Sound can be an effective method to communicate with users. For example, users are more likely to notice a notification if you add a sound effect to it, especially if they are not looking at their BlackBerry device when they receive the notification.
Users can use sound profiles to specify whether their BlackBerry device uses sound to notify them of events such as calendar reminders or incoming calls. Users can change the sound profiles that are preloaded on their BlackBerry device, or they can create new ones. Users can also use sound profiles to change their ring tone or adjust the volume for notification.
In your application, you can use sound for
- notification (for example, using sound to notify users when new messages arrive)
- feedback (for example, as users adjust the volume of a ring tone, the BlackBerry device plays the ring tone at the selected volume to demonstrate the volume level)
- branding (for example, playing a branded sound as your application starts)
- entertainment (for example, using sound in a game to entertain users and enhance their experience)
Best practice: Implementing sound
- Use sound judiciously. Sound demands attention and is hard to ignore. When in doubt, do not use sound.
- Consider your users before adding sound to your application. If you add sound, choose a volume, duration, and frequency that is appropriate for your users.
- Allow users to control sound using their sound profiles.
- Use sounds that are the same volume as other sounds on the BlackBerry device.
- Create notification tones that are audible from a distance. Notification tones should attract users' attention, even when they are not using their BlackBerry device.
- Use low frequency sounds and avoid piercing sounds.
- Avoid using distracting sounds such as frequent, loud, or jarring sounds. Distracting sound should only be used to inform users of useful notifications and feedback.
- Avoid using sound as the only form of communication. Users might not hear a sound because of a hearing impairment, loss of hearing, or a noisy environment. Use sound with other notification methods such as vibration or a flashing LED indicator.
- Avoid using sound that requires localization. Sounds can have different meanings in different cultures. If possible, avoid sounds that are culturally specific.