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A guide to understanding how the process of designing a web site is started

What Will My Web Site Look Like?Your Company LogoDesign Concept & ThemeHomepage & NavigationFlash Animations: Trick or Treat?The Splash Design


Flash Animations: Trick or Treat?

Do they love it - or do they love it not?

There's no denying Flash animation has found its place on today's Internet. There are multiple ways of integrating Flash into a web site for a truly memorable experience. Before considering Flash for your web site, a few points of reason should be introduced.

Animations on a web site can be irresistibly inviting and they can also be truly annoying. In surfing the Internet, one can easily find an example of each. A good starting question to ask yourself ... "Can Flash help better serve my web site visitor"?

Whether it’s a visual emphasis on your company’s tag line, or a more complex delivery of company information, an animation should always have purpose and be non-obtrusive. Even a slight animation can enhance user experience. The key is to use it sparingly, wisely and appropriately. Unless the intent is to "show off", keep it simple. There are a multitude of choices when deciding what to animate. However to keep it simple we've outlined below a few basic categories animations fall under:

1. Animation for visual intrigue

Some examples are:

Imperium Partners
LJH Financial Marketing

2. An interactive resource

Defined best as instant delivery of helpful informational or educational content in a seamless environment. Some examples are:

Bonita Springs Utiltities

"Save it for Life - It's That Good " An interactive educational tool that delivers animated tips on saving water.

Grande Island Vacations

An interactive map of available rental locations categorized by condos, homes and cottages with a handy road map overlay.

3. The full media experience

Where video, sound and animation are orchestrated as one.

Jody Reed Baseball

Any of the above media solutions if incorporated into your website properly can provide the user with a rich, and more importantly, memorable experience. The key to delivering a successful animation solution is to give your visitor what they want or need to see.

!! Watch Out !!

Text embedded in a Flash file is not easily read and sometimes blatantly ignored by search engines! Website copy is important to search engines and helps determine how your website is placed in a keyword search. Which is why we do not recommend building a website navigation in Flash or using Flash extensively (embedding most website text in Flash) if you want to place well in search engines.

Animation projects are intensive and tedious to build. Before we start on an animation project, all project assets must be received and approved on by all parties involved. A few crucial and specific examples are:

  • Logos must be in vector format (if part of the animation)
  • Image source files approved and delivered (if photography is being used)
  • Finalized tag lines, paragraph and/or caption text in electronic format

Introductory of any new elements and/or changes to the design mid-stream will cause project delays and affect budget. Therefore it is crucial to have all animation decisions made and assets delivered prior to our designing the animation.

Ok to Relax!

On a final note, these project types can be decided upon and built after the initial website is complete or near completion. A static image can be used in lieu of the final animation during project build-out so the designer can define the animation’s size and location on the page early on. Once the site is near completion, timeline and budget will come into a clearer focus and new ideas for an animation may spawn from the new website once site pages are built.

Lastly, introducing animation to your web site should be a decision made based upon your web site audience, the message your company is trying to send and also the web site’s budget.

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