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Thread: To Flash or Not To Flash?

  1. #1
    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    To Flash or Not To Flash?

    We're setting up a new eCommerce site using osCMax and we're starting to talk about the design of the site.

    One hot topic of discussion is the use of Flash in the banner.

    Do Flash banners seem more or less professional to you?

    Do they make you appreciate the artistic excellence or curse the load speed?

    What do you think?
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    dmi's Avatar
    dmi
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    Yes. Flash banners look way cooler than the regular ones. If done well, they look very professional. I don't think anyone has a problem with speed nowadays, so that won't be an issue.

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    There are a lot of very good reasons why Flash banners are not commonly used on e-commerce sites.

    A Flash banner may be interesting, but I think they are way too distracting on an e-commerce site if you use them on every page. Motion distracts users from the goal of an e-commerce site--which is to get them to view products and purchase them.

    Flash banners can slow down the loading time for people with slow connections. Many e-commerce sites are already slow enough due to the number of product images on some pages. There are still a lot of Internet users in rural areas in the USA who do not have broadband Internet access. Cable and DSL are not available to them and satellite is expensive and the connection sucks.

    Maybe I am biased against Flash. I put it on the "bells and whistles" category, which means it does not add any value to a user in an e-commerce site. If something does not add value, then it needs to be dumped.

    I do not mean to offend talented designers, but I see a lot of sites with Flash that appeal to designers who love creativity, but are annoying to users. I usually find a Flash banner or Flash advertisement to be interesting for about 10 seconds, and then they start to annoy me.

    osCMax looks to be a good choice for e-commerce. I looked at that one about a year ago. I personally prefer focused support, rather than the fragmented mess that ocCommerce support has become. It looks like the osCMax developers actively participate in their support forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmi View Post
    Yes. Flash banners look way cooler than the regular ones. If done well, they look very professional. I don't think anyone has a problem with speed nowadays, so that won't be an issue.
    I think you are right buddy but if you are targeting Asian countries then you must not go for it . In India as well as in other countries still many users use dialup connection or slow speed internet . In these cases flash banner create a huge problem for uploading website easily . I have faced this problem on digg many times . But if you are targeting only USA and other countries then it can be god for you .

    But I love Flash banners and hope to get one for my blog too lol . They looks amazing .

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    If flash animation is optimized well, then it loads as fast as same size well optimized image. IMO nicely designed flash banner brings more professional look for a website that may contain more information than regular banner. I'll go with flash banner too.

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    If I am you, I will use a non-flash banner, you don't see much flash banners around the net, there must be some reasons behind it, use an animated banner instead of flash IMO.

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    bhartzer is offline Net Builder
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    It also depends on who is going to visit the site. You need to make sure that the majority of people visiting the site have the latest Flash installed...and many non-techy users don't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhartzer View Post
    It also depends on who is going to visit the site. You need to make sure that the majority of people visiting the site have the latest Flash installed...and many non-techy users don't.
    That is a good point. The standard install for FireFox does not include the Flash plugin.

    I have seen many non-technical users that are paranoid about doing upgrades and plugin installs. I ran into one last week who was complaining about the way someone's site looked. He was using Windows 2000 with an ancient version of IE.
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    aussieroo1 is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Flash banners look very attractive and professional for almost every site, but if you are concerned about optimizing your site, you shouldn't use a full Flash-based site.

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    Flash animations can be used instead of still images. Of course flash animated banner/ad is attractive to me. But it's another word if you develop your whole site using flash, i.e. Flash site. It looks nice but It can not be SEO friendly.

    Anyway, let us know about the last update of your eCommerce site.

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