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Thread: [Resolved] [Resolved] STOP FLASHING FOR FLASH'S SAKE

  1. #1
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
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    Yet another client, when discussing a brief has stated:

    "Oh, and we want some flash on it"

    When I asked them why, they replied that their competitors had flash on their site. Upon investigation, their competitors had a naff flash intro (yack!). I then had to tell them the pros and the cons of flash (especially flash intros (yack!). It took a good half hour to convince them that for their purposes, flash was not the best tool to use and didn't actually have to be used at all (its a very corporate looking site).

    So please people, stop flashing for the sake of it, we know most people have the plugin and that's not really a worry but for an information based site, flash is not the best or fastest tool. Take into consideration search engine submission, file sizes, functionality etc but don't use flash because you know how to, use it because its needed. When its not needed, use a tool that is.

    I thankyou, rant over.....

  2. #2
    Old Member gecko2's Avatar
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    Yep, I agree. We used to have a salesman who thought flash intros were the mutts nuts and every potential client who he used to meet would end up with one whether they wanted one or not. Personally I hate flash intros, okay my bosses let him sell them for a bit and it more than paid the bills, but they're pointless. I'm an employee you see and not an employer so I basically just got on with them for a while, then we was getting them in every week and they just got so tedious. The salesman we had didn't really know what he was selling, even though I amongst many of us told him the ins and outs of flash, intros and what we could and could not do.

    Once he sold a flash intro to this company and the logo was a triangular shape, so our salesman told them that we could make it spin in and out in 3D. We didn't even have Swift or any 3D package in house then, he came into the office and said "Well it's easy to do in flash innit?", "Doh!!" I said. Needless to say he no longer works for us and I think he flips burgers for a living.

    The funniest and worst intro I had to do was a company who were contract roofers, yes that's right contract roofers, people who read The Sun newspaper whilst whistling at women walking past with their arses hanging out. This is why flash intros are not needed, what use do they really serve?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jamez Brown's Avatar
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    And if ur not careful flash sites can get uwfully big.. I was reading on a webdesign thing that 75% of people dont wait that long 4 sites to load so unless there fast loading they suck...
    just my opinion

  4. #4
    Senior Member Geoff Edwards's Avatar
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    Is our Flash intro inappropriate?

    We have a Flash intro. It's been online for about 6 or 8 months. We create streaming media and thought a moving intro fit with our webcaster feel. Do you think it works or is it somthing we should re-consider?

    See it at http://www.streamworks.ca

  5. #5
    President and CEO of nothing.
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    Well since this started out as a rant I guess I don't feel so bad about getting off topic. =)

    Geoff your site is a stunning example to all web designers of a beautiful, clean site that attains exactly what it was put there to do.

    Your intro is short, sweet and stunning.
    Nice way to throw in a quick plug too. =)

    .aaroncrunchie

  6. #6
    Senior Member Geoff Edwards's Avatar
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    Thanks crunchDesign,

    But you are too kind. The site does have some shortcomings.

    But to keep on topic, when I commissioned the Flash intro design I wanted to create quick thing similar to a TV network's ID without being too grandiose.

    I wanted a quick download. Allthough it would be nice especially as I am a sound guy by trade, I didn't put any sound on it for this reason.

  7. #7
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    Eyenovation's Avatar
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    Oh man, thats tough..
    How about the clients that ask for the cheesy sound effects?

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by crunchDesign
    Your intro is short, sweet and stunning.
    Nice way to throw in a quick plug too. =)
    I thought it was not really in intro so much as a logo flash/splash page.. Well done.

  9. #9
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    Geoff,

    very nice site. The flash you use is more than appropriate.
    seeing sites like this are inspiring and really keep me driving to improve my skills.

    Kudos
    Mat

  10. #10
    So please people, stop flashing for the sake of it, we know most people have the plugin and that's not really a worry but for an information based site, flash is not the best or fastest tool. Take into consideration search engine submission, file sizes, functionality etc but don't use flash because you know how to, use it because its needed. When its not needed, use a tool that is.
    Got a good point there
    are company brochure websites included as information-based sites? for example: a woodchopping company,

    but i think, if you use flash properly on sites, not too much moves or unneccessary stuffs it'd own

  11. #11
    OG Irfaan.com's Avatar
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    Post problem with intro's

    See.. the problem with flash intro's is that it prevent users from accessing the site dirctly, even if you have a 'skip intro' button.

    You want the user in as fast as you can... because you ARE trying to sell them something. Flash intro's prevent the user from getting right in, and most of the time, the user leaves.

    Also, with lengthy flash intro's (unlike G.E.'s), 56k users will have a real problem. All they want is content.. so give it to them.

