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I wonder why almost no serious Co. uses on their website live 3D character as a virtual host.Its very rarely when I see that somewhere and when I do-its always a Co. that has something to do with Internet, like web developers or web designers etc.
Regular mainstream Co.'s avoid usage of live 3D characters on their web sites as a mean to promote their services.
Why is that?
I pay $10 and I have on my web site a live 3D character (though it doesn't really look like me, unfortunately)...
Is it worth it?
The idea behind the 3d characters is very good, but like a lot of things on the web it gets over done. Its a bit like hearing a great song for the first time and thinking its awesome, then 3 months later once the song has been played to death on the radio you get tired of it. There are a lot of things online that can be more of a distraction that an assistant to the user.
I know of one case where someone I know is using a similar system to promote certain aspects of his site, and he is doing very well from them. its all about how you go about it. What I recomend is giving your users the option to see or hide the "person". this way only people who actualy want to see/hear the charactor will do so.
There is nothing worse than landing on a web page only to have it talk to you. On the web people are used to reading content, anything else can distract the user.
Just my thoughts.
One instance that springs to mind as a good example was a page for a software company. they used a flash movie very well embeded and blended into the page. the character spoke for a few mins and clearly explained the product. it was very well done, but it only displayed the flash movie once. when you revisit, it was just a normal page, with a link to play it again if you wanted.
using cool stuff on a site can work, but use it wisely.