I’m not a fan of ‘Flash based’ sites and the main reason for that is barely no-one does them properly. So here’s a list of 21 ways to make your Flash based site suck, so that the next time you build a Flash based site you can really hit that nail on the head.
1. A useless splash page is a requirement
If you’ve got a Flash based website and it doesn’t have a next to pointless splash page that tells us nothing it just isn’t a Flash based website to start with. Try adding an “abstract” render with lots of bend modifiers and bright stars… and set it in space… lots and lots of space.
2. The “none Flash” version of your site must contain Flash
“None Flash” is an industry standard term for “use as much Flash as you can” or “a very sucky replica that doesn’t work in any browser”. You don’t want to be doing things that aren’t industry standard do you?
This is a requirement of any sucky Flash based website and if you want to make it that little bit worse please add scroll bars.
4. Always have an animation to “introduce” us to your site
There’s nothing more effective than a poorly animated, or better yet, extremely long “introduction” to a Flash based website to turn a user on. Not only do we enjoy watching it every time we come to the site, but we love it when the skip button doesn’t work.
5. Pre-load everything at once
To make the 5-10mb pre-loading worse, please add a flashing piece of text that spells out LOADING in the middle of your template. By the way, we don’t want to know how much is being loaded, how much has been loaded OR even see a loading bar… those are just ‘flashy’ and not informative to us users at all… right?
6. If not, don’t pre-load anything
As users we don’t like pre-loaders as they ‘slow us down’. Try creating a huge file size and not having a pre-loader, it makes us feel all tingly inside when we guess when the site will load.
7. Make sure that after 10 minutes of waiting, at least one more thing needs to be loaded
Make it the first thing we click on too. Make us really want it!
8. Always use a template
“Isn’t that a template?” – why yes it is. “Isn’t that used on this site, that site and that other one?” – why yes it is!
9. “Techno techno techno techno!” – make sure every piece of graphic on the site is overdone
Lines! We love lines! Why isn’t there more lines? Seriously, give us more lines or I’ll send someone round with a copy of ‘Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ and make you watch it 15 times in a row with no toilet breaks.
10. Make sure nothing is compressed
We will wait 20 minutes to avoid that difference in quality only a 800% zoom would show us.
11. I shall not anti-alias my text
Readable text isn’t something users want, just ask all those people without screens.
12. Use circles for buttons
Yes circles are practically pointless as buttons, but they sure are curvy.
13. Make sure everything has a roll-over
Please don’t deprive us of this wonderful entertainment. I can from the bottom of my heart say you would be bringing down the web on a whole by removing these. If your site has less than five roll-overs you just aren’t doing it right.
14. Scrap the one click standard and go for five
There’s nothing more I like than clicking, and when I click on a button but have to click five times to make it work – that really makes my day.
15. If you have forms, make sure they are the default 500kb components
Think of default components as the oompa loompa’s in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. You don’t want them to go without a job do you?
16. If animating, always use at least fifteen flashes
KA POW! KA BLAM! It’s just like being in a Batman movie… and we all want to be in a Batman movie.
17. Use as many transitions as you can between content
Every time I see the text float in from the right or the left it makes me want to use Microsoft PowerPoint. And no-one should think of using Microsoft PowerPoint.
18. When tracing bitmaps, always leave the original source files to increase size
Small file size? That’s just for amateurs.
19. Make sure any music tracks aren’t compressed
It adds to that loading time, which gives us time to exercise our eyelids.
20. Music should always start over again when we switch page
“Check, check, check it out”. That pause was intentional and adds to the song – yours just ruins the site and your user’s opinion of the music being played.
21. And finally… make sure there’s very little point to you building your site in Flash
Make it look just like a normal site. Really surprise that user with the 15 minute techno remix of MC Hammer’s “Can’t touch this” when they first click a link. Even better, wait for them to let their guard down and show that video of you dancing to the latest Britney Spears CD in your underwear.