11/29/2007

Jazz Up the Internets with Sonic Images and Sound Events

Reading is a highly visual exercise, not only because eying a snippet of text is a visual act in-and-of-itself, but also because words and phrases call on memory and abstract association to evoke shapes, moving images and mental pictures.

This is especially true when it comes to ad copy, as most advertising is crafted so users “see” precisely what it is they're about to gain or miss out on. Evoking mental images through brisk, pithy and colorful writing is a proven, seductive way of piquing consumer interest, and produces effective calls to action.

Something I also try to do when authoring any piece of writing is to cater to the sense of sound. Whenever possible, I use alliteration, loud words, musicality, onomatopoeia, and other sonorous literary devices to spark auditory buzzes in the reader’s mind. This way, words not only pop in a user’s head, but seem also come at them as if mouthed from within earshot.

And today, the interactive space is not simply about seeing, it is also about hearing. As I roam online for juicy bits of information or plug away at work, I’m almost always listening to streaming radio and pretending I’m droppin’ it like it’s hot. Every so often, I’ll also download a podcast or two. And for the most part, I’m pleasantly surprised when I land on a corporate webpage that employs sound in ways innovative.

Do you know the difference between a sound event and a sonic image? You should, if you wish to learn how to leverage audio online without annoying the hell out of everyone. Check out this insightful article from iMedia Connection for a crash course on auditory website enhancements. It’s an eye- (or ear?) opener, and includes several real-life examples of how on-target audio cues are used by companies to further consolidate their branding online.

Does this ring true to you? What do you think are the best ways to use sound effects as auditory flashbulbs on the Web?

1 comment:

maria del mar said...

i'm personally extremely picky about sounds on the web. i hate being forced to listen to music or sounds i find unnecessary and annoying, which in most of the cases is a fact.
i do not understand how many so-called web designers forget about a on/off button for the web's sound...
in these days, when we are being bombed by visual and sound effects everywhere, i would like to find some peace and tranquility in silent, muted sites...