Music to enrage the savage beast

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You would be surprised how many of our clients ask to have music with auto-play inserted into their websites. I always discourage this line of thinking, but it always seems to come up. So I put this question out to people on my Twitter feed: “Need some input: music on websites — added value or UX disruption?” I received quite a few responses, all on the same wavelength.

Here’s what my tweeps had to say about it:

  1. alainsaffel: disruption
  2. Meeners: 99% of the time I mute it!
  3. mspixieriot: Only on a site for a music act, and even then no auto-play… you have to press the play button yourself. Otherwise bad.
  4. thecolinium: unless there is video, disruption
  5. grempel: hate it.. if u must provide music.. make it quiet.. and clearly display where to turn it off
  6. stormbrew: annoying as fuck unless opt-in. (I use the swear to really clearly state how much I despise websites with music, and not lightly at all)
  7. buck75: make sure a person has the ability to turn it off. i don’t like it.
  8. evolvingblue: as I have music going pretty much 24-7, the first thing I look for when browsing a site with audio is where to shut it off.
  9. hilarydarrah: Most of the time I’m already listening to music, so definitely a disruption.
  10. chigaze: Autoplay music/sound on a website is one of the ultimate evils. I will close the window! A button to turn on sound is alright.
  11. TheTowelBoy: music on websites is annoying….and SOooooo 2005.
  12. stygldpnyby: badbadbadbadbad
  13. paulney: It can be done well. But VERY rarely is. as an example of stunningly beautiful UX (including music).
  14. steenyweeny: I’m with everyone else. Hate hate hate it.
  15. ChrisInEdmonton: I have no words to describe how much I loathe music on websites.
  16. MarkCluett: hate hate HATE music on websites. distraction/interrupts other tasks/programs
  17. marshaboyd: Annoying….music on websites are distracting and usually bad. Turn it off!!
  18. bevurlee: I don’t like it. Especially if it’s auto play!
  19. Hunnyfreak: Music that automatically plays when you log on to a website is EVIL! EVIL!!!
  20. GuitarKat: Hate it. Only if there’s a play button. No auto play. I listen to music all the time so I will find where to turn it off and such
  21. edmsymphony: A lot of symphony websites used to have auto-play music, but lately the trend has been to remove it (thankfully)

The thing to note here isn’t just that people find it irritating; it’s that they absolutely HATE it. And I agree with people. It’s intrusive and disruptive.

I’m going to use this info the next time a client says they want their website to have music. Thanks for your input, everyone!

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2 Responses to “Music to enrage the savage beast”

  1. Adam Snider
    October 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    I missed this when you tweeted it, but I’ll definitely add my voice to the chorus of haters.

  2. bingofuel
    October 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    Yeah, it’s super irritating… What about buttons that pay sounds onmouseover? Totally unacceptable as well?