Opencart – should I use audio?

This is an interesting article on the subject of audio and whether to use audio in your Opencart Store. We’ll also be discussing just how to use audio if you do indeed decide to go that route. Using audio could have devastating affects on your business if not used wisely. This article will hopefully help minimize the chance of this happening.

Audio in web design

For many years designers have taken it upon themselves to throw audio into a web page thinking it was going to somehow enhance the user experience. Too often the designer is not aware of proper guidelines to go by in order to do this. When I say guidelines there really aren’t “official” guidelines. This is just my own experience in many years of doing web design. Too often do we forget about the end user and while we can’t please everyone we often act very pushy with applications which can be a deterrent.

The “no off button disaster”

Yes, that’s right. Have you ever visited a website and out of nowhere your computer speakers are blaring some music that you didn’t load up in your own iTunes or Spotify? This is actually streaming from the server upon which the site is placed, without your permission. I say permission because who wants to hear music especially if it’s not music you like or if you’re trying to browse silently? Not too many people at all. What’s worse is when there is no way to turn it off so you have to either leave the website entirely, or turn your speakers down. Again I say who wants to actually do this if say you are already listening to your Spotify or iTunes? Now you have a big mess of sound that’s going to eat you up!

Hint – If you are indeed bold enough to push music in the users face make SURE to have an off button somewhere that is easily accessible. This is just a basic courtesy to give the user the right to either continue the music or turn it off. Take the actual iTunes website: . Not even they have music streaming live when you go there. Apparently someone knows what they are doing at Apple….

The dreaded pop up music window

Yes, perhaps on this example there actually is a button to turn the music off but you can’t find it  because it exists in a pop up window in your browser that loaded at the same time the main page loaded. This is a very common practice with poorly designed websites by pushing various web pages down your throat without even asking you by means of Javascript and pop ups. Hint – never force extra web pages to a user that have nothing to do with your website, mostly just for advertising reasons and especially don’t include audio.

The stalking virtual lady/man

I wanted to include this one in there because it does involve audio even though it’s Adobe Flash Animation. Have you ever gone to a website and all of a sudden a virtual lady/man pops up and starts talking to you? Furthermore you try and scroll down to escape her/him and the darn thing just follows you where ever you go? This is the stalking virtual lady/man. When this first became a trend it was believed that by placing a video of an actual person “with transparent background” on your screen it would attract users and draw people to the website. Now you’d be hard pressed to find this anymore because people quickly became disgusted with it.

Hint – Whatever you do steer clear of this abomination and you just might keep your users coming back. If you must use this method than at least place a button to remove it..or pause it.

The main thing is that you have a pause or off button for whatever you decide to place on your website. This will at least ensure that your users can have a way out of the audio that you decide to put upon them.

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Author Spotlight

Joe Stenhouse

I am a web application developer that specializes in PHP, JAVASCRIPT, MYSQL, HTML, and CSS. We manifest exciting potentials within the world wide web through means of innovation.

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