{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

I read a brilliant article the other day... one of the very funniest things I have read in ages. It was all about how companies in the hospitality sector should play sound to make visitors feel “secure”. Sound, it says, “can help your website achieve major impact”. 

Here’s another quote from the article in question:

Website audio can make your website stand out from your competition’s site while reinforcing the marketing and customer service strategies you’re already using.

After pulling myself together I decided to reconsider my views on autosound, which I have up until now considered to be one of the worst user experience mistakes you can make. I set about to find some examples that would make me - and you - see the light (and, ahem, hear the sound).

So then, here are 10 automatic audio experiences on hotel websites that will presumably make you reach for your bank card to book a room. Make sure you have your sound turned up, especially if you’re in the office. 

DO YOU NEED TO GO...?

WAVES AND SQUAWKING 

BRAHMSED OFF

LADIES & GENTLEMEN, WE ARE FLOATING IN SPACE

I GAVE MY LOVE A CHERRY

MUZAK OVERKILL

AMBIENT BLOOPING

"BOHEMIAN ELEGANCE"

DID RÖYKSOPP SANCTION THIS?

LOSING THE WILL

At a guess, there are probably another 10,000 other hotel websites in the world that make use of autosound. If you’ve seen one then by all means flag it up in the comments area below, so we can delight our eardrums (while feeling secure).

Alternatively, you might want to read 14 pages worth of comments on Etsy about why playing sound automatically is universally hated by web users

Chris Lake

Published 18 June, 2013 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (14)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Manny Coulon, Director at IdeasForTheKids.com

Autosound - no. Just no.

I completely agree with your initial view: "one of the worst user experience mistakes you can make".

Websites with autosound - and autoplaying ads with sound for that matter - are disruptive both in the home and at work. They will almost always make me navigate away from that site immediately, not to return.

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Ariel Geifman

Autoplaying sound... So intrusive

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Trevor

I dunno, I'm in favor of autosound. I think its possible to pull it off, but its got to be soft and I think movement on the screen is required. It just makes your site more interactive, and sets it apart from other sites. Who agrees?

about 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Offpeakluxury (Barry Mills)

I've always been firmly in the "no" camp, there are just too many reasons it can do harm. I personally don't mind sound when I browse, but I work from home, on a desk top PC, with no other noise in the room. I'm not a normal consumer. If you are in an office, in a cafe or restaurant, or if it's late a night (or just if the baby's asleep) - unexpected noise from your computer/device is a problem.

There may be certain demographics where it could work. Someone targeting OAPs perhaps.

HOWEVER, if you have an idea and think sound can help you, don't be afraid to trial it on your site with a split test and measure the outcome. The only opinions that really matter are those of your customers, not some bunch of consultants.

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

adi

There's a difference between background sound and music. One is very annoying, the other can add to the user experience IF done correctly (subtly).

Either way, its nowhere near as bad as the 'loading' percentages. I didn't even bother to wait for most of the above sites to load.. just closed them when I saw the percentage bar.

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

ultrafiche

I am totally in the "no" camp for auto-playing sounds on loading pages! It is intrusive, and distrupts the flow when you are simultaneously opening several Tabs, as I usually do for work and for Play.
It is as polite as a stranger who enters your house and turns on a loud radio without your permission... He should ask for my permission first.

Having laboriously visited all above sample Websites (and having listened to each, after impatiently waiting for percentage loading Counter to go, as "adi" said above) - I did not find anything noteworthy or special in the selection of music at all - except the "ocean" sound on Westin Costa Navarino. "Space" was ok, but it is just a video-game sound which I would avoid on my second visit by rushing to find the 'turn off music' button (if I ever visit the site again.) All other samples above were just your average lounge/ambience music which you could hear in any hotel elevator around the world.

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Joe

I think there's a difference between sound in general and "autosound"

If there's some kind of sound that I can opt in to, then I'm probably more likely to listen to it. It could actually be a differentiating factor for me! For example, a video has sound (although it also contains visuals)... and if a video auto plays, I am going to INSTANTLY shut it off. But if there's a video and I push the play button, I'm actually going to watch it for at least a few seconds, because I've decided I want to hear/see it.

So to recap:

Autosound: no
Pushing play button: yay

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Harriet

Manka's Inverness Lodge, in Inverness, California. The hotel looks beautiful, but the sound effects & music makes me think that someone is likely to come into my room in the middle of the night and stab me if I stay there...

http://www.mankas.com/mankas/intro.html

Seriously though, I've never heard a good example of autosound.

about 3 years ago

Ivan Burmistrov

Ivan Burmistrov, Usability Expert at interUX Usability Engineering Studio OÜ

Chris' article is an obvious mockery. Relax... ;θ)

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Kirsten

Wow! Never mind the sound, that's a very uncomfortable-looking couple on the "Brahmsed Off" site. They're obviously getting on so badly that he wakes up alone and finds out she has shreded all his books. But that's the market they're going for right? Miserable couples? In which case, successful campaign!

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

sandy

Good themes to see for best hotel websites .these blogs are very informative for us.thank you.

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

mTgSNvFEWU

http://haciendasanangel.com/wp-content/buyambien/#11637 ambien sleep cycle - ambien zolpidem 10 mg

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Cheapest price for Hotels in Macau China

Macau Wine Museum is probably the only museum in Macau where beverages are allowed. Kun Iam Temple is the most impressive and magnificent of the three most famous temples of Macau with a history dating back as early as 1632 in the Ming Dynasty.
http://cheapestpricefor.com/hotel-in-macau-china/index.html

about 3 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.