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Thread: flash intros

  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict mr.pita's Avatar
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    flash intros

    it seems a lot of people hate flash intros and flash sites as a whole, including me.

    if so, then why are they so popular?

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Because many site owners don't know better. It really is that simple.

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    SitePoint Addict mr.pita's Avatar
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    it takes some skill to make a good flash intro, so i figure theyd have some experience and know not to make them in the first place.

    or do they just not want their talent to go to waste?

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    A simple answer would be, that flash just plainly look better and has a much greatly possibility for dynamic content than HTML, if you know how to design it good that is . However, I know that many more designers will argue that flash would be too fancy for its own good and would make the actual content seem less significant

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Technical skills and smart design are two very different things. There are a lot of excellent HTML/CSS coders out there who don't even think about making their sites accessible to handicapped users.

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    ...and dumb@ss clients who don;t know a great deal about the internet like them....
    remember animated gif's?
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

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    SitePoint Addict mr.pita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ
    remember animated gif's?
    yes i do, good old days
    i used to have a gif animation site.
    Last edited by mr.pita; Jun 4, 2006 at 18:16.

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    To me, when I see a flash intro, I don't just skip the intro, I skip the whole site.

    Animation is okay when used properbly. But overusing them can be very distractive. Most web site owners have no ideas as to how users view a site. They have tons of wrong assumptions. The attention span of a human being is about 10 seconds and on average, a visitor spends about 20 seconds at a site. I'd rather make the site simple and get to the point, instead of having a flashy pointless presentation.

    I have seen web sites built completely with flash and search engines have no clue what these sites are all about.
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    "To me, when I see a flash intro, I don't just skip the intro, I skip the whole site."

    So you miss out on alot of good sites...

    The so called designers/developers that ignore flash as a viable tool are more mislead than their image of the people that do.

    Flash penetration is huge, within 2 weeks of flash 8 comming out, we saw 87% of users had it already (we developed/maintain the engine behind of of the top 5 online advertising agencies) . Our engine doesnt track anything -personal- except flash version and browser, as that is how we determine what we can use in our ads. With millions of views a day and sites in pretty much all genres, its a pretty good tool for evaluating usage.

    The problem with this argument, is the same problem as the Tables argument. You arent arguing with fact. Fact is, it works most of the time.

    What you are arguing with when you argue with this internet-purist(nazi)s is ideology, and you cant overcome an idea with any amount of logic.

    In a poll we did through the ad agency, we screenshotted 10 sites, and asked which sites they would most likely visit. The plain (safe) css-only box-design sites were on the bottom of the list. The flashiest sites were in the middle, and as expected, the sites that both showed great design (alot of it was flash) and content were at the top.

    Saying that web users would leave a site because of the intro is dumb. I actually used to believe that...then a client requested an intro, so we did it, and recorded (simple incremental counters, no user data) Loads (they hit the site), skips, and completions of the intro...this was a year or so ago, so i dont remember exact numbers...but it was close to this:

    Loaded only (in other words, seen the intro and left) : 3-4%
    Skipped : 30%
    Completed: 65ish%

    I was shocked to see that...i would have expected "skiped" to be much higher, because i generally skip them...so i was trasnposing my browsing habits on the user...which is dumb...

    That is, though, what alot of people do. The truth is, done correctly, flash works. It works well. If you have some fundamental disagreement with the idea of a site that isnt viewable in every browser and screenreader and whatever else...then fine, but you ARENT most users...and your ideology doesnt represent that.

    If you think that you cant make a fully flash site work for you, check out 2advanced.com (new site as of this week) ... and they dont have a bit of problem finding work.

    For example, mpls-web-design, I personally would leave your site if I were looking for a designer. It shows little creativity, reads like every other generic design company site, and worst of all, looks like a template site (domain squatters) ... i couldnt though, say that most web users would feel that way, because I dont know most web users...i just know me.

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    "To me, when I see a flash intro, I don't just skip the intro, I skip the whole site."

