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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Flash Intro (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Gideon Sylvan
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Deerfield, IL
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What are your views on flash intros to web sites? I am concidering one.

Gideon
You know you are a magician when you have boxes full of lecture notes you have never read, but still are excited about going out and buying more.

www.gideonsylvan.com
rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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Don't. Studies have shown that any sort of splash page loses you about 25% of the people who come to your site. It's pointless and show-off-y.

Offer a video sample they can choose to view at their leisure, instead.

http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com
BradBrown
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Florence, KY, USA
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Don't do it! Flash intros are EVIL!

OK, that may be an overstatement, but I think they are almost always a bad idea. I know there are plenty of people who disagree with me on this, but here's my thinking...

First splash pages, weather or not they use Flash, are counter-productive. They are just a barrier between your visitors and the information they want. Don't make users wait or "click here to enter". Just show them the relevant information they want right away.

Web designers tend to like Flash intros, because they're "cool", but I don't think most web surfers care for them. I don't think I've ever seen a flash intro that was actually worth watching. (If anyone can show me an example of one, I'd be interested in seeing it.) Personally, I always click the "skip intro" link, if there is one. If there isn't, there's a good chance I'll leave before the Flash loads and runs.

Not all users can view flash at all. Some people don't have Flash, and others have their IE security settings set so Flash may not be able to run. There are techniques you can use to detect this situation and direct them to a non-flash page, but it means extra work for you.

Flash pages tend to take a long time to load for dial-up users. (Yes, us dial-up dinosaurs are still around.)

Flash pages generally don't do anything to help you in search engines. Yes, there are ways around this, but you have to jump through extra hoops to make any content in your Flash presentation accessible to search engines.

I'm not anti-Flash. There are some very effective ways to use Flash to enhance your site. I just don't think Flash intros are among them.

-Brad
icentertainment
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Ask yourself this

Does Google use a flash intro?

no they don't- you go to google .com and it takes you to the search feature straight away.

BUT here is a thought if you decide to have a flash intro.

The intro should be a quick summary of your product- not a 2 minute download of compamny logo.

It should enhance your sales technique- I have one- but it doesn't go for long and is essentiallly client comments.

and always include a skip intro link.

You will want to have a standard HTML page as your index first as this will help in searcg engines and then a click through to web site or skip intro.

You can also set up your index page with all the meta data needed for search engines and have a redirect so as soon as someone clicks on that page it takes you to the next page an example of this is http://www.magicconnect.coma.au will take you to http://www.icentertainment.com - my site
Starrpower
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I agree with all that's been said. Flash intros are ego-strokers. In "It's A Wonderful Life," Nick the bartender said, "We serve hard liquor for men who want to get drunk fast!" Your website should follow a similar philosophy -- "Get good information to people who want answers fast." Flash doesn't do that.
Gideon Sylvan
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Deerfield, IL
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Not even if its abut 5-10 seconds as a fun way to lay out the home page?
You know you are a magician when you have boxes full of lecture notes you have never read, but still are excited about going out and buying more.

www.gideonsylvan.com
RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
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Gideon,

Ten seconds is a looooooooooooong time for those of us (and we are many) who don't like flash intro.

I think you and visitors to your website would benefit from more content whether written, customer testimonial, or photos of yourself during performance - people love that sort of stuff! Smile

A friend of mine had me visit his company website for my opinion as a consumer as I'm not a webmaster and know little about HTML. But I know how annoying flash intros are! I told him the first ten seconds of flash were a complete waste of time and money. To make matters worse, I couldn't find the "skip flash/intro" button! I was forced to sit through flying text and other stuff. Almost a half minute later I still didn't know anything about the company and just wanted to get to a menu fast. Don't forget how impatient this generation can be - everything including your lunch is served up fast.

Whenever I visit a performer's site, I IMMEDIATELY AND WITHOUT EXCEPTION hit the "skip flash/intro" button if I see flash coming my way. Even skipped David Copperfield's flash stuff.

Another I was viewing I noticed took a while to download. When the annoying music came blaring through my speakers I knew why.

Tell you what I really appreciate in a site. Fast loading pages even on a dialup, A short and clear description of the site's purpose, a menu that makes sense, and if a magician's or performer's site, no pages of peformer with famous people but photos of entertainer in action, testimonials, and an e-mail that is checked more than once a month.

We recently had JADE as the Guest of Honor and I hadn't been to her website. When I viewed it I was relieved at the simplicity. Remember she's performed from Vegas to Paris to an evening peformance for the Royal Family of Monaco just to mention a few. Her site gets right to the point with credentials, photos, and contact information. She's only one of so many out there who, despite all the perks a webmaster can offer, choose to keep it simple and direct: http://www.magicjade.com/pages/introduction.html

Many visitors to a site still holler "Just give me the facts mam!".....
BradBrown
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Florence, KY, USA
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Quote:
On 2005-11-03 00:19, Gideon Sylvan wrote:
Not even if its abut 5-10 seconds as a fun way to lay out the home page?


That's a whole other animal. There are effective ways to include flash on your home page.

Here's an example of a Flash splash page: http://www.howardsystems.com/. (This is an example from the http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com site.) Sadly, this is pretty typical for a Flash splash page. Don't do anything like this.

