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Fwd: Locating the source of unexpected sound from web sites

From: Jeanne Spellman <jeanne@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2013 16:24:07 -0500
Message-ID: <527961F7.60305@w3.org>
To: UAWG <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
This came to public comments today.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Locating the source of unexpected sound from web sites
Resent-Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2013 17:56:23 +0000
Resent-From: public-uaag2-comments@w3.org
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 18:53:51 +0100
From: Christophe Strobbe <strobbe@hdm-stuttgart.de>
To: public-uaag2-comments@w3.org
CC: strobbe@hdm-stuttgart.de


Below is an issue for which it may be worth adding a criterion to UAAG 2.0.

I am quoting a message by Dana Mulvany that was forwarded to another
mailing list [1]:

One problem that nearly everyone faces from having multiple windows open
on one's computer or Chromebook is the difficulty of locating where
unexpected sounds are coming from.  People with partial hearing loss can
have even more difficulty with this because they may not be able to make
out enough of the words to get a hint of where to look to find the web
site generating the sound.  I myself have often lost a great deal of time
looking through all my open tabs in Chromebook to try to find out where
undesired sound is coming from.  (Often it's from a web site that
eventually opens up a wholly unexpected, unauthorized and undesired video

I think just about *everyone* would benefit from some kind of assistance
locating where the sound is coming from. (Undesired sound wastes
bandwidth, for one thing, and prevents us from hearing important audible
notifications from other websites.)

Sometimes these sounds are from Facebook, which provides an audible
notification that someone is messaging us/chatting with us on Facebook.
(Facebook automatically converts a message into a live chat if we are
online at the time that a message is sent to us.)

Someone pointed out that Chrome can be launched with in a specific way to
make a sound icon appear over the favicon for the site in the tab.[2]
However, an easy way to locate tabs where sound is playing seems like a
useful accessibility feature for browsers in general.

Apparently, the issue is also important enough to inspire an XKCD comic:

[1] <http://lists.gpii.net/pipermail/architecture/2013-October/001473.html>.
[2] See
which refers to

Best regards,


Christophe Strobbe
Akademischer Mitarbeiter
Adaptive User Interfaces Research Group
Hochschule der Medien
Nobelstra├če 10
70569 Stuttgart
Tel. +49 711 8923 2749
Received on Tuesday, 5 November 2013 21:24:05 UTC

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