    So you miss out on alot of good sites...
    We also miss even more bad sites.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    Saying that web users would leave a site because of the intro is dumb.
    No, it's fact. You may not like it because you obvious have a vested interest in Flash but it is still true.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    I actually used to believe that...then a client requested an intro, so we did it, and recorded (simple incremental counters, no user data) Loads (they hit the site), skips, and completions of the intro...this was a year or so ago, so i dont remember exact numbers...but it was close to this:

    Loaded only (in other words, seen the intro and left) : 3-4%
    Skipped : 30%
    Completed: 65ish%

    I was shocked to see that...i would have expected "skiped" to be much higher, because i generally skip them...so i was trasnposing my browsing habits on the user...which is dumb...
    Anybody skipping your site because of a cosmetic reason like a Flash intro is pure bad business. It's like putting a jerk in front of your retail store who annoys people as they walk in. Why do it if you don't have to? especially when you KNOW it is turning people away?

    And if 30% are skipping the intro it is a waste of time and money! The site owner should have invested the capital spent on the flash intro on something else that would actually benefit them like marketing.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    If you think that you cant make a fully flash site work for you, check out 2advanced.com (new site as of this week) ... and they dont have a bit of problem finding work.
    They have established themselves as designers and developers so they can put a turd on their homepage at this point and still have clients lining up. And one successful flash site doesn't mean Flash sites are successful. In fact most aren't. They are SEO suicide and usually done by Flash fanatic who don't understand their customer base.

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    "They have established themselves as designers and developers so they can put a turd on their homepage at this point and still have clients lining up."

    How have they gotten in that position? By using ALL of the available technologies, and providing sites that blow away what all the purists would ever even consider doing.

    If you want to limit what you can do for a client, then by all means, go ahead.

    I guess its easier to bash something like flash than it is to learn to use it effectively.

    In the end, it comes down to two groups of people. Those who try to continue to advance and improve on the face of the internet, and those who are satisfied with its current state...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kefeso
    A simple answer would be, that flash just plainly look better and has a much greatly possibility for dynamic content than HTML, if you know how to design it good that is . However, I know that many more designers will argue that flash would be too fancy for its own good and would make the actual content seem less significant
    It doesn't matter how cool it looks or how well it's designd - Flash suffers from one major fatal flaw:
    The most popular browser in the world is IE, and to display Flash in IE you need to have ActiveX enabled. But many IE users disable ActiveX because in IE ActiveX is also a major security hole. Those people won't even SEE your Flash handiwork - they'll just see a blank page. Others won't see anything without first downloading Flash to their PC.

    The idea of using a web-design technology that either results in blank pages for a significant slice of the web community, or which forces users to do something special to see it just seems DUMB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    Saying that web users would leave a site because of the intro is dumb.
    No, it's a fact.

    I routinely leave sites as soon as I see they are Flash. I'm an artist and photographer and we frequently discuss this topic among ouselves because lots of art and photography sites use Flash. In one recent conversation the majority of people said the same thing - Flash is an instant turn-off, literally.

    You should review your polling methodology - I suspect that if you already do a lot of Flash you probably have a client/user base that's more tolerant of Flash than the general web community.

    Flash is like a controversial politician - they may have a strong core group of supporters, but outside that group they've got too many negatives to get very far.

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    How have they gotten in that position? By using ALL of the available technologies, and providing sites that blow away what all the purists would ever even consider doing.
    Wow factor and good marketing is more like it. Now the wow factor is gone and they live on their rep. Good for them. Bad for everyone else trying to be like them.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    In the end, it comes down to two groups of people. Those who try to continue to advance and improve on the face of the internet, and those who are satisfied with its current state...
    Flash intros don't advance the Internet. Not by a long shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    How have they gotten in that position? By using ALL of the available technologies, and providing sites that blow away what all the purists would ever even consider doing.
    No.

    Because the idea in good web design is not to "blow away" what others are doing with glitz.

    The idea in good web design is to create sites that are FAST and EASY-TO-NAVIGATE, where you can accomplish your business with the minimum effort and maximum confidence. USABILITY in the single most important factor is web design, and Flash is not necessary for usability.

    Take a look at the other thread in this forum where people say what makes them leave a site, if you don't believe me.

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    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plnelson
    Take a look at the other thread in this forum where people say what makes them leave a site, if you don't believe me.
    Unfortunately, most of them being web designers/developers themselves, their views are biased.

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    Thats my point, egor...

    The designers/developers here put THEIR browsing habits out there as representing the majority.

