Mar 22, 2010

Website Mistake #6: Cheesy Flash Intros

eLearning Series

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Cheesy Flash Intros

Some graphic designers are convinced that the best way to get people to pay attention to what you do is to give them the equivalent of a 30-second commercial each time you visit the site. The big blaring flash intro was popular a few years back, but has now largely fallen out of favor. Why? People want information quickly. And don’t want to be bothered every time they visit your site with a flash intro that takes forever to load and can’t be skipped.

So if you’re still convinced that you need a flash intro on your site, here are some guidelines and recommendations: Make sure that there is a skip button. It’s best to not have this be part of the flash intro, so that if someone doesn’t have flash, or doesn’t want to wait for the flash to load, they can press this and move on. Make sure they can easily mute the volume. It’s embarrassing when you’re visiting a site and music starts blaring. Especially when you’re at the office. Make sure that your flash piece doesn’t block search engines from indexing your site. Make sure that repeat visitors don’t have to suffer through it again. And again. And again.

Set a cookie, so that only people who visit the site for the first time have the privilege of viewing it. (Sorry to be jaded on these recommendations.) The gym where I work out does have a flash intro (no, we didn’t do the site), but on the positive front, you can quickly skip it and there’s no sound. The only thing Google sees when it visits the first page of the site is “skip intro,” but fortunately, Google had tenacity and kept spidering, so Google indexed their main non-flash page (index2.htm). I’d love to see a cookie set that allows me to skip it, though. But honestly, I rarely visit the site, so I won’t complain to the owners.

 

Flatiron Athletic Club