IE is horrible
December 11, 2008 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Internet explorer browser makes a clicking noise on links.... make it stop, please!

Sometimes, I am forced to use IE browser (I don't know which version or anything, but it can't be more than a year old). I cannot avoid this. However, each time I click on a link, the browser makes a clicking noise. It is not the mouse. It does not seem to be the computer. I am 99% sure it is IE. However, I have done a quick look at the tools tabs and nothing jumps out at me. please, please, make it stop! (and save my fragile sanity)
posted by Jacen to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
 


So very annoying. In your windows Control Panel, click on "Sounds and Audio Devices". Select the "Sounds" tab. Scroll down to "Internet Explorer" in the "Program Events" window. Select "Complete Navigation" - and in the list of sounds, scroll all the way up to "None". Click OK! Wipe hands on pants.
posted by plasticbugs at 12:44 PM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oops, meant "Start Navigation" - but "Complete Navigation" should also be "None".
posted by plasticbugs at 12:45 PM on December 11, 2008


Also, if any Windows folks know why:

1. an obnoxious clicking noise would be the Windows default for IE when you click a link or navigate to a page - at what level does a UI decision like this get made?
2. turning this off is hidden at least 6 clicks away, completely divorced from IE's options window.

Also, is this the default in Windows Vista and where is the option in Vista to turn these navigation sounds off? Wondering if this got "fixed" or is just another one of those Windows annoyances.
posted by plasticbugs at 1:04 PM on December 11, 2008


And what a happy Christmas it will be! Thanks, y'all, for taking the godforsaken 'click click click' out of my headphones at work. Hallelujah!
posted by toastedbeagle at 1:35 PM on December 11, 2008


(professional UI/web developer here)

why: 1. an obnoxious clicking noise would be the Windows default for IE when you click a link or navigate to a page - at what level does a UI decision like this get made?

1. Probably to accommodate inexperienced computer users on nonstandard web site interfaces. It may be hard to believe, but there are still a lot of people who are very unsure when using a mouse, and don't quite "get" the many different linking styles -- text, image, form button, image on a javascript mouseover submenu, etc. Combine those factors with wildly variable network performance, and you get a lot of people who have no "gut" realization that they've clicked a link, and that it's time to wait for the page to load. You and I find the clicking noise annoying, but it serves as a helpful and unmissable UI cue for these users.

Firefox can get away with omitting it because its demographic skews towards more experienced users. After all, unless someone installed it for you, having Firefox in the first place shows that you know what a browser is and how to download and install one, characteristics which put you in a surprisingly high percentile of computer users.

The decision to have the sound was likely made by a UI group at Microsoft back in the day, when people were even less likely to be familiar with web browsing. The rationale behind it probably hasn't changed enough since then to justify removing the feature, in their opinion. (the above is 100% speculative)

why: 2. turning this off is hidden at least 6 clicks away, completely divorced from IE's options window.

Burying it behind a number of clicks makes sense. It's not something you're likely to change more than once, ever, so it doesn't deserve high-priority UI real estate. It's also something that only power users are likely to want to change from the default, and they're the most likely to be able to locate it. Lastly, it's something that, if accidentally toggled, would cause confusion among inexperienced users so you actually don't want to make it too easy to switch.

As to why it's not in IE's options, in my guess (and again, based entirely on speculation on my part) that that's the result of architects letting theory trump pragmatism. Remember, IE is a "part" of the Windows operating system as far as Microsoft is concerned, and while that may have theoretical and technical merit the reality is that 99.999% of users know it as a stand-alone application first and foremost.

Nevertheless, I'd wager that someone at Microsoft decided that a sound cue in a "part of the operating system" should be configured in the operating system's sound configuration tool. I don't know how detailed the UI focus testing is at Microsoft, but it's possible that they either didn't catch a problem like that with such a specific test case, or they did but it's one of those perpetual "nice to have" bugs that never gets fixed because there's always more important work to do.
posted by Riki tiki at 1:57 PM on December 11, 2008


Nevertheless, I'd wager that someone at Microsoft decided that a sound cue in a "part of the operating system" should be configured in the operating system's sound configuration tool

I wonder if that was the same bottom-feeder who decided to put the place where you select Outlook as the default mail client in Internet Explorer's Tools->Options menu instead of anywhere inside Outlook.

Yes, I know you can also get to the IE options menu under Control Panel->Internet Options. Took a while to notice that those were the same thing, though.
posted by flabdablet at 3:45 PM on December 11, 2008


The actual physical clicking noise made by the mouse only tells the user that they've clicked the mouse, not that they've clicked a link.
Nor is it just "inexperienced computer users" who 'don't quite "get" the many different linking styles' who might have a use for this, e.g. due to a physical disability, I sometimes have trouble hitting link targets precisely, and in those instances, the absence of audible feedback would at least let me know the slowness of response is because I missed the target altogether and not just a slow connection or whatever.
posted by Pigpen at 7:31 PM on December 11, 2008


@Riki tiki - Thanks for the great answers. That all makes a lot of sense. I'm primarily a Mac user these days after one too many Windows annoyances, but always found that I could bend Windows to my will when necessary.

I've gone as far as to completely replace the Windows Explorer desktop environment with a different shell. That's something you really can't do on a Mac. In OS X, for the most part, the UI is the way it is, with little opportunity to make drastic aesthetic changes - for better or for worse.
posted by plasticbugs at 10:33 PM on December 11, 2008


Pigpen, I hope I didn't offend you... I didn't mean to imply that only idiots benefit from this type of affordance. On the contrary, I was actually trying to say that the web interfaces are stupid and inconsistent, and to your point they also frequently have atrocious accessibility for users with disabilities. People who don't "get" linking were just supposed to be an example, not a generalization beyond that.
posted by Riki tiki at 12:54 AM on December 12, 2008


the absence of audible feedback would at least let me know the slowness of response is because I missed the target altogether and not just a slow connection or whatever

unless you happen to be using Microsoft's own update site, which quite regularly fails to make a noise when you click things, and then makes navigation noises several times at random for no apparent reason up to thirty seconds of total inactivity later.
posted by flabdablet at 2:14 AM on December 12, 2008


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