Click: Using Sound as Feedback
How do you know you've pressed a key on your telephone pad? It beeps or chirps at you. What about a key on your keyboard? It thumps, clicks, or clunks. Pick an option on a Web site and what tells you you've selected it? Mostly, the sound of silence.
Sound is the result of most actions, from the soft crinkle of a page turning in a book to the hiss of a channel change with the remote control. Our ears anticipate sound as part of the feedback loop for things we use. Including sound as part of Web navigation feedback should be a natural.
A Deeper Shade of Pale: Sound as Mood
You picked that calming soft melon background with grey type for a reason, didn't you? It makes your Web page feel calm and peaceful. And the red type on the black background put tension and intensity into the page. You're accustomed to using color and graphics to set a tone and mood for your site. Sound lets you add one more mood element.
The soft sounds of a lullabye put your reader in a very different information mode than the sounds of a banker screaming "come on in!" Used with thought, background sound can enhance and complement the tone you're setting with other design elements.