    Irfaan

  12. #12
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    also, they tend to pose problems for search engines. You want content on your home page and unfortunately search engines don't spider flash, image files, and java scripts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Geoff Edwards's Avatar
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    Hi serpent star,

    With regard to the Flash intro at http://www.streamworks.ca

    I appreciate your concern. I have thought about it and we are trying alleviate it by making sure that the page has full header with description and meta tags.

    I have considered using some descriptive text the same color as the background color so only search engines will see it. But I heard that some search engines penalize you for that. Has anyone else hear that?


  14. #14
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    I have heard that as well.

    For some very in depth discussions about search engines buy search engine proffesionals, check this out.

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/index....ory&category=6


  15. #15
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    can't seem to spell tonight

  16. #16
    they call me the_jump... le_saut's Avatar
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    Hi Geoff

    I had a look at your site, it's great and I'm cacking out (laughing) loudly at the bg image.
    I don't think you could class your intro as an intro. It's part of the site and loaded up neatly on my 33.6kbps copper.

    In this regard, you should not need a "Skip Intro" link. If sites have skip intro link then what is the use of having one [intro].?

    My only qualm about the site is the splash.html is reaching out way beyond the right hand edge of the page at 800x600.
    At my usual screen res of 1600x1200 it fits nicely.
    Also you could redirect at the end to /streamworks/ instead of /streamworks/splash.html. I always think the URL should be descriptive of the page.

    -----
    In regards to flash sites and search engines, most valuable search engines work off the google backbone.
    I have been looking into ways of providing non flash content (ie plain) to bots without a redirect, using similarily coloured text to the bg or masses of meta tags.

    So I have come up with a way that I don't think has been discussed before. Using a language such as PHP you can provide different content depending on what the User Agent string tells you.
    eg very simply
    if($bot)
    {
    //provide html content
    }
    else
    {
    //provide flash content
    }

    of course there are some difficulties here with new bots etc.
    The main positive item here is that there is no redirect. For all intents and purposes the bot sees your site as html only and doesn't know anything about SWF.

    I will be using this method when my site goes live from beta.And will be putting up a tutorial as well.

    -----
    And my views on intro's

    I was speaking to a colleague today who's client wanted the "Lake" applet on every page of their site.
    arggh.

    My views on the intro are that it should be like Permaculture. ie one thing has many uses,
    The 'intro' (i hate that word) should provide many things -

    1. a short (<10sec) precis to your content.
    and
    2. If required, can load in data invisibly so giving a smooth transition to the site. Meaing visitors aren't loading an intro, then loading a site. What use is that?
    and
    3. must be linked in with the site using content, colours, fonts etc etc that are similar.
    ie so instead of an intro it becomes a function extension of the main content areas. Something within the site, not outside of it like a welcome mat.
    Analogy : like those funny glass foyer things people have outside their front doors in the UK. They provide function and sometimes and idea of what the people inside are like.



    I hope this helps

    James

  17. #17
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    speaking of bad flash usage... here's a great example of flash at it's worst http://www.tsstech.com

    thanks.
    Ken

  18. #18
    Senior Member Geoff Edwards's Avatar
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    Originally posted by le_saut

    I will be using this method when my site goes live from beta.And will be putting up a tutorial as well.
    Hi le_saut,

    That is super input to this thread. Be sure and let us know when you have your page up, we might want to steal some script

    Thanks for the input on my streamworks site. I appreciate it and we'll be addressing those concerns shortly as we are ready for a revamping.

  19. #19
    Not PWD ViRGo_RK's Avatar
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    A men. It is a shame how big corporate companies are wasting the abilities of Flash, especially for something that isn't needed. I also would like to bring up that the use on banner adds and these new world pop ups (The one that blanks out the rest of your screen until its done, or the one that comes from no where) are giving flash a bad name. I think soon it might even get out of hand.

  20. #20
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    i started a new job a few months ago, and quickly became aware that my predecessors had over-used flash a bit... they made things that were pretty but lacking in function. If i mentioned using flash I noticed some rolled eyes and a disturbing sense of quiet - to my bosses flash = wasted time and money.

    So when the opportunity came to deliver something in flash (we wanted to sell somethin to it savvy ppl and html/javascript would have allowed them to copy the code too easy - swf's were regarded as more secure)

    ...I designed really static flash stuff, that just showed off the interactive aspects...all the new ui components customised to the company look and feel...and little tracking bonusses that are easy as all your variables are tucked away in the root level.

    anyway the moral of this story is that after i'd delivered functionality, flash was no longer a dirty word, people began to 'trust' and even 'respect' it as an interface.

    and i could start adding flashy animation bits here and there - nothing over the top, just little smooth elements that subtly lift the page beyond what can be achieved with more static html/javascript alternatives.

    but the functionality always comes first

    smi

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