you stumble upon sales pages put up by immature male marketers. But I’ve even been shocked out of my socks by blaring eBay pages.
People who set their web pages to start playing music or sound effects as soon as a visitor enters haven’t stopped to think that people accessing their site might be quietly surfing as they wait in a hospital hallway, or sit with a sleeping baby.
These morons assume they know your situation. And they make a decision to take control of your experience.
That decision flies in the face of every study I’ve read on how people like to use the internt. In those studies, one thing stands out. What the average web surfer wants most when they visit a website is CONTROL.
They want to choose whether or not they listen to music.
They want to choose whether or not they watch a video.
Take away their ability to choose, and they’ll choose to leave. But be assured, the very people that drive you away with loud, flashing, annoying sites will also be the ones who try to block you from leaving with an endless sequence of pop-ups.
Web site design is not about entertaining yourself. It’s not about showing off the new plugin or widget you just found. Web site design is about creating an inviting atmosphere for visitors, even visitors whose taste in music doesn’t match yours.
The morons blasting music from their pages will never learn, but you will. You’ll learn to treat your site’s visitors like honored guests, not like hostages. You’ll learn to think about what your visitors want, not what you want them to have. And you’ll learn that ultimately, giving people what they want is the best way to get what you want!
Bonnie Boots publishes The Internet Wizards Magazine and this companion The Internet Wizards Blog to teach self-employed people and small businesses owners how to leverage the internet for advertising, marketing and promoting their business. To stay in touch with her, type your name and email into the subscriber box in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll be glad you did!email2friend
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