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Chapter 1. The Art of Sound Design > Designing web audio

1.7. Designing web audio

The best way to start designing web sound is to ask some basic questions. Once you've formulated your answers, you can make some concrete decisions about which tools to use to solve problems and meet project goals. Here are three things to consider in planning your sound design:

  • Overall site purpose. Determine the purpose of your site. Will this site provide news, entertainment, or both? If you are selling a product, what's the best approach: a demo or a tutorial? RealNetworks, Macromedia, and other companies selling technology or software often have galleries that show off how customers have used their products creatively. But the galleries do more than showcase the products; they build a community of users, who are also the company's customer base.

  • Target audience. Determine your target audience. Who will be using your site? This may influence the types of sounds or music you use. For example, extreme sports advocates may be looking for a different web experience than someone seeking health care information. Determine how much time your audience spends on a given page. Getting an average can help you decide the length of your streamed sound files. How will they be using your site? Intense gamers may be bent on immersing themselves in a site while news hounds might want to just grab headlines and move on.

  • Bandwidth limitations. Determine your limitations before you begin the sound design process. What types of delivery machine and platform are typically used by your target audience? Working with bandwidth limitations requires a thorough understanding of your output medium and target platform.


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