Flash Doesnt Always Add Shine to Web Efforts

The trend today to overuse animation in a website's opening pages only serves to confirm that style often overshadows substance. Sometimes a "flash" in the pan ? often courtesy of Macromedia Corp.'s web animation program ? is simply a flash in the pan.

These often-clever animations succeed in doing two things consistently: 1) wasting precious time getting the information to site visitors and 2) delaying delivery of the message that the company or organization wants visitors to see.

Effective web design relies on communicating information and the message in an attractive, efficient manner. The concept of "you only get one chance to make a good first impression" is jeopardized when a new visitor has to endure the "loading" message.

Often, the Flash opening has little to do with the reason the visitor typed in the URL or clicked the link in the first place. For example, one marketing firm's homepage opens with a Flash montage featuring a boy looking out over the ocean through a telescope, cats playing on a floor, a close-up of a man's lower face covered with powdered sugar and the interior of a cab festooned with mosaic tile. The relevance of all this to the firm's capabilities as far as meeting marketing communications needs escapes us.

But don't misunderstand. Using programs that add some spice to your site or your message is a smart use of current technology (see www.zyman.com, for example). Designers just have to make sure that your message ? "We can meet your business needs" ? are part of the Flash effort.

Also, make sure that the Flash introduction includes an opt-out link ("Click here to skip intro") and doesn't run for more than 15 seconds or so. The idea is to draw visitors into the site and engage them, not to overwhelm them with cool gimmicks or how much money you spent developing your site.

As non-engineers or non-designers put it, just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should just for the sake of doing so.

Chris Scott heads Hodge Media Group, the custom publishing arm of Hodge Communications, Inc. Hodge specializes in strategic public relations and marketing communications for businesses, entrepreneurs and professional associations.

Formerly an award-winning journalist, he brings over 20 years of experience to client engagements. Subscribe today to Communic@te! our free bimonthly e- newsletter and get a free special report: "Using Buzz To Create a Groundswell For Your Business."

Visit http://www.hodgecommunications.com

Creating Quality Websites

Websites, there are literally billions of them out there in cyber-space. How many of them... Read More

My Top Ten List Of Extremely Annoying Web Page Design Elements!

Easy navigation and usability are one of the most important aspects of creating a "user... Read More

You Too Can Have Fun With Sepia Images!

If you are one of those who wonder how people come up with the cool... Read More

How to use Emotional Content to Increase Visitor Response

Did you know that many folks make "buying decisions" when they are moved emotionally? Other... Read More

Build A Successful Website For Dummies

So you want to build a website here I will explain some simple but also... Read More

Web Page Building for Beginners 4

Page ranking by search engines such as Google are not only overrated but unusually explained... Read More

How to Test Your Web Headlines and Web Site Home Page to Sell More Products and Services

A client asked me, at what point do you change your Web site when not... Read More

Website Promotion Ideas: 10 Tips On How To Use Your Picture Effectively To Increase Your Sales

Seeing is believing.One trick to increase your visibility as well as your credibility is to... Read More

Marketing Basics for the Webmaster

What is the relationship between Marketing and Web designing? How can a better understanding of... Read More

Website Re-Design?

My site is working fine. The links work. Content is added regularly. We have new... Read More

Choosing the Right Web Designer

Creating your web site can be a tricky process. Choosing the best web design company... Read More

Eight Website Pitfalls, and How to Avoid Them

Clutter: Too much noise, too much text, and too little white space mean that customers... Read More

How To Use Color Effectively When You Create A Web Site

Colors are powerful, and create strong feelings. They can also make your web site look... Read More

Website Registration Roadmap - How to Create Your Own Website in 7 Easy Steps

Creating your own website is actually easy in today's world of affordable and free web... Read More

Tips for a Successful Website for Any Organization, NGO or GO

Most NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) don't understand these important aspects of a successful website. Even many... Read More

Dont Overdo it!