    If that were true, then we can also say that most users use Firefox as well...right?

    "Flash intros don't advance the Internet. Not by a long shot." Nice bend on my words, however, in the context of my post, its clear that my meaning was that the additional technologies in general advance the internet, which they do.

    plnelson...since you're so full of FACTS...can you produce some real numbers for me, proving that a large number of people leave because of intros? I mean, its a FACT, so the numbers should be right there, right? You must have done some real research to be claiming it as FACT, right?

    The same thing for everyone supposedly not having flash...when macromedia's numbers (which are cautious) say 80ish percent have it...and real data We've researched show closer to 90%...i think your argument is very full of holes...

    Again though, yours is based in ideology, so nothing i say can persuade you...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    The same thing for everyone supposedly not having flash...when macromedia's numbers (which are cautious) say 80ish percent have it...and real data We've researched show closer to 90%...i think your argument is very full of holes
    Even if 80% have it (and actually use it), that means that by using Flash you're willing to lose 20% of your site visitors.

    But more importantly, just because someone HAS it doesn't mean that they don't exit as soon as they see a Flash presentation. For example, I *HAVE* Flash but I still automatically exit any random site I land on when I encounter it.

    Lots of people have Flash because they either got it automatically when they installed something else, or they installed it to look at one particular site that they needed to visit for some reason.

    Flash is like Hillary Clinton or George Bush (See? I'm being fair and balanced) - - - both have a core group of supporters like you, and a lot of other people who can't stand them. Your 90% poll is like asking people if they recognize their names - it doesn't say anything about their approval rating.

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    Pedantic Semantic blain's Avatar
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    If I visit a website and it has a flash intro the first thing I look for is a skip intro link, If I cannot find one, then they have lost my custom.
    Technology is dominated by two types of people:
    those who understand what they do not manage,
    and those who manage what they do not understand.

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    flash intros

    I have flash player installed. Do I use it, sure, when I want to see a particular flash file, like when someone sends a link saying "check this out". I have a dial-up cnx. So if I want to see something I'll wait. But unannounced intros? I have waited for some. All too many required quite a wait and weren't worth the time IMO. Sure they look great, Almost like have TV quality viewing online. But if it's for something that could have looked OK done in a way without it, why use it? I'm usually after content, and unless the content I'm after is flash, I don't have much patience with it. Do you think Google would be where it is today if it had started out with a flash intro?

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    SitePoint Member tgillespie's Avatar
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    A user is only going to watch an intro once, if that. Most users skip it from the get go. When developing sites for flash-intro-happy owners, I usually suggest keeping the flash intro up for a week. It boggles me why their willing to spend 500+ on a flash movie when user statistics show it hardly ever gets used.

    So if your money bags insists on a flash intro, I would comply, but suggest that eventually you need to take it down. Could also use cookies to display to new uniques only.

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    pnelson...read my other post...

    Only ~5% left because of the flash...

    The rest either clicked Skip or watched it....and still ended up in the site...so no, customer NOT lost...

    Like i said, im not a fan of the intro...but they have their place..if they client wants one, they get it. We always use sessions/cookies to try to only show the intro once to everyone...

    Most web users wont even recognize something as flash...they just see something moving...they dont just go, hey, its flash...

    In moderation, and handled correctly, there is nothing wrong with flash, period. If you leave a site because it has flash on it, thats your loss...but despite what you think (and claim to be fact) most people dont do that.

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    flash intro

    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    ..they just see something moving...
    My problem is that I see something NOT moving. Until it loads I either have to wait, skip, or abort. Too many are mega sized, (ouch, watch those bytes). And too many don't have a skip link. That only leaves the option of aborting the load.
    So rjm1982 has a point, if you don't want to lose visitors, have a skip intro link.

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    And to that point...When we do make intros, the skip button loads with the loader...

    So you see something, and know its working. And can skip it.

    As with anything, you can find examples of bad use (css, flash, tables) in any technology, but that doesnt mean the technology is bad, it means the person using it doesnt know his *** from his elbow...

  25. #25
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    As with anything, you can find examples of bad use (css, flash, tables) in any technology, but that doesnt mean the technology is bad, it means the person using it doesnt know his *** from his elbow...
    Yep. The only problem is a lot of webmasters seem to need anatomy lessons.


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