Why do you want them to lose it?
Good solid argument would come out of your reasons to want to remove it.
Well I just hate them, and so do most people I know... but we can't quite put our finger on why!
Just interested to know what the community here thought.
I don't know about others, but when I encounter a Flash intro, as it start to load, 99% of the time I leave the Website right away. Only if I REALLY REALLY want to visit that Website, will I go past a Flash intro.
Now that I think of it, the only Website that I still visit which uses a Flash intro is my bank's and I've bookmarked some interior page to get past it.
And consider that I'm using a high-speed DSL Internet connection & XP/2K/NT4, whereas many people still surf with 56Kbps, older browsers and Win98. Very often, Flash causes older machines to crash.
I'm sure there are some people who enjoy Flash and it depends on your audience.
It's important not to get too personal. The key question is - is a flash intro a good or a bad thing for the image of the client? Whether or not you like it is completely irrelevant.
For many sites, the Flash elements are absolutely critical to the overall image that the company wishes to convey.
If you've been engaged for SEO purposes, arguments against may outweigh that factor.
|it depends on your audience. |
Absolutely correct. And the webmaster is not necessarily indicative of the intended audience.
That's why getting too personal will come across to a client as being unprofessional.
1. how big is the intro/how long does it take to load for the core userbase?
if the vast majority of users are on 56k modems then a large flash intro may be a problem
2. does it look tacky?
3. is it inaccessible?
4. does it affect the SEO for the worse?
if the answers to either 2, 3 or 4 are yes for any of the questions then you have a solid argument.
if the flash is actually a problem then it will be affecting these issues, which will in turn affect business.
Sticky in the mail!
all I say is "skip intro" - never ever forget that button when using a flash intro.. ;-)
Don't use a flashintro, when the page is an info-page or an online shop or something like that (let's say a "useful" page)
Use the intro, when it's just an image-page (I call them "just-to-be-there-pages").
Google recognizes linktext in Flash afaik and text in flash will be recognized soon - so searchengine wise you loose a content page and PR for the real content-pages
With all the security issues and all the annoying "rich media ad delivery" going on out there, more and more users are browsing with scripting and active-x turned off (in IE anyway) If you have to have a flash intro, make darn sure there's an option to skip it.
I think marketing people forget that repeat users get annoyed with having to sit through that stuff, even if the casual user might not mind a flash intro the first time.
Personally, I don't hate Flash, but I hate how it's misused. I love some of the well-known cartoon and amusement sites, and will happily enable flash to go view them, but I really get annoyed when a site that I want or need to use REQUIRES it for their interface. As to the Intros... As long as I can skip it, I don't mind.
If the client is very resistant, how about pitching a spilt run test of two approaches with the decision to made from the resulting statistics.
Nothing speaks to clients like real numbers. Fighting subjective opinion against subjective opinion usually goes nowhere.
I would say it depends on what you want it to do, and why can't you do it on the home page? I don't know what the intro's about, but perhaps you can persuade your client to "convert" it to a presentation of sorts or demo. This way your audience can CHOOSE to view it if it sounds interesting enough to them.
I don't like the intros myself and when I do encounter them I quickly look for the "skip intro". And if one's not there, then my opinion of them has just been taken down a notch because they're forcing me to swallow their content and not taking into account my perspective.
Could you make it optional - ie the user chooses to load it from an HTML page? Use text to sell the Flash to the user, if it's that essential.
I'm with the "if I see flash I'm outta here" brigade, but only if it's imposed on me. If I'm intrigued or interested in what it's going to tell me, that's an entirely different thing altogether. Interest me sufficiently and I'll even patiently wait for it to be loaded.
|There are some sites that need a flash intro. |
There is a large number of people out there that consider flash sites to be better and will choose that site over another just because they consider it to be more professional. I agree very few sites fit in this catagory. You can base your whole sites value on how good the flash is. It will be hard to convice an owner when everybody they talk to tells them how cool there site it and how much better it is than their competiters. I have run into this before. Remember very few people think like webmasters and developers. The recomendations I made should prevent most flash related problems. I just hit the skip intro and go right in.
I worked with a Fortune 100 company who spent big bucks for a Flash intro - and sent it to the bit bucket 5 days later because the website stats took a serious nose dive.
