People who have difficulty hearing, as well as those who work with the sound on their computers turned off, will be disadvantaged if your application relies on sound to convey information. In general, make sure that the user is able to have any audible information conveyed in other ways.

  • Don't assume that a user will hear audio information. This applies as much to users with broken soundcards as it does to those with hearing impairments!
  • Don't use audio as the only means of conveying information. Give the user the option to have all audio information provided in a visual way as well. This includes providing closed captioning or transcripts for any important spoken sound clips.
  • Allow users to configure frequency and volume of all warning beeps and other sounds. This includes being able to turn off sound altogether.