You can enhance your home page by encorporating Flash. An example is the Macromedia home page, www.macromedia.com. Their page is immediatly available and usable. You don't have to wait or click to get to the useful information. The Flash adds interest and interactivity to the site.

If you go this route, be sure your site will still work and look good for folks without Flash. A good article on the issues with Flash detection s here: http://www.jgtemplates.com/learn/fp/a003.asp
James Munton
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Dallas, TX
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Randy,

You are spot on!

David,

While I think your site looks quite nice, I recommend you have a link to text only pages. Have you tried printing one of your pages?

People sometimes like to print out the information to read later or to show someone else. You can't do that with your site.

Best,
James
icentertainment
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Randy- The show packages pages (other than the trade show page- (I'm redoing it eventually)

are standard HTML so you can copy and paste them as are some of my testimonials and portfolios

as for Bio, client lists etc- it's flash

I may add a Email this page feature which is pretty easy Java script it'll take 2 seconds in fact here is the code


Put this in your head section

~~~~~~~~~~~~
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">

<!-- Begin
var good;
function checkEmailAddress(field) {
// the following expression must be all on one line...
var goodEmail = field.value.match(/b(^(S+@).+((.com)|(.net)|(.edu)|(.mil)|(.gov)|(.org)|(..{2,2}))$)b/gi);
if (goodEmail) {
good = true;
}
else {
alert('Please enter a valid e-mail address.');
field.focus();
field.select();
good = false;
}
}
you = window.location;
m = "I thought this might interest you...";
function mailThisUrl() {
good = false
checkEmailAddress(document.eMailer.address);
if (good) {
// the following expression must be all on one line...
window.location = "mailto:"+document.eMailer.address.value+"?subject="+m+"&body="+document.title+" "+u;
}
}
// End -->
</script>
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
and put this in your body section
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
<form name="eMailer">
E-MAIL THIS LINK
<br>
Enter recipient's e-mail:
<br>
<input type="text" name="address" size="25">
<br>
<input type="button" value="Send this URL" onClick="mailThisUrl();">
</form>

<p>&nbsp;<p>

<!-- Script Size: 1.69 KB -->

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Paul Romhany
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While I"m not a huge fan of 'full' flash sites, I don't mind a 'litle' flash. I put some on my site just to give it 'spice'.
I came across this site while researching cameras and thought the use of Flash (not full flash site) was excellent
http://www.jvc.com/presentations/everio_g/

Paul
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://www.paulromhanymagic.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
icentertainment
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Yes if you want do add a little flash image to your site like a header or something flashing

you don't need Flash- you can use SWISH available at http://www.swishzone.com it plays in flash player but it's a more cost effective solution

great software for about $100

it's what I used to designe my site and is very user friendly
Starry
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New York
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Just my opinion, but I am pro Flash. I enjoy watching a good and well conceived splash page. I don't have one yet, but I am working on it. I think that a good flash front end can be done to make it interesting and load in a timely fashion. Most splash pages don't adhere to either caveat. I look at many magician's html pages and am either embarrassed by the poor quality or bored to tears. However, if you do decide to make a splash you should always have a skip intro entrance included.
Ace Starry - Author or THE MAGIC LIFE - A NOVEL PHILOSOPHY
http://www.starry.com/
rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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HOW ABOUT...

No splash page, but a well-conceived flash demo in place of a video sample?
icentertainment
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Actually I have always thought of the opposite

You can convert video into flash so have an intro with performance- The only problem is the Video takes up a bit of space so maby audio like Mp3 with images


but rossmacrae has hit the mark---WELL-CONCEIVED are the key words here- too many flash intros are--- "here is what I can do with FLASH" or I love the old flash intro's which take 2 minutes to download and all you get is a logo and then a link to the next page.

I think a Flash intro should sum up who you are, or sum up a major key difference between you and your competition- and shouldn't take long.
Paul Romhany
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Canada
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I have added a Flash video to my website and uploaded it, however not sure if it's working?! Anyone who really knows Flash please email me. I converted my Video to SWF file (Flash) and have set up a page with it on but it doesn't seem to want to work once I FTP it to my server. Maybe my computer is too slow and I"m not waiting long enough for it to load. It is only about 2MB as it's only a short montage. The video clip on my site (.mov) works fine (8MB).

Regards
Paul
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://www.paulromhanymagic.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
icentertainment
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I'll check it out one moment
icentertainment
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It seems to be working- it's streaming video so it plays bit by bit on Dial up and allot better on Broadband.

But If I may add a suggestion

OK I have never asked before so why start now

If you can shut off the background music of your site for that page as it will interfere with the video

I realise you have a "Music off button" but we all know that they are going to want to turn it off so why not help them out.


Now That was pretty nice advice and not a negative word in it.
I have dial up and it's pretty fast- which is good.- and no software required- even better.

cheers
Paul Romhany
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Thanks Ice
I just checked it out again on my laptop and it seems to be working fine. I agree with the music, I thought I had taken it out but obviously didn't so will make that change now.
Cheery O
Paul
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://www.paulromhanymagic.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
Paul Romhany
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Fixed it now. Not sure if it's better to use FLASH video or .mov. I now have both just in case:))
Paul
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://www.paulromhanymagic.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
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