This "looks professional" thing is a major hypnosis in the marketing world. What counts is does it work - does it sell. Opt-in Flash demos often do. Force-fed Flash intros do not.
Graphics should DECORATE a page, not DOMINATE it. The largest problem with Flash is that it prevents people from getting the information they want from your site.
The best websites are the ones where you're not thinking about WEB DESIGN when you look at the page - the point of a company having a website is to show off their product not their web designer. When you visit a page that sucks, the first thing you think is "This page sucks". When you visit a page that has a Flash intro or too many graphics you think "This page is over-done, just give me the freakin content already". When you visit a page and find yourself surfing without giving any thought to how the page was designed or laid out - that's when you are looking at a great website.
As others have said, it depends on the audience, but if the site functions as a store where people actually go to buy things, then as a customer I'd be really annoyed by a Flash intro. If I go to an ecommerce site to buy something, I want to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible, and Flash intros always get in the way.
Here is a message (still amusing, I think) about one such failed shopping experience that had many causes, one of them being Flash:
|...large number of people out there that consider flash sites to be better and will choose that site over another just because they consider it to be more professional. I agree very few sites fit in this catagory |
Large number of people, but few sites that fit? Sounds a little odd to me. I agree with you that some people like the flash intros, but I have to think you're talking about the 18-25 age bracket, right? And as far as sites go, surely gaming and movie sites are what would take up the lion's share of that category.
Of course, without knowing the site/service/product in question, we're only able to speculate so far, but I think we've all given good advice here, especially about what the audience desires and can tolerate. Many companies are too easily wow'ed by the sizzle. But at the end of the day, they realize maybe they've missed the mark.
I agreee most of the time it is really a bad idea.
>>What would you say?<<
"A flash intro is usually a commercial for the Flash designer's talent as a designer, not for your product."
"When you watch TV, do you watch it for the commercials?"
"Have you ever seen a "Skip" button on a Home page?"
"Flash is what you put on a site when you have no real content that a user would like to see."
|"A flash intro is usually a commercial for the Flash designer's talent as a designer, not for your product." |
I'd say it's a testament to the designer's skills, but more often than not it's serving the client's perception of being "hot" and "hip".
|"When you watch TV, do you watch it for the commercials?" |
Only during the SuperBowl. :) But you can bet that I have my finger firmly placed on the "next channel" button if any commercial annoys me.
|"Have you ever seen a "Skip" button on a Home page?" |
No, but I've seen home pages that really NEEDED one. But seriously, if the visitor's interest hasn't been grabbed at the home page, then the site has failed.
|"Flash is what you put on a site when you have no real content that a user would like to see." |
I disagree. However, I think too often designers/companies put up a flash intro because they're too lazy to develop a proper site. They *think* they're being informative, and truthfully, to some degree they probably have some useful information in there. But more often than not, I think you'll find they're being distracted by the "sizzle" and not looking ahead at what makes a site have staying power. I'd even say flash intros could fit nicely into a temporary promotional campaign, so it can reinforce the messaging that brought visitors to the site in the first place. That said, I think it would be better to have a separate site for that and link to the main site.
>>But more often than not, I think you'll find they're being distracted by the "sizzle" and not looking ahead at what makes a site have staying power.<<
Got to agree with that one. The first step in enhansing "staying power" is to remove everything that detracts FROM that staying power.
One simple question we should ask ourselves is: of all the Flash sites we've viewed, how many times have we bookmarked the Flash Intro page as opposed to the Home page?
I'd have to say that I can't recall ever bookmarking an intro page.
>>I'd even say flash intros could fit nicely into a temporary promotional campaign<<
True. Despite my complete disdain for Flash, I've always thought that it was acceptable on sites that were intended to be viewed only once --i.e. one-message sites. And I've also seen some cool things done with menus in Flash.
[edited by: jk3210 at 3:22 pm (utc) on July 1, 2004]
I have seen some site that have a neat header on the front page in flash. It looked like a good front page but just had a really cool top. I thought that was ok. Flash can be used in moderation. It took up about 1/4 of the screen when it came up.
I like the Overture home page - it uses a little flash panel in combination with traditional elements.
Of course it looks terrible if you are using a browser without flash capability - like Mozilla.