Flash Intro or no Flash Intro? That is the question.
Actually, that’s not really the question we ask at World Wide Creative. The big question we ask (internally) is what strategy can we come up with to persuade the client not to use a Flash intro.
I’m not 100% sure why Flash intro’s are still so popular, but here’s a couple of guesses:
1. When doing research for their new website, company owners / marketing managers browse their competitors’ sites. Invariably one or two have them, and the temptation is to ‘one up’ the competitor.
2. Flash intro’s can look really nice, and when comparing it to your own website that you’ve seen a thousand times before, the idea of a Flash intro can seem very appealing.
3. There is an inherent desire in nearly all companies to appear technologically superior. A Flash intro is an animated manifestation of this desire.
4. A Flash intro gives marketers a creative way to ‘tell the story’ of their company. As most marketers know, telling stories is one of the best ways to engage customers – hence pushing hard for the animated introduction to their website. What many marketers don’t know is that every web browser come to their site for a specific reason – and 99% of the time it is NOT to listen to their meticulously planned dialogue of how the company evolved over time. The intro in this case is akin to interruption marketing, or advertising on a TV, which has people scrambling for the ’skip’ button.
We’ve seldom used Flash intro’s for the sites we’ve developed, and when we’ve done it, it’s after some serious strategic thinking. World WIde Creative’s advice: FIRST create a website that allows your site visitor to reach his objective as seamlessly as possible (through fast download time, focused navigation, clear information hierarchy), THEN think how you can creatively deliver your message. This may mean enticing your visitor to click on an interactive timeline on the site, or entering a Flash gallery of services, but your animation should rarely be placed before the visitor’s goal for coming to the site in the first place.