There are two UX trends that have been bothering me lately. One is the overuse of modal subscription requests. The other, videos that autoplay–with sound. For a time, there was tacit agreement that this poor practice was reserved for only the crappiest of sites. Now, it is common practice on sites considered far from crap. For example, the New York Times does this on some articles.

This is annoying enough people for browser developers to take notice. Firefox announced that it will add functionality to show which tabs are making noise and allow one to mute them. Chrome has shown noisy tabs for a while, and there is an experimental feature that allows one to quickly mute those tabs. I hope other browser developer will follow Chrome and Firefox’s lead (I’m looking at you, Apple).

How to mute tabs in Chrome

  1. Copy and paste chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting into Chrome’s address bar.
  2. Click Enable to activate the feature
  3. Restart the browser.

A small icon will indicate which tab is playing audio, clicking on that icon will mute only that tab.

Chrome Mute Tab

Thanks to Gizmodo for the instructions on how to enable this!

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