Music or sound effects playing when reading sections

I’m curious what type of rules there are for aa accessibility regarding having sound effects or music playing at certain sections on a page.

For instance, if a section on a page is talking about going hiking, a small 3 second sound effect of running water plays. Or after someone’s bio on an about me page, that person’s voice will have a quick sentence or quote in their voice.

That’s always a debated subject. In theory it sounds a good idea but the negatives probably far outweigh any positives:

  • If someone is viewing the page in a public space it could be embarrassing
  • Ditto if someone is at work
  • If someone is listening to something else, music, or a conversation, it can be distracting
  • If someones sound is turn up it could give them a shock (unexpected noise)

I think above it it’s the fact that it would be unexpected that’s the big issue.


I agree with all of the above, especially

I’m not sure about anybody else, but I expect that things which “happen” on a website (sound, movement, etc.) do so as a result of my interaction with that site. Things which occur unexpectedly make me start wondering what I did; how did I accidentally trigger that? That distracts me from the site content.

I don’t think this is an accessibility issue; I think it’s more usability, so I’m going to move the topic to Design & UX.

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