How long should you run each instance in an introductory Flash piece

28 Oct 2008 - 1:05pm
5 years ago
13 replies
618 reads
tonyzeoli
2008

What¹s the recommended time to run a Flash movie introducing a site, its
content and available tools to a new user on arrival.

Example, see http://www.smilebooks.com/

I think this one runs for 8-9 seconds end to end.

Thanks!
--

Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM
VP Product & Business Development

e: azeoli at zaah.com

+1 631.873.2007 | Direct
+1 631.873.2007 | Main
+1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
+1 631.873.2050 | Fax

AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
Twitter: djtonyz

6 Dubon Court
Farmingdale, NY 11735

This document contains proprietary and confidential information, which are
the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use of this
or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
Copyright© 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

28 Oct 2008 - 1:31pm
Jay Morgan
2006

I think it's 0 seconds.
Seriously, we had this conversation in-house today and I am surprised that
(1) we are still building Flash intros; (2) that we'd build something (on
the web) that needs an intro, a (required) tutorial; and (3) that the we
slice the pie such that we look to solve the problem in this tutorial rather
than in the whole interface. Our in-house designer responded "well, it's not
an intro, it's a tutorial." Maybe it's not the designer's problem to solve.
Maybe the director can help you out with some negotiating skills.

I pitch something like www.southwest.com's clear starting points for the
primary tasks or what blogger has done with their 'what is it?' and 'easy as
1-2-3' overviews. That's a homepage component. It reinforces the value, the
main actions/tasks, and explicitly communicates the navigation and
interaction.

Arguing to the example of smilebooks.com: Compare the value of that woman
with her hands up in the air to a '1-2-3' diagram. I see a task to replace
the stock photos with informative graphics.

If you have to give instructions or directions to a task, I think of the
"hover invitation" pattern in the YUI library as the concept to follow. It
combines help on demand with error prevention to show people as they need
it. Taking over a UI to show people how and/or why to use it is just wrong.
Think of the physical analogy: What if someone got up in your grill when you
walked into a store and explained to you how to shop in their store. That's
not help, it's Woolworth's gone wild.

</soapbox> </ahem>

I hope this helps. Sincerely.
-Jay

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 1:05 PM, Anthony Zeoli <tony at zaah.com> wrote:

> What¹s the recommended time to run a Flash movie introducing a site, its
> content and available tools to a new user on arrival.
>
> Example, see http://www.smilebooks.com/
>
> I think this one runs for 8-9 seconds end to end.
>
> Thanks!
> --
>
> Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM
> VP Product & Business Development
>
> e: azeoli at zaah.com
>
> +1 631.873.2007 | Direct
> +1 631.873.2007 | Main
> +1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
> +1 631.873.2050 | Fax
>
> AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
> Twitter: djtonyz
>
> 6 Dubon Court
> Farmingdale, NY 11735
>
> This document contains proprietary and confidential information, which are
> the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use of this
> or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
> Copyright(c) 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Jay A. Morgan

28 Oct 2008 - 1:36pm
cfmdesigns
2004

I recommend zero seconds. <grin>

More seriously, what are you trying to "introduce", is an
"introduction" necessary, and is Flash the right tool for the task.
Once you can answer those questions, you'll see that the recommended
length is "what the introduction requires", no more and no less.

-- Jim
Via my iPhone

On Oct 28, 2008, at 11:05 AM, Anthony Zeoli <tony at zaah.com> wrote:

> What’s the recommended time to run a Flash movie introducing a site,
> its
> content and available tools to a new user on arrival.
>
> Example, see http://www.smilebooks.com/
>
> I think this one runs for 8-9 seconds end to end.
>
> Thanks!
> --
>
> Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM
> VP Product & Business Development
>
> e: azeoli at zaah.com
>
> +1 631.873.2007 | Direct
> +1 631.873.2007 | Main
> +1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
> +1 631.873.2050 | Fax
>
> AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
> Twitter: djtonyz
>
> 6 Dubon Court
> Farmingdale, NY 11735
>
> This document contains proprietary and confidential information,
> which are
> the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use
> of this
> or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
> Copyright© 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

28 Oct 2008 - 2:03pm
SemanticWill
2007

understanding what the context is - a first time user hitting your website
what is the objective, goal, strategy? If the tactic you choose is Flash
Intro, and the Goal is to showcase your flash designer's mad skills, and the
objective is to annoy the first time or second time visitor - then flash
intros are the way to go!

