One of the most common requests I get from web design clients is "can I have a Flash intro with that?" These are words that good professional web designers dread to hear. Flash intros are an artifact of 90's web design; a fad and a novelty which is still so prevalent that some users still demand it. From the website owner's perspective, I can see how a slickly-made, animated Flash introduction must be good thing - what better way to show off their fantastic website than to decorate it with an expensive (and equally expensive-looking) introduction? The aim of this article is to explain why Flash intros are a very bad thing in terms of design, usability and search engine visibility.

  经常有网站设计客户提出这样的问题:能在我的网站使用Flash引导页(flash形式的内容介绍)吗?对专业的网络设计者来说,害怕听到这个要求。Flash引导页是上世纪九十年代出现的一种网站设计形式,它时尚、新颖的特点受到了很多客户的欢迎。从网络设计用户的角度来看,运用生动的Flash Intro,可以增强网站的吸引力。网站可以利用Flash来表现网页的与众不同,而不仅仅是用这种昂贵的介绍方式装饰网页。这篇文章主要解释一下, Flash引导页不利于网站设计、可用性和搜索引擎优化的原因。

If you are considering adding a Flash intro to your website, ask yourself the following questions:


Would your website users like it?

The vast majority of web users would find it an unnecessary barrier to the rest of your website. Upon encountering a Flash intro, users tend to either skip it or leave the site immediately. Several surveys and reports back up this fact - particularly a report by Marketing Sherpa which suggests that even in 2003, 80% of users "hated" Flash intros. By adding a Flash intro you risk losing users before you have had a chance to make an impact. Couple this with the potentially substantial cost of designing such a feature and you find a compelling reason to avoid it altogether. However, the drawbacks don't end there.

  大多数网络用户,认为Flash引导页是多余的,会阻碍用户浏览其它部分内容。他们浏览到Flash intros后,要么跳过去,要么离开网站。几项测试、报告都证明了事实的正确性,特别是Marketing Sherpa的一个报告显示:在2003年,80%的用户都不喜欢网站出现Flash引导页。所以如果在网站上运用Flash 引导页,在达到吸引用户的目的之前,一些用户可能已经流失掉了。还有一点,设计这种页面,成本比较高。不仅如此,在网站运行中,你还会陆续发现其它弊端。

What purpose does it serve?

With very few exceptions, Flash intros don't convey useful information; their sole purpose is to act as eye candy. Even if the Flash intro does convey useful information, this is still ill-advised, which allows me to segue nicely to my next point.

引导页不能传达有效信息,我想这一点没有几个人会反对。其实Flash 引导页的主要目的就是吸引用户眼球。即使能够传达有用的信息,最好也别用,原因请看下点。

Do you want your website to be visible to the search engines?

It doesn't seem to be common knowledge but is a very pertinent fact - search engine crawlers do not index Flash nearly as effectively or consistently as they do for regular HTML. If your Flash intro includes important text about your website, it is far better to present this as regular web page content which is readily accessible.

对搜索引擎极不友好。相反,能始终对一般的HTML有效地做索引。如果Flash 引导页中包含网站的重要信息,那最好是使用搜索引擎喜欢的文本呈现出来

Are any other established sites doing it?

I don't recall Amazon, eBay or Yahoo using a Flash intro, so you probably shouldn't either. This is a good rule of thumb for any non-standard feature on your website - if the big sites aren't doing it, take it off your "to do" list.


What effect does it have on your website's image?

The ever-increasing proportion of savvy Internet users perceive the Flash intro as a dated gimmick. On the Internet, where your first impression may be your only impression, don't portray your website in a negative light from the very first page.

  越来越多的精明浏览者认为,Flash 引导页已经过时了。在网上,第一印象即最终印象,所以不要让浏览者从首页就对网站产生否定态度。

Finally, a question you should be asking me:


Are you just biased against Flash?

Not at all, in fact I use some Flash on my own website. I think Flash is a great medium, but only if used correctly (and sparingly). An intro, however, is rarely an example of correct use.

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