Sound Is Cool, But Go Easy!
Remember my advice on too much animation and graphics? The same applies for sound. Only more so.
A high energy sound loop may be cool for a few minutes, but the user that is really looking for something and digging into your site will get annoyed quickly. Choose a repeating sound loop that is easy on the ears and when repeated, doesn't get old too quickly. Test it! Play the sound loop in Flash about 30 times in a test movie. Sick of it yet? If the answer is yes, then it's not the loop for an entire site.
Also sound loops add a certain level of interactivity to a movie, but some people simply do not want it. Always add a sound ON/OFF button that is available from anywhere within your movie.
Your buttons don't have to have 20 sounds attached to them. So you're a genius with adding sound. Congrats. You add every sound you can think of to a button or action and you've just thrown all your hard work down the drain cause people are going to turn the sound off. A soft 'click' or related noise to let a user know they have in fact clicked something is more than enough for almost any occasion. Remember, you're combining animation and sound with good overall design. Over-emphasizing any one of these attributes isn't necessary. It's when it all comes together that a site ends up in Communication Arts or Wired.
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|Jeremy is part of the online brand building team of marchFIRST in Columbus, Ohio.|
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