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Jay Morgan <jayamorgan at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think it's 0 seconds.
> Seriously, we had this conversation in-house today and I am surprised that
> (1) we are still building Flash intros; (2) that we'd build something (on
> the web) that needs an intro, a (required) tutorial; and (3) that the we
> slice the pie such that we look to solve the problem in this tutorial
> rather
> than in the whole interface. Our in-house designer responded "well, it's
> not
> an intro, it's a tutorial." Maybe it's not the designer's problem to solve.
> Maybe the director can help you out with some negotiating skills.
>
> I pitch something like www.southwest.com's clear starting points for the
> primary tasks or what blogger has done with their 'what is it?' and 'easy
> as
> 1-2-3' overviews. That's a homepage component. It reinforces the value, the
> main actions/tasks, and explicitly communicates the navigation and
> interaction.
>
> Arguing to the example of smilebooks.com: Compare the value of that woman
> with her hands up in the air to a '1-2-3' diagram. I see a task to replace
> the stock photos with informative graphics.
>
> If you have to give instructions or directions to a task, I think of the
> "hover invitation" pattern in the YUI library as the concept to follow. It
> combines help on demand with error prevention to show people as they need
> it. Taking over a UI to show people how and/or why to use it is just wrong.
> Think of the physical analogy: What if someone got up in your grill when
> you
> walked into a store and explained to you how to shop in their store. That's
> not help, it's Woolworth's gone wild.
>
> </soapbox> </ahem>
>
>
> I hope this helps. Sincerely.
> -Jay
>
> On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 1:05 PM, Anthony Zeoli <tony at zaah.com> wrote:
>
> > What¹s the recommended time to run a Flash movie introducing a site, its
> > content and available tools to a new user on arrival.
> >
> > Example, see http://www.smilebooks.com/
> >
> > I think this one runs for 8-9 seconds end to end.
> >
> > Thanks!
> > --
> >
> > Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM
> > VP Product & Business Development
> >
> > e: azeoli at zaah.com
> >
> > +1 631.873.2007 | Direct
> > +1 631.873.2007 | Main
> > +1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
> > +1 631.873.2050 | Fax
> >
> > AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
> > Twitter: djtonyz
> >
> > 6 Dubon Court
> > Farmingdale, NY 11735
> >
> > This document contains proprietary and confidential information, which
> are
> > the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use of
> this
> > or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
> > Copyright(c) 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Jay A. Morgan
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 Oct 2008 - 2:59pm
SemanticWill
2007

I guess it might be clear by now, but just not a big fan of the flash intro

http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=29277 where we discussed before, though
in a different context.

Some quotes from others:
"Arrrrgh! No, no and no! I've spent a good many years trying to convince
clients to stop this practice. Even those that insisted on going with the
Flash intro have all let up now." Sam W.

"In general, I do not like Flash intros or splash pages.

Not "it depends". In my mind, if you do a Flash-site, your whole web site
should be contained within that flash movie, if you can work with a good
programmer, the technology allows you to do that. Attention Adobe Flex." -
Enrique S

"Personally, I would rather be boiled in hot oil while my fingernails are
pulled out through my nostrils than watch a flash intro." - Mario B.

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 2:27 PM, Anthony Zeoli <tony at zaah.com> wrote:

> To expand on your answer, are you saying that the SWF in the example I
> provided isn't a good user experience. If not, why? What's the prevailing
> wisdom on these flash interstitials that are supposed to guide a users
> understanding of what they can do on a site? It's not an intro screen, but
> in the hero box on Home.
>
> Tony
>
>
> On 10/28/08 2:17 PM, "Will Evans" <will at semanticfoundry.com> wrote:
>
> 0
>
> 0 is the optimum time for an intro flash movie on a site.
>
> On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 2:05 PM, Anthony Zeoli <tony at zaah.com> wrote:
>
> What's the recommended time to run a Flash movie introducing a site, its
> content and available tools to a new user on arrival.
>
> Example, see http://www.smilebooks.com/
>
> I think this one runs for 8-9 seconds end to end.
>
> Thanks!
> --
>
> Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM <http://ZAAH.COM>
> VP Product & Business Development
>
> e: azeoli at zaah.com
>
> +1 631.873.2007 | Direct
> +1 631.873.2007 | Main
> +1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
> +1 631.873.2050 | Fax
>
> AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
> Twitter: djtonyz
>
> 6 Dubon Court
> Farmingdale, NY 11735
>
> This document contains proprietary and confidential information, which are
> the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use of this
> or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
> Copyright(c) 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>
>
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 Oct 2008 - 4:01pm
SemanticWill
2007

OOOOOOOOO.

