Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

Beeps and other annoying sounds

Don Fernandez of the San Diego Union wrote an entertaining — but very true — article about all those annoying beeps and blips our electronic equipment continually deliver to us. Annoying and confusing.

Wayne Freedman of ABC Television, Channel 7, in San Francisco, did a lovely TV show on the topic of beeps, where I traced the origin to the whistling teapot, and showed how the mindless proliferation of devices that beep (stoves, timers, refrigerators, clocks, remote controls, ...) was more than irritating, it is profoundly counterproductive.

No sooner had I posted this than an alert reader, who happens to work for Google, showed me how to find; search video.google.com for "Wayne Freeman beeps." There are nice photos of Wayne and me, with Wayne elciting beeps from a backing-up truck and a car's navigation system. But no live video, at least not yet.

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