Friday, April 23, 2010

Web pages should speak only when spoken to

For various reasons, such as laziness, inertia, and, um ... what's another word for "laziness" and "inertia"? ... never mind, can't be bothered ... I've done much of my web browsing for the past few months with the sound off. Since I mostly interact with the web textually, this hasn't really been a problem. I hadn't been trying watching videos or listening to podcasts because, well, sound wasn't hooked up because of laziness, inertia or whatever ...

It came as a surprise, then, when I logged into the web site for a particular service provider, a site which I'd been happily using for months, and heard a voice exhorting me, at typical TV commercial volume, to scroll to the bottom of the page to see some wonderful something or other.

No, thanks.

Podcasts and videos are indeed cool, and if I visit, say, a musician's or band's home page I would expect to hear music, but everyday nuts and bolts sites should have the courtesy to be quiet unless I specifically invite them to talk. Granted, the occasional loudmouth "check your account status" page isn't as obnoxious as, say, scented junk mail, but it's obnoxious enough.

Grumpily yours, etc. etc.

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