The hero box! That is so much different. that smilebooks flash thing doesn't
seem to offer alot of bang for the buck - just simple marketing benefit
statements -

Refocused on how easy it is to create one of those things in 4/5/6 steps
seems much better.

If you site is similar to smilebooks - this is actually a perfect type of
product to benefit from gradual engagement - let the user come in, upload
photos, write stories, format the whole thing - only when they want to save
it do they need to create a username/password - and only when they are
reading to have the book printed and bound do they need to enter some evil
form with billing/contact info - see Luke W's last chapter in web form
design on gradual engagement.

-w

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 4:41 PM, Anthony Zeoli <tony at zaah.com> wrote:

> I should have been more specific. It's the Hero box on the home page, not
> a flash splash page. We're trying to give the user some visual stimulation
> that they can create photo books. The current UI and visual assumes the user
> knows what a "photo book" is and uses the image to try to convey to the user
> that they may create one.
>
> However, I'm not a big fan of this.
>
> If you look at a competing site, http://www.smilebooks.com, you'll see how
> they display a flash module on the home page that rotates three images, each
> trying to tell a story. Family, wedding, female friends can create a photo
> book using the site.
> --
>
> *Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM
> VP Product & Business Development
>
> e: azeoli at zaah.com
> *
>
> *+1 631.873.2007 | Direct
> *
> *+1 631.873.2007 | Main
> +1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
> +1 631.873.2050 | Fax
>
> AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
> Twitter: djtonyz
>
> *6 Dubon Court
> Farmingdale, NY 11735
>
> *This document contains proprietary and confidential information, which
> are the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use of
> this or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
> Copyright(c) 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
> *
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 Oct 2008 - 4:26pm
Mario Bourque
2008

"Personally, I would rather be boiled in hot oil while my fingernails are
pulled out through my nostrils than watch a flash intro." - Mario B.

I stand by that statement, but that is purely the opinion of myself as an
end user.

I know that we, as designers, are trying to push the edge on stuff and there
are a lot of Flash junkies (some amazing ones actually); however, I believe
that there is a time and place for Flash. A flash intro keeps me X seconds
away from what I want to see and Flash doesn't work on my iPhone. Chances
are I'm not your target audience. Restaurant sites drive me nuts, and those
sites that are completely done in Flash, but the navigation is so useless
that I just give up. Realtors drive me batty too.

As an interaction designer, your goal is to not give the opportunity for
users to give up.

It all depends on your site though. There is no right answer, there's just a
best answer - and it's up to you to find it.

--
Mario Bourque
Web: www.mariobourque.com
Email: mario at mariobourque.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/mariobourque

28 Oct 2008 - 3:41pm
tonyzeoli
2008

I should have been more specific. It¹s the Hero box on the home page, not a
flash splash page. We¹re trying to give the user some visual stimulation
that they can create photo books. The current UI and visual assumes the user
knows what a ³photo book² is and uses the image to try to convey to the user
that they may create one.

However, I¹m not a big fan of this.

If you look at a competing site, http://www.smilebooks.com, you¹ll see how
they display a flash module on the home page that rotates three images, each
trying to tell a story. Family, wedding, female friends can create a photo
book using the site.
--

Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM
VP Product & Business Development

e: azeoli at zaah.com

+1 631.873.2007 | Direct
+1 631.873.2007 | Main
+1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
+1 631.873.2050 | Fax

AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
Twitter: djtonyz

6 Dubon Court
Farmingdale, NY 11735

This document contains proprietary and confidential information, which are
the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use of this
or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
Copyright© 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

28 Oct 2008 - 4:31pm
Mario Bourque
2008

A lot of companies are doing this now. It's much more acceptable than a
flash intro page. There are ways to do it with JavaScript too.

Never assume a user knows something.

