One of my biggest pet peeves when visiting a website is auto-play music. There is nothing more annoying than when I come to a site and some song starts blasting. I then have to fumble around trying to find the right icon that turns it off. And they’re always so cute. Sound bars rising up and down. Record players playing. A musical note throbbing. Etc. Then you have to hover over the darn thing just right to keep the player controls activated. If you’re one angstrom off, the stupid thing disappears.
And don’t get me started on websites that have the auto-play feature on EVERY PAGE. I turn the darn thing off on the home page, then I go to another page and…IT STARTS UP AGAIN! Argh! Stop the insanity people. It does not make your site more “cool.” It makes it more annoying. Most of your clients will be just as annoyed as I am. And heaven forbid if you’re marketing to brides who do a lot of their web surfing at work. What do you think they’re going to do when they get to your site and the woofers and tweeters start bumpin’! Can you say “BACK BUTTON?”
Look. I get it. You want to create a mood. An experience. You want to delight all the senses. (I hate to think what some of you would do if “smell-a-vision” existed on computers). I understand the reasoning. But the benefits are far, far outweighed by the annoyance (IMHO).
If you absolutely have to have music on your site, here’s my suggestions on how to implement it.
- Set default to OFF: then have the “on” button be something intriguing like “Wanna hear some sultry sounds.” or “The DJ’s in da house.” Or maybe just “Play music.” Give me the OPTION to turn on the music.
- Make it easy to find: don’t hide the on/off switch for your website music in the lower right-hand corner, where, by the way, a lot of computers have “hot spots” that activate things like Apple’s Expose. Put it somewhere easy to find.
- Keep it down: whether or not you have the music auto-play, keep it down please. Set the volume to a level that doesn’t violate the city audio ordinance, thank you.
- Keep it legal: lastly, use music you have the rights to use. Sites like Triple Scoop Music offer thousands of songs you can legally use on your site.
We all know the value of a first impression. And I know you think you’re creating a good one when you have a song play as soon as someone lands on your site. Maybe now and then, yes, someone will clique with your eclectic music choice. But I bet most of the time, people are just scrambling for that off button.
What are some other annoying website practices you’ve come across?