Are Flash Intro’s Annoying?

When I was taking my web design course a while back, the tutor asked the class to name the things that we found most annoying on web sites. The first thing that came up was Flash intro’s! Just what is it about Flash intro’s that makes them so annoying?

Well, lets look at some other annoying web design elements and see if there is a common theme…

The list we came up with in the class was something like this:

1 Flash Intro’s 2 Too much animation 3 Slow loading site 4 Music and/or sounds 5 Poor navigation 6 Font size and font styles The list was longer, but these were the main gripes we had. Looking at the list, it appears to break down into two distinct areas: Elements that prevent us reaching the page we want; Content that is hard to read.

Now let’s look at each item on the list individually.

Flash Intro’s Flash intro’s take time to load and execute. When we visit a site, we want to be able to get to the information we want and not have to sit through an intro animation. I know there is usually an option to skip the intro, but it is still annoying that we have to find the skip button, select it and then wait for the process to take effect. I think Flash intro’s should be used with caution and only in a valid context.

Too Much Animation Animation can look good and enhance a web site’s appeal, but animation has to be used in moderation. Having an animation that appears on every page can get incredibly irritating and can distract us from the actual content, which is why we visit a web site in the first place.

Slow Loading Site A slow loading site is incredibly annoying. We are used to having pages load quickly now, and a page that takes too long to load can lead visitors to go elsewhere rather than wait. It is a simple process to optimise graphics to reduce load time. This is something that should be routinely carried out for every web site.

Music And/Or Sounds Music and sounds that play automatically on page load are annoying. They are especially annoying for people that are using a computer at work! If a visitor has to turn off the sound to browse your web site, they are likely to look elsewhere. Music is fine if you are promoting music on your web site and is only played by the visitor choosing to play it.

Poor navigation No matter how nice a web site looks and how useful and interesting the content is, if the visitors cannot find what they are looking for they will go elsewhere. A good idea is to make sure the important pages that sell your business are easily accessible from any page. A main navigation menu that is easy to locate and use is essential.

Font Size And Font Styles What is so important about font size and font styles? Well, the font size has to look attractive and be readable without being too large. Font colours should be such that the text stands out. It should be easy and comfortable for a visitor to read your web site without straining their eyes. One other issue with fonts is try to use one or possibly two font styles on your website, especially on each page. Having a whole range of fonts can look garish and amateurish.

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