Mario

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 4:41 PM, Anthony Zeoli <tony at zaah.com> wrote:

> I should have been more specific. It¹s the Hero box on the home page, not a
> flash splash page. We¹re trying to give the user some visual stimulation
> that they can create photo books. The current UI and visual assumes the
> user
> knows what a ³photo book² is and uses the image to try to convey to the
> user
> that they may create one.
>
> However, I¹m not a big fan of this.
>
> If you look at a competing site, http://www.smilebooks.com, you¹ll see how
> they display a flash module on the home page that rotates three images,
> each
> trying to tell a story. Family, wedding, female friends can create a photo
> book using the site.
> --
>
> Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM
> VP Product & Business Development
>
> e: azeoli at zaah.com
>
> +1 631.873.2007 | Direct
> +1 631.873.2007 | Main
> +1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
> +1 631.873.2050 | Fax
>
> AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
> Twitter: djtonyz
>
> 6 Dubon Court
> Farmingdale, NY 11735
>
> This document contains proprietary and confidential information, which are
> the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use of this
> or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
> Copyright(c) 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Mario Bourque
Web: www.mariobourque.com
Email: mario at mariobourque.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/mariobourque

28 Oct 2008 - 4:39pm
Andy Polaine
2008

I think it's better to immediately try and show people what they can
make and how to get started rather than show them images of models'
and actors' made-up happy lives.

As an in-between, MOO do a pretty good job of this: http://
www.moo.com/ There is a hero box animation that's relatively
unobtrusive, but they make it clear what they offer and there is a big
call to action button "Choose a product to make" straight off plus
examples further down the page if you scroll. Their service is great
too, which helps.

On a side-note, I like the fact that MOO plugs into Flickr et al. I
hate the idea of downloading a (usually inferior) bit of software in
order to make a photobook when I've already uploaded everything once
to Flickr. I've got iPhoto for that on the Mac and the Windows
versions of those software packages are usually awful. The Mac ports
of them are usually worse (awful Java interface cack).

28 Oct 2008 - 4:39pm
Andy Polaine
2008

I think it's better to immediately try and show people what they can
make and how to get started rather than show them images of models'
and actors' made-up happy lives.

As an in-between, MOO do a pretty good job of this: http://
www.moo.com/ There is a hero box animation that's relatively
unobtrusive, but they make it clear what they offer and there is a big
call to action button "Choose a product to make" straight off plus
examples further down the page if you scroll. Their service is great
too, which helps.

On a side-note, I like the fact that MOO plugs into Flickr et al. I
hate the idea of downloading a (usually inferior) bit of software in
order to make a photobook when I've already uploaded everything once
to Flickr. I've got iPhoto for that on the Mac and the Windows
versions of those software packages are usually awful. The Mac ports
of them are usually worse (awful Java interface cack).

28 Oct 2008 - 4:43pm
Mike Cuesta
2008

It seems like no one actually clicked the link because there wasn't
any intro, simple some slides to introduce the value proposition.

Anthony, I think the best timing is one where there's sufficient
time for the user to read the material but at rate that you have
enough rotation so that you can show several features.

I don't think there's a standard time you can apply, just show it
to a couple of people and ask them to read the text out loud and
count how long it takes for them to read it. I would add a buffer of
1 second for scanning of the image.

-Mike

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=34984

28 Oct 2008 - 7:18pm
tonyzeoli
2008

Moo.com is EXACTLY what I'm looking for! Thanks so much. The Hero Box is
clean and unobtrusive. The call's to action are simple and effective.

I hadn't been aware of the methodology to allow a user to create and sign up
at the end, which Will Evans brought up. Thanks, Will. I'll read up on that.

--

Anthony Zeoli | ZAAH.COM
VP Product & Business Development

e: azeoli at zaah.com

+1 631.873.2007 | Direct
+1 631.873.2007 | Main
+1 917.705.4700 | Mobile
+1 631.873.2050 | Fax

AIM: djtonyz | Yahoo: anthonyzeoli | MSN: djtonyz | Skype: tonyzeoli |
Twitter: djtonyz

6 Dubon Court
Farmingdale, NY 11735

This document contains proprietary and confidential information, which are
the exclusive property of Zaah Technologies, Inc. Unauthorized use of this
or any document, marked confidential is strictly prohibited.
Copyright© 2008 Zaah Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

28 Oct 2008 - 4:44pm
SemanticWill
2007

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 5:39 PM, Andy Polaine <apolaine at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think it's better to immediately try and show people what they can make
> and how to get started rather than show them images of models' and actors'
> made-up happy lives.

Disco.

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