Have you ever been to site with so much ad clutter that you wanted to... Read More

Website Conversion Secrets Revealed

In my last article entitled, Maximizing The True Value Of Your Traffic (found at http://tinyurl.com/2cf84),... Read More

Through The Looking Glass

My mother used to take me along when she visited an old lady down a... Read More

Do-It-Yourself Web Design for Home-Based Businesses

Home-based businesses need a strong web presence to combat the inflated advertising and marketing... Read More

Why You Should Hire a Professional Website Designer

Your web site should always adhere to standards!A professional web site designer will provide you... Read More

Website Design - Choosing Your Colors Wisely

Colors convey emotions and emotions heavily influence the decision-making process. Your choice of colors for... Read More

You Need RSS, Atom, and ROR/RDF Codes on Your Website--Now You Need Google Sitemap as Well!

Do you have a website? If so, you need an ROR XMLNS code button which... Read More

Good Websites Stand Out From The Masses Of Boring, Hard To Travel Sites

Good websites stand out from the masses of boring, hard to travel, and overly commercial... Read More

Choosing A Web Designer : A Plan to Guide You Through The Minefield

Choosing a web designer can seem like a daunting task. They come in all shapes... Read More

Hacked Off with CSS?

For those not familiar with CSS Hacks, they are ways of using styles/classes that only... Read More

Business Opportunity for Graphic Designers

As a graphic designer, you are sitting on a gold mine. You have a skill... Read More

Flash Web Design - The Wave of the Future?

There are two camps when it comes to flash web design, those who believe it... Read More

8 Tips for Designing a Great Website

Square buttons, round buttons, flashy buttons ? will they match my shoes, my handbag or... Read More

Very Cheap Website Design Services

Are you looking for somebody to build you a website, however do not have a... Read More

Simplify Your Web Site for Clarity and Ease of Use

There are plenty of web sites out there in which basic elements of design are... Read More

Ten Basic Steps For Building A Web Site That Works

1. Assemble a web site development plan that is integrated with your overall marketing... Read More

How to Double Your Online Sales Without Spending Another Dime on Advertising

Learning how to convert visitors to your web site into buyers, is the single most... Read More

Will You Site be a BIG SUCCESS. 7 Reasons Why It Might Not!

With so many new websites going up, it is hard sometimes to tell if your... Read More

Great E-Cover Creation in 5 Steps

There are several graphic software packages available to help you create your own e-covers for... Read More

Web-Safe Fonts for Your Site

Choosing the right typeface for your website copy is important, since it will affect the... Read More

Teach Yourself CSS The Easy Way

I taught myself HTML back in the mid-nineties and was proud of the fact that... Read More

Introduction To CGI Scripts

Using CGI scripts to add automation to your web site may seem a little daunting,... Read More

What I Look For In a Website

As my occupation is that of a proofreader, one of the first things I look... Read More

Maximising Web Site Viewability - Browsers

With so many different configurations internet users have their computers set up with, it can... Read More

Give Your Web Site a Small Business Marketing Tune Up

Your web site is like your car. Both are significant investments that require the right... Read More

Use Exclusive Content - When Reprint Articles Dont Do Enough

There is no doubt that reprint articles can serve lots of search engine traffic to... Read More

Discover 7 Proven Shopping Cart Enhancements to Increase Your Sales

For online businesses with their main goal of selling products, shopping cart abandonment can mean... Read More

Web Design for Dictators

No question about it, web design is an art. Finding the right blend of style... Read More

Revising Your Site - What Happened To My Search Engine Placement?

As of September, Smartads went through what so many have done before. I changed the... Read More

Quality Web Copy is the Key to Success

Many websites make the mistake of being all flash and no substance. Nothing irritates potential... Read More

What to Ask Your Web Designer

If you need a web designer, but have no clue about the typical web design... Read More

Using Your Personal Website To Clinch That Job!

With an increasing number of employment portals emerging, it is apparent that internet tools do... Read More

Web Crimes: how to avoid common website design mistakes

Thinking about designing your own website? Think again about adding any of these "features"?1. Animated... Read More

Build It And Build It Cheap! Part II

If you are familiar with my work, then you have probably taken a look at... Read More

Selling Multiple Products? Avoid These Top Blunders

When your web site sells more than a dozen items, you may face a fierce... Read More