Sounds play an important part of a Jabber client,
but should be able to be turned off completely, as in some office
environments they are not very welcome.
The key to sound schemes is subtlety and relevance.
"Uh-oh" was amusing and cute the first few times you heard
it, but after a few weeks you start to wonder why every message
is announced with "Uh-oh". Also, "knock-knock-knock"
sounds used to drive my flatmates mad, as they always used to think
there was someone knocking on the door. Thankfully we've moved
I would suggest for people coming on or off-line
a subtle beep, or perhaps a sonar ping sound. Incoming messages
need to be fairly audible, so some kind of electronic chirp would
Don't try to be too witty or adventures with the
default sounds, as they will be heard too often and will become
old fast. And do provide a way for the user to change them,
but remember that 90% of people are probably going to stick with
the default scheme.
It is good to provide a way to change sounds both
through the "Sounds" icon in the Windows Control Panel,
as well as though the options dialog boxes in your client settings.
Supporting sound themes helps, as it means that clients don't have
to change sounds one at a time.