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:
- alainsaffel: disruption
- Meeners: 99% of the time I mute it!
- 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.
- thecolinium: unless there is video, disruption
- grempel: hate it.. if u must provide music.. make it quiet.. and clearly display where to turn it off
- 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)
- buck75: make sure a person has the ability to turn it off. i don’t like it.
- 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.
- hilarydarrah: Most of the time I’m already listening to music, so definitely a disruption.
- 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.
- TheTowelBoy: music on websites is annoying….and SOooooo 2005.
- stygldpnyby: badbadbadbadbad
- paulney: It can be done well. But VERY rarely is. http://www.jeshderox.com/ as an example of stunningly beautiful UX (including music).
- steenyweeny: I’m with everyone else. Hate hate hate it.
- ChrisInEdmonton: I have no words to describe how much I loathe music on websites.
- MarkCluett: hate hate HATE music on websites. distraction/interrupts other tasks/programs
- marshaboyd: Annoying….music on websites are distracting and usually bad. Turn it off!!
- bevurlee: I don’t like it. Especially if it’s auto play!
- Hunnyfreak: Music that automatically plays when you log on to a website is EVIL! EVIL!!!
